Archive for the the snows of yesteryear Category

MY DISCOVERY

Posted in And now the snorting starts, Bigotry in America, California Public Records Act, Evil Smiley Face, GOP, Hate Crimes, Occupy Mordor, Small Town America, The Great State of Montana!, the snows of yesteryear, The Wilhelm Scream, USA! USA! USA! on July 12, 2015 by paulboylan

Happy Negroes

A still from Disney’s Song of he South (1946), recognized universally as the most racist film ever produced.

 “That was a total waste of time,” my wife, Lori, told me after reading a conversation I had with someone who calls themselves “BuffaloBillie” and who posted a critique of the decision to remove the Confederate battle flag from the top of the South Carolina Capitol Building.

American Swastika

American Swastika

Here is what Billie posted:

Did no one see Roof burning the AMERICAN FLAG? The Confederacy is just as much a part of our history as the Union Jack! Racism will be the death of our country if the Muslims fail and, that “knife” cuts both ways!

 I was tired when I read that.  I had just returned from a two week trip to Australia

Brisbane

Brisbane

Sydney

Sydney

Melbourne

Melbourne

Capricornia

Capricornia

and, moments after landing in LA, I received an email from my good friend and colleague Terry Francke, the Director of Californians Aware (CalAware).

CalAware copy

Terry referred a request for assistance from Eye on Sacramento (EOS), a local government transparency advocacy group.  EOS wanted to stop the City of Sacramento from deleting the City’s email archive – and the City was going to push the button two days from then.

I agreed to try to help. It turned out to be a gargantuan task, possibly the most difficult case I’ve ever handled on such short notice.

It’s working out okay. But when the hearing was over, and I could sit down and take a break, what I really needed was some mindless entertainment.  When I read Billie’s protest about the decision to remove the Confederate flag from the top of the South Carolina Capitol Dome, I knew I had found the mindless entertainment I was looking for.

For me nothing is more entertaining than engaging a racist, and Billie’s inclusion of Muslims in her short rant indicated that Billie wasn’t only racist, but was very possibly crazy, too – and I love that combination.

I responded as follows, and the conversation began.

But this is not just another typical meaningless conversation between two people with irreconcilable world views.  As the conversation developed, I discovered something.

Let me know if you agree with my revelation about “Billie’s” true nature.

I began by responding –

@BuffaloBillie –  The swastika is a part of German history, too. But it stands for and is very closely associated with hate, murder and racism – and therefore it is offensive to anyone who isn’t a racist.

Desecrated Jewish graves in France

Desecrated Jewish graves in France

The Dachau Gateway

The Dachau Gateway

The Confederate battle flag is a part of American history. But it stands for the right to own slaves and the racism that was created to justify slavery – and is therefore offensive to anyone who isn’t a racist.

KKK-Rebel-Flag-Swastika-2 copy

This guy just loves the Confederate flag.

That’s all there is to it. If you don’t get it, then history will trample you and the Confederate battle flag you’ve wrapped yourself within.

By the way, in Germany – where the swastika is banned – racists and Neo-Nazis fly the Confederate battle flag because it represents the same German racists and Neo-Nazis want to promote – hate, murder, and racism.

They know what the Confederate battle flag stands for. So does every American. Those who think they can display the Stars and Bars to champion the idea of being a “rebel” without also arguing in favor of hate, murder and racism are fooling themselves, but no one else.

To my delight, Billie met my challenge.

 @Paul_Nicholas_Boylan Mr. Boylan, you should avail yourself of a history book on the Civil War which was written BEFORE the liberals took over our education system. You will find that slavery was not the issue but states’ rights and the economy of the South. There were many, many northerners who owned slaves also but it was Lincoln’s attempt to keep the union together, not slaves, that caused the disasterous war. Incidentally, I am NOT a racist.

 @BuffaloBillie Frankly, I don’t know if you are a racist or not. There are lots of kinds of racism. Marilyn Davenport found herself in hot water when she distributed a photo of a family of chimpanzees with President Obama’s face on the baby.

nothing-racist-about-this-at-all

She was shocked when people accused her of being racist.

Marilyn Davenport.  Huge racist.

To her a racist is an evil person motivated by hate. Since her desire to depict a black man as an ape wasn’t motivated by hate or evil she felt she could not possibly be a racist.

She was, of course, wrong. Racism is like cancer. There is both malignant racism (the product of hate) and benign racism (the product of culture and ignorance).

Bill, I suspect you are a benign racist. You demonize my viewpoint as ‘liberal.” For the record, I am a life-long registered Republican.

You try to justify slavery as a “states rights” issue and point out that prominent historical figures owned slaves. I am sorry, Bill (I really am) but that is the classic argumentative tactic of a benign racist. States don’t have the right to perpetrate evil. And the sorry fact that some good men may have participated in an evil thing doesn’t magically transform it into a good and righteous thing.

Listen up:

(1) Slavery was and is evil.

africa

Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me.  I was two months in bed sore from the whipping.  My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer.  The very words of poor Peter, taken as he sat for his picture.  Baton Rouge, La., April 2, 1863.  (War Dept.) NARA FILE #:  165-JT-230 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #:  109

Baton Rouge, La., April 2, 1863. (War Dept.)

black-slaves

(2) The Confederate States rebelled against the United States for the sole purpose of having the right and power to base their economy on slave labor.

slavead

slaves-in-field
d47d0eccc6c7872dfd4e31527ee75e99

(3) the South Carolina Battle Flag (the basis for what is known as the “Stars and Bars”) was created to symbolize the false and evil right of men to own other men. It was created for no other reason and symbolizes nothing else.

The+House+with+Closed+Shutters+-+1910+-+Sister+sews+Confederate+flag

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Birmingham, Alabama: Students wave confederate flags and carry anti-integration signs as they stage demonstration near West End High School, 9/11/63. It is the second day of integrated classes in Birmingham City Schools, 9/11/63.

Birmingham, Alabama: Students wave confederate flags and carry anti-integration signs as they stage demonstration near West End High School, 9/11/63. It is the second day of integrated classes in Birmingham City Schools, 9/11/63.

Montgomery, Alabama, USA --- A group of white men protest the integration of Montgomery high schools waving confederate flags and anti-Semitic signs. --- Image by © Flip Schulke/CORBIS

Montgomery, Alabama, USA — A group of white men protest the integration of Montgomery high schools waving confederate flags and anti-Semitic signs. — Image by © Flip Schulke/CORBIS

m198803970001

Women screaming at black children attending public school in Charleston, South Carolina

So tell me again why the Bars and Stars should keep waving.

 

 @Paul_Nicholas_Boylan Who ever was that woman you describe, she definitely is an ignorant racist.

Marilyn Davenport, who forwarded an email depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee, issues an apology for those who found the work offensive but refuses to resign her position as an elected member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee, at a news conference outside her home in Fullerton, Calif., Wednesday, April 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Marilyn Davenport, who forwarded an email depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee, issues an apology for those who found the work offensive but refuses to resign her position as an elected member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee, at a news conference outside her home in Fullerton, Calif., Wednesday, April 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

My brothers and I were raised by a wonderful black woman and her husband, Johnnie Mae and James, and they were my very best friends.

temple

It did not matter to me that their skin was black. They were the sweetest, kindest people in the world, aside from my grandparents. I have absolutely no ill will toward black people except those who constantly complain about slavery as though they experienced it themselves. There is not a single person alive today who was a slave, so those youngsters should stand up and be counted as Americans, not as a hyphenated American. The United States has done far more for people of color than their own countries in Africa will EVER do for them.

voting_start_04

I’ve lived in Africa and know that for a fact, first-hand. Americans have always taken care of black people because, as slaves, they were needed as workers and since then as our house-keepers and nannies.

negro_domestic_servant1

They were NOT abused, they were protected because they were valued and loved.

Evil too extreme to believe

Loved and valued to death.

 

@BuffaloBillie  Again you seem to misunderstand the difference between malignant racism and benign racism. You say ” I have absolutely no ill will toward black people.” I don’t doubt that. What you – and Marilyn Davenport – don’t seem to understand is that you can be a racist without hating. And I am afraid that all that you’ve said in this discussion seems to point to the conclusion that you are, indeed, racist.

I do not question your claims that you were raised by black people. But the your comments after that claim really seem to indicate that it didn’t make you a more open minded person. For example, you say:

“There is not a single person alive today who was a slave, so those youngsters should stand up and be counted as Americans, not as a hyphenated American.”

The bottom line here is that you love black people who are silent, but you admit ill will towards black people who complain about the lingering and potent effects of slavery. That, my friend, makes you a racist.

How do you feel about Jews who didn’t survive a concentration camp who refuse to forget about the Holocaust (if, of course, you believe the Holocaust happened. I’m guessing you might doubt that it did)? I bet you just love Jews that don’t complain, too, but harbor ill will towards those who do.

You also say:

“The United States has done far more for people of color than their own countries in Africa will EVER do for them.”

I really hate to point this out again, but that, too, is a favorite argument of the benign racist. You are basically arguing that black people shouldn’t complaint about the injustices they experience or the inequalities inherent in our system because they are better off here than they than they would have been if their ancestors had stayed in Africa.

You probably have no idea how repugnant that argument is. And I’ve heard it before from the mouths of elected representatives from the former Confederacy. And I’ve read the same argument made by slave owners to justify owning slaves: “We treat them as slaves better off than they would have been free in that awful Africa.”

Sorry, Billie, but that is simply disgusting. But you clearly believe it. And you claim you aren’t a racist because you were raised by black people who I suspect were domestic servant.

Finally, you actually state that black slaves were not abused but were

“protected because they were valued and loved.”

Again, even if that is true (which it most certainly is not) it is utterly irrelevant. The harm inflicted upon slaves is the evil of slavery itself. A human being is harmed irrevocably just by being a slave. It doesn’t matter how much a slave master loves their slaves, the mere fact of ownership of a human being injures both the slave owner and the slave.

You are an apologist – if no an advocate – for the evil institution of slavery, and you harbor ill will towards black people who complain about the lasting effects of slavery.

I am very sorry, but you’ve proven you are a racist. You can be nothing else.

May God have mercy upon your soul.

 Billie didn’t respond.  A few days later I wrote:

 @BuffaloBillie Your decision not to continue the discussion is impressive. I mean that sincerely and without any intended sarcasm. I am hoping it means you my prior points made an impact and that you are thinking about what I said.

And that means it is time to provide you with something else to think about that will bring this conversation full circle back to the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina State Capitol Dome.

First I need to correct a mistake I made above in prior comments: this flag was first flown as the battle flag for the Army of North Virginia – it was not known as the South Carolina Battle Flag as I referred to it above. I apologize for the error.

After the Civil War ended, the flag was used by the Ku Klux Klan as its emblem. This use, of course, was intended to symbolize race hatred – not “states rights.”

The decision to fly that flag over that particular state capitol dome is somewhat recent. It first happened in 1962 – one hundred years after the start of the Civil War – and that decision was made as part of South Carolina’s open hostile opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.

The decision to fly that flag over that particular state capitol dome is somewhat recent. It first happened in 1962 – one hundred years after the start of the Civil War – and that decision was made as part of South Carolina’s open hostile opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.

This history confirms that the Confederate Flag being flown over the South Carolina State Capitol Dome was always a symbol of race hate and was put there by racists in defiance of black people attempting to obtain the same rights that free white people enjoyed since the founding of the United States.

There are those who do not know any of this. For them, the flag represents the spirit of individualism, the spirit of rebellion against tyranny – very much like the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag of the American Revolution.

So the ultimate question here is whether or not people can legitimately claim to be offended by that flag. You argue that black people who have never been slaves cannot.

I have to disagree. You were raised by black people, but quite possibly they were domestics. Your viewpoint is from the cultural vantage point of class and race superiority. I wasn’t raised by them, but I am married to a black woman and, by force of American attitudes, my son is considered black. I’ve watched first hand the discrimination they face every single day and I’ve counseled my son that, when he is stopped b the police (not if, but when) that he must do whatever they ask, no matter how unjust, no matter how pretextual. If they want to search his car, I’ve instructed him to let them – even though it violates his constitutional rights of search and seizure.

I give my son these instructions, and more, because I don’t want to see him killed.

If my son was white I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this.

We live in a racist society. It is real. It is active. And it results in active and subtle discrimination.

And, to my family and to ever single black person I’ve ever known, the Confederate Flag represents all of that, and the fact they have to see it proudly displayed by white people not only offends them, it angers them. It is the sign of blatant and malignant disrespect that is at the heart of racism. It is a manifestation of hate.

It is time to take down the American version of the Nazi Swastika and place it in museums where it belongs.

 @Paul_Nicholas_Boylan Mr. Boylan, just now is the first time I’ve seen your last three epistles as I have a business to attend to. You are the person who does not understand how I feel because you’ve never lived a life like mine. Therefore, you should not try to intimidate me for my feelings. I loved the boys who chopped cotton on our farm, who worked for us at our store and the wonderful couple who were there for me and my brothers at home.

The flag does represent individualism and is what has made America the amazing country it still is. We are individuals, not “sheep”.

Individualism on parade.

Individualism on parade.

Stars Bars and the KKK

Not sheep. But it is likely they’ve known a ewe or two.

Today’s black people would rather – it seems to me – blame slavery for all their problems when it is, in fact, the failure of the family unit which has caused our prisons to be overwhelmed by young black men. There appears to be no male, father figure, at most homes to impress on them that an education and a good-paying job is the way to success and away from prison. This also is the problem with a high number of white families – men who have abandoned their duties as more than just “sperm-donors”.

It is apparent to me that you have a finite amount of time to debate this, however, I do not. So, this will be my final response to your comments.

34990757

@BuffaloBillie No need for you to respond. Saying

“I loved the boys who chopped cotton on our farm”

says it all. And what it says is that I am wrong: you are not a racist after all. You are a subtle and brilliant internet performance artist.

What you wrote is so awful, so obviously racist – but written as if you really believe it.

“I loved the boys who chopped cotton on our farm”

Laughing Man

Brilliantly offensive!

You called them “boys” like it is natural for you, as if you are completely unaware how offensive it is to black men to be called “boy.”

laughing

F**king brilliant! So amazingly offensive, but with a subtle twist, using simple and often grammatically incorrect language to provide just a hint that you actually believe what you are saying.

Oh God! And look at this that you wrote:

“Today’s black people would rather – it seems to me – blame slavery for all their problems when it is, in fact, the failure of the family unit which has caused our prisons to be overwhelmed by young black men. There appears to be no male, father figure, at most homes to impress on them that an education and a good-paying job is the way to success and away from prison.”

Bhushan Vellala, of Lakewood, during Laughter Yoga class in Lakewood Monday, May 19, 2008   (Chris Stephens/The Plain Dealer)

Brilliant, Sir! That completely ignores the settled academic conclusion that it was the institution of slavery itself that destroyed black families. You implicitly recognize the problem, and the cause, and then blame black people for the problem slavery caused. Incredible! Brilliant!!

brilliant copy

Now that I understand what you are really all about I am going to reread everything you posted above with new eyes. I salute you, Sir.

You laid a clever trap – pretending to be a brain-dead, yahoo racist. And I fell for it. I’m not ashamed for doing so. I feel privileged.

Thank you. And I really mean that.

 @BuffaloBillie I read it all again. All of it.

laughing-at-computer

You are simply hilarious. You are pretending to be an idiot but you are, in reality, a comic genius. I’m not sure if I have ever encountered this kind of comedy, this kind of social satire, before. Elegant deception en par with Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal.

a modest proposal

You draw your audience in and then – bam – the depth and scope of the joke becomes apparent, and the joke is on your audience.

I can get you a theatrical agent – if you don’t already have one. But if you don’t, then I can get you one. I’m no kidding. I would waive my usual commission just for the pleasure of knowing I was instrumental to bringing your talent to the world.

I see endless possibilities. Stand up comedy. Writing of all kinds. The sky’s the limit.

Let me know and I’ll send you my contact info so we can begin a more in-depth discussion about those possibilities.

“There is not a single person alive today who was a slave, so those youngsters should stand up and be counted as Americans, not as a hyphenated American.”

Could you be any funnier? Beyond brilliant. Way beyond brilliant.

 @Paul_Nicholas_Boylan Yes, Mr. Boylan, I know I’m funny. However, I am also 80 years old and a woman and have had a wonderful, exciting life filled with everything that is worth living for!

hqdefault

Those boys were just that, kids about 16 or 17 years old. Chopping cotton was a back-breaking job which an older man could not have lasted at, especially in the summer heat.

picking cotton


o-LAUGHTER-HEALTH-facebookThey also picked cotton for us and that too, is a back-breaking job as well as destroying your hands because of the bolls. When I was 5 and weighed 25 pounds, I PICKED 25 pounds one day. Work is good for the soul.

Also, for your information, I’ve lived in Africa in the ’70s – on the economy – and a lot of our “African” Americans would never make it over there because if you don’t work, you don’t eat. ‘Nuff said!

really funny

 

 

B51KZ6eCMAAr2_1

@BuffaloBillie Claiming to be an 80 year old Southerner does ad verisimilitude to the racist impression you are trying to make. It taps right into the common stereotype that old Southern white women are extremely racist.

angry-old-lady

And the whole “I picked cotton in the summer heat” element does the same thing.

But then you ruined the illusion by going just a touch too far when you indirectly advanced the simply awful racial stereotype that black people are “lazy” and living off of Welfare (i.e., they don’t work, but do eat, and why? Because they are on Welfare….”).

Attempting to qualify your statement with “a lot” would be a master stroke to supporting the illusion of believing what you’ve written, but, as I said, I’m on to you now.

And, as I’ve said, I’ve reread your posts above with a new appreciation for you and your performance art. One my second reread I noticed something really special, and I want to run it past you to see if I’m right.

Your genius is combining racist arguments so as to reveal their absurdity. I think this is a good example. You first say you were raised by a black man names James; and then you complain about the lack of black fathers at home to be a good example for their kids. But James was home to be a good example for his kids because he was busy at your home raising you.

As I said, genius.

I won’t fall for your depiction of yourself as an astonishingly racist old white woman. Even your constant clearly erroneous attempts to compare life in Africa with the black American experience won’t help you pull the wool over my eyes again.

But I salute you for the attempt – especially now that I fully appreciate what you are trying to accomplish with your racist facade.

 @Paul_Nicholas_Boylan Johnnie Mae was our housekeeper and nannie for my little brothers. Her husband, James, worked as a laborer. He was a HUGE, kind man. She was a small woman and they had never had children. They lived in the servants’ quarters in the back of the property.

MittLaugh-300x212

I do not “complain” about the lack of black fathers as it is an absolute fact – sad, but true.
young-woman-laughing-covering-face-gettyimages

 

What I’ve said in this sequence of comments is the absolute truth. There are no lies in any of it. You may choose to believe what you wish, but it is a true, actual story.

What I’ve said in this sequence of comments is the absolute truth. There are no lies in any of it. You may choose to believe what you wish, but it is a true, actual story.

@BuffaloBillie  Look, you’ve proven you are good at masquerading as a stereotypical racist.

3176232855_197668e265_m

You’re the best.

winner3

6

And the evolution of your personae into an elderly white woman raised by domestic servants in the pre WWII south is simply brilliant.

“…they had never had children.”
laughing

Of course they never had children’; they were too busy working for your family and raising you and your brothers for slave wages – or maybe they did it just for room and board. Black folk working their lives away slaving away for rich white cotton farmers.

U.S. President Barack Obama laughs at the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner in Washington April 28, 2012.  REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA) ORG XMIT: WAS335

Brilliant! That is EXACTLY what the unsuspecting reader would expect to hear from an 80 year old white lady Southern racist. Brilliant!!

341x450px-ll-bdec5f1b_guy-laughing-at-you-thumb1094641

But you can stop now.

gif-211

You’ve proven your hilarious.

KKK Confederate Flag_zpsjwlw1uqv

Let’s move on. Have you thought about allowing me to get you an agent?

 pnb-avatar-32-e1303056261191

Within a month I can get you a gig at the Comedy Store on Sunset.

9E6FCBCF-005B-4D11-552996A78157095F

I’m serious. I can do it. Let me do that for you. I want to be able to say that you are my discovery

 @BuffaloBillie I just got this great idea. I realize I am being presumptuous providing you with suggestions on how to appear even more racist than you already appear. But hear me out.

Or+maybe+just+hear+me+out+people+like+you+are+_46aebb00d187195e57969bb9dadd2e96

I’ve learned that it is possible to revise comments appearing in this forum. If I can arrange that, it would be really perfect if you could insert a comment saying that the negro boys who worked for your family cutting cotton sang negro work songs while they were in the cotton fields. And that they worked in rhythm to the music. And that the two adult black people who worked for your family providing child care to you and your two brothers, could you describe them as singing, too, and being so happy all the time and smiling.

And if you could just add a couple of sentences explaining how it is true that black people can’t swim and that science has proven that they are mentally inferior to the white race.

white race

white race too

You just have to include using the term “white race” whenever you can.

31314whiterally

Southern Pride

And finally if you could include something about the “White Homeland” in the Pacific Northwest or a reference to the “Northwest Front.”

Northwest Front

That’s Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

white army

These are only suggestions. The character you crafted – a deeply racist 80 old lady Southerner – is so over the top perfect, and believable. I realize that yours is a subtle art, and it is so very easy to go too far and tip off your reader too soon that they are debating a phantom construct.

But if you add in the stuff I’ve suggested, you will have it on every single ultra right wing racist statement Dylann Roof made in his manifesto Roof posted on the internet to explain why he killed all those black people in that Church in Charleston.

Every single one. I confirmed that it isn’t a coincidence. Roof’s rant matches yours -except for these few last suggestions.

Brilliant.

people of earth

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/crime/article/The-Latest-South-Carolina-House-remembers-church-6372868.php

 

 

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Angel is a Centerfold: Remembering Terri Nunn

Posted in And now the snorting starts, Corruption, Embarrassing Butt-Shots, Fashion Forward, Grim Fairy Tales, Isnt nature wonderful?, love, photograph, Photography, Pop Culture, pork, Rotwang, The Matrix, The Second Coming, the snows of yesteryear, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God on January 2, 2014 by paulboylan

The odds are none of you reading this know who Terry Nunn is – or was.

 Terry was the lead singer for the 1980’s band Berlin.

BERLIN-Love-Life

Berlin – with Terri – made some amazing music.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8_u7rEavBM
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Terry and I attended the same high school  in Santa Monica in the mid 1970’s – a good time and a good place to be a teenager.  Terri and I were not close, but we were tangentially connected through others (Robert Benson, Aaron Salter, etc.).  I did not know her well, but I always felt she seemed troubled in a way I could never really grasp or define.  In all honesty, I admired Terri from afar in the way a teenaged boy admires the object of his hopeless desire – an object, a goal, that can never be achieved.

I graduated high school in 1976.   In 1979 the clockwork movement of the Universe put me in a convenience store where I saw a copy of the February 1977 edition of Penthouse magazine:

chap02_penthouse77_crop

 Inside I saw Terri.

terri-nunn

Does she walk? Does she talk?
Does she come complete?
My homeroom homeroom angel
Always pulled me from my seat.  

She was pure like snowflakes. No one could ever stain

The memory of my angel
Could never cause me pain.

Years go by –  I’m lookin’ through a girly magazine
And there’s my homeroom angel on the pages in-between.

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

Slipped me notes under the desk
While I was thinkin’ about her dress
I was shy I turned away
Before she caught my eyeI was shakin’ in my shoes
Whenever she flashed those baby-blues
Something had a hold on me
When angel passed close by.

 Those soft and fuzzy sweaters

Too magical to touch

Too see her in that magazine

Is really just too much.

It’s okay, I understand
This ain’t no never-never land
I hope that when this issue’s gone
I’ll see you when your clothes are on

Take you car,

Yes we will
We’ll take your car and drive it
We’ll take it to a motel room
And take ’em off in private

A part of me has just been ripped
The pages from my mind are stripped
Oh no, I can’t deny it
Oh yea, I guess I gotta buy it…

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

REMEMBERING JOURNALSPACE

Posted in And now the snorting starts, Television, the snows of yesteryear, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, TV on August 29, 2012 by paulboylan

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Looking for something else, I found this.  I don’t remember writing it, or posting it, but it reminds me of a strange, rarified experience that ended when that place just just seemed to evaporate one day.

On November 18, 2007, I posted the following silliness at Journalspace:

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I am sure by now all of the People of Earth are aware that the Screen Writer’s Guild is on strike.   The men and women who write scripts for your favorite television shows and movies are refusing to write anything unless they get a teeny, tiny share of the billions of dollars Hollywood producers are paid.

 You may see this as a terrible thing. How many reruns can the human mind stand? But I see this as my big chance to finally become a Hollywood writer. I am hoping that producers are desperate enough to seriously consider my ideas.  Here are some of them:

SURVIVOR CHINA/BIG BROTHER:  Takes place in a Mainland Chinese supermarket.  The contestants have to eat what they find there. The last contestant who doesn’t die of food poisoning, lead poisoning or from ingesting industrial solvents wins.

THE BIG STICK:  Imagine two people in a room. One of them is hitting the other with a big stick. This idea is a sure winner. Violence sells. Americans love violence.  And the best part is that it doesn’t require any writers. There is no script. Just a room, two people and a stick. Maybe a chair. Talk about your “high concept.”

THE JUDGE MANN SHOW:  Retired Judge Mann makes a statement, and for the rest of the show a panel of legal experts and mental health professionals debate whether the statement has a sound legal foundation or whether it is a manifestation of a psychotic episode.

THE PERSONAL HYGENE HABITS OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS:  Who doesn’t want to watch Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt’s brushing their teeth?  I sure would.

THE PADRE CADRE:  Just like the Mod Squad from the 1970’s, but with priests.  A group of priests, rabbis and Imams secretly solve crimes, many of them supernatural in nature. The main characters might also have faith-inspired super powers, like walking on water, summoning forth locusts (to confound the bad guys) or moving mountains.

THE SENATOR AND MR. VIVA:  A California State Senator is forced by humorous circumstances to share a Sacramento apartment with “Mr. Viva” – a professional male stripper.  Even though the Senator and Mr. Viva lead very different lives, they are nevertheless united by their paranoid fear of Government surveillance.

MY THREE SONS OF SAM:  In this sit-com, a single father is raising three sons, each of which is a serial killer taking instructions from the talking family dog, Sam.  Hijinks ensue.

SHOOTIN’ UP!:  Three heroin addicts keep pursuing hilariously complex hare-brained schemes to get enough money for their next fix. In the pilot episode, the addicts impersonate the lost relatives of a dying rich old lady, only to learn after her death that she gave all of her money to her cat.  Each episode always ends back in the abandoned house where the show begins with the three addicts going into withdrawal as the audience laughs and applauds. Fade to black.

TALKING BEER BOTTLE ISLAND:  Something for the kids.  This show is just like Lidsville back in the 1970’s, except that the characters are talking beer bottles with personalities to match the kind of beer they are. For example, Lone Star is a Texan, Bud is king, and Sam Adams is an American revolutionary. Fun for the whole beer drinking family.

GASPAR THE FRIENDLY SKULL:  In this kid’s show, Gaspar is a friendly, disembodied floating skull. Gaspar is sad because all of the children are frightened of him and run away every time he floats up and says “hi!”  The show teaches tolerance for disembodied skulls and acceptance of Día de los Muertos festival activities.

Speaking of tolerance, there is a growing television market catering to homosexuals.  They even have their own cable television station – Logo (which is Latin for “logo”).  Even though I am not gay, I am confident I can write for this new, important television, underserved market. Here are some of my ideas:

OKLAHOMO!:   Brokeback Mountain revealed to the straight world how much gay people are fascinated with cowboys.  My idea is basically the exact same thing as the musical Okalahoma! except that the direction emphasizes the homo-erotic tension between Curly and Judd. As the audience watches the plot unfold, they slowly realize that Curly loves Judd and is pursuing the beautiful but clueless Laurey because Curly is in denial of his true sexual orientation.  The song lyrics “brand new state…plen’y of room to swing a rope!/ plen’y of heart and plen’y of hope” will take on a totally new meaning.

HOMOCIDE: Just like the detective drama Homicide but everyone in the show is gay – and fabulous.

GAYLIENS: Closely based on the classic TV sitcom My Favorite Martian. Set in the 1960’s, Uncle Martin is flamboyantly gay guy from Mars. Martin’s “nephew” knows it, but this being the ‘60’s, none of the straight people in the show realize it – even though Inspector Brennan often suspects “something is up.”

I am going to send these ideas to every Hollywood producer out there, and maybe, just maybe, I will get my lucky break.

However, in the meantime, I will heed my wife’s advice to “keep my day job.”

She never supports my dreams.

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Reading the foregoing – for the first time in nearly five years – was bitter-sweet.  Seeing what I was capable of only a few years ago was sweet. Talking Beer Bottle Island?  Could I be any funnier?  But concluding I am no longer the person who wrote this piece, that I’ve changed in five years, that my creative powers, the glee that bubbles up, or used to, doesn’t quite do that anymore left a very bitter taste.  I’m not the grinning imp I once was.  Heck, now that I think of it, I haven’t perpetrated a complex practical joke for  longer than I can remember.  When did I so thoroughly and unequivocally grow up?

Then I thought about it and decided that if I could revise the original I would add one more idea, one more perfect television show:

SAY YES TO THE MESS:

My wife watches three television programs I detest – The first is Say Yes to the Dress, a program that follows a bride on her quest to purchase a wedding dress. I admit the sales staff’s invariably successful attempts to massage the ultimate sale to a level higher than the family’s “budget” is interesting.  Anyone who has ever worked in retail sales would admire the skill used to squeeze more money out of bride’s family for what amounts to the purchase of something that will only be used once. But otherwise the program features people readily indulging in six of the seven deadly sins and watching it leaves me feeling unclean.

The second television program my wife enjoys – but that I hate – is House Hunters.  In this program, wealthy people who want to purchase a home consider three gosh real estate prospects, eventually arbitrarily settling on one of the three.

The third television program my wife enjoys – but that I find horrific beyond my ability to articulate – is Hoarders.  This television show is about people who accumulate so much “stuff” that their homes become unlivable – and often vermin infested.  They are “hoarders” living in their own private circle of hell devoted to their endless worthless possessions and broken refrigerators and freezers filled with rotting produce and meat.

Although I hate all three programs, I love the idea of combining them into a show with the working title Say Yes to the Mess.  Imagine a television program where hoarders go and visit the homes of other hoarders and consider swapping their disgusting homes for the disgusting homes of other hoarders.

I’d watch that show. Wouldn’t you?

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Yep. I’ve still got it.

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A GRIM FAIRY TALE – Free Among the Monkeys And Elephants

Posted in And now the snorting starts, Art, Cowboys and Aliens, Grim Fairy Tales, Hubris, 재미, αστείος, скарлетт йоханссон, Our animal friends, Pop Culture, The Great State of Montana!, The River of Time, the snows of yesteryear, The Wilhelm Scream, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, مضحك on March 6, 2012 by paulboylan

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“Hello, children. Would you like to hear a story?”

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I just saw a ten minute preview of the new movie John Carter, and it got me thinking.

I’ve met a lot of professional writers, many of which I admire as artists who have skills I cannot and could not possibly match.  But not all the writers I’ve encountered in my life fit that description. The simple fact is that being a good writer and being a successful writer are often different things and depend on factors that have nothing to do with skill.

So I see the John Carter preview and it looks great. And I am reminded of the book and the author that inspired it back in 1912 – exactly a century ago. And I realize, again, that no one can say what is good or predict with any accuracy what will last.

What follows isn’t exactly a grim fairy tale, but it’s close enough to fit in that category.

So, without further faffing, I give you…

FREE AMONG THE MONKEYS AND ELEPHANTS

On night in late October, 1913, in Dover, England, in a pub at the bottom of a hill, in the shadow of Dover Castle – walking distance to the beach where Matthew Arnold heard ignorant armies clashing by night – George Bernard Shaw was working hard to persuade Lydia, an aspiring American actress, to have sex with him.           

“Should we be going?” Lydia asked.  The piercing cry of gliding seagulls sounded loudly throughout the thick seaside darkness. “The train back to London leaves in ten minutes.”

 “We can catch the next one,” Shaw responded. 

 “Do you really think you can get me a reading for Liza?”

 “I am the playwright.  Of course I can.”

 “But I don’t know how to do a cockney accent.”

 “That’s won’t be a problem,” Shaw said.  “I can teach you.  Look, since we’re waiting for the next train, why don’t we take a walk down to the beach?  Matthew Arnold wrote his famous love poem there.”

  “Who? Lydia asked.

 “Never mind,” Shaw said, taking her hand and guiding her out of the pub.  They passed where James Joyce sat with his traveling companion and lover, Nora.  Joyce listened to Nora and watched her face as she drank pint after pint of bitter, dark, thick beer.   He listened as she talked about her sex life prior to meeting him.

“I think he made them a bit firmer sucking on them so long,” she slurred, nourishing her thick Irish working-class accent each time she lifted her glass and gulped beer. 

Joyce and Nora were on their way to Paris from Dublin by way of London.  Joyce was struggling to find a publisher for two books – a collection of short stories and a short semi-autobiographical novel.  At that moment, in the middle of her beer-sodden reminiscence, Nora could not have cared less.

 “He made me spend the second time tickling my behind with his finger,” Nora laughed, red eyed.

Joyce smiled and nodded, encouraging her to continue. 

 “I tried it with the banana,” she confessed. “But I was afraid it might break and get lost up in me somewhere.”  Joyce looked concerned, but wasn’t.  He listened carefully, trying with all his might to memorize every single word.

In the same pub, Edgar Rice Burrows sat with his friend and fellow writer, William Seabrook.  Burrows eagerly described a novel he was writing.

 “Thuvia is this voluptuous Martian princess,” he began

 “Are there any other kind?” Seabrook asked.  He genuinely liked Edgar, and admired his success as a popular writer, but nevertheless believed that Burrows was an idiot.

“She is in love with the son of John Carter, the Warlord of Mars -” Burrows explained.

“The Martian princess?”

 “Yeah.  So she’s in love with this big warrior type who can jump really far and high because his father is from the Earth.”

 “He can jump high because his father is from Earth?”

 “Yeah.”

 “Sort of like a handsome, muscular grass hopper.”

 “Look, do you want to hear about this or not?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. Please go on.”

“So Carthoris – that’s the guy – he has the hots for Thuvia -“

 “Carthoris and Thuvia?”

“Yeah.”

 “Sounds like a bad Shakespearian play.”

 “So she’s got the hots for him, too, but bad guys kidnap her and make it look like Carthoris did it.”

 “So he sallies forth to rescue her.”

 “Yeah. What do you think?”

“Charming.  But tell me about that ape-man novel you are writing.”

“Sure.  It’s based on the short story I published.  Did you read it?”

 “No, but I’m still interested. It is about a man who is half man, half ape, if I remember correctly.”

“Not half-man half-ape.  He is an ape-man named Tarzan.”

“Whatever.  You say that your publisher is willing to pay you in advance to write it?”

 “Yeah.”

 “Well then, why waste your time with your Martian Romeo and Juliet until you’ve finished the Tarzan novel?  What are you going to call it?”

“Tarzan.”

 “I should have guessed.  Sort of a foreign adventure piece I take it?”

“On, yeah. Lots of adventure.  Tarzan is a guy who was raised in the African jungle by apes.”

“It sounds ghastly.  Are you sure they’re going to pay you for this?”

“You bet.”

“I wonder what the appeal is?” Seabrook pondered.

“Every guy wants to be Tarzan,” Burrows explained.  “Tarzan has everything a man could want.”

“Fleas?”

“Tarzan doesn’t have fleas,” Burrows said, irritably.

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not going to give him any,” Burrows said. “I’m giving him a great life.  He’s king of the beasts, lord of the apes.  He can talk to elephants.” 

“Elephants?”

“He can call elephants if he needs them.”

“Why would he need elephants.”

“If he needs a ride, or if he needs help.”

“How helpful can an elephant be?” 

“Lets say he’s surrounded by bad guys, and there’s no way out.  Well, he calls to the elephants and they come and trample the bad guys.”

Deus Ex Elephant?” Seabrook asked.

 “What?”

  “Never mind.”

  “The point is that Tarzan does what he wants.  He is totally free from the pressures of the modern world.  He could have been anyone, any one of us.  And that’s my point.  I want the reader to think, ‘Hey, if I had been dropped into a jungle, I could have been Tarzan.  Tarzan and me are the same guy, we were only brought up different.”

 “You see this Tarzan as leading some kind of idyllic life?”

 “Not idyllic – ideal.  Idyllic lives are boring lives.  Tarzan faces plenty of danger to keep things interesting.  And there are things missing that he really needs.”

“Soap and water?”

“No.  Women.  There aren’t any women around.”

“What about native women?”

“Oh, yeah, plenty of those.  But there are no white women anywhere.  So he meets this beautiful explorer, and she shows him the ropes -“

Seabrook smiled at the reference.

” – and brings him back to London.  Good stuff.  But the biggest reason why my readers are going to admire Tarzan is his total freedom, so it won’t surprise anyone when Tarzan would rather be in the jungle instead of in civilization.”

“Free among the monkeys and elephants?”

“Exactly.”

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Elmo Lincoln, in the first Tarzan film (1918)

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William Seabrook

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Nora Barnacle

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James Joyce

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George Bernard Shaw

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Lydia Atherton

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Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Cathorsis (the one doing the stabbing)

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The Ultimate Ray Gun Girl Gallery [ Mädchen mit Waffen I’m Weltraum ]

Posted in Art, Astronomy, Avatar, おかしなふるまいの, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Internet Fun!, 스타게이트유니버스, Missile Defense, скарлетт йоханссон, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Sports, Star Trek, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, the snows of yesteryear, The Wrath of Khan, Travel, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , on March 11, 2011 by paulboylan

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