persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Friday, April 28, 2006

TIMEQUAKE by Kurt Vonnegut.

The book is no deal. It's from Berkeley. It should cost $13.00 at a book store. It's not worth that. I bought it at a thrift store for $.79. It was a waste of money.

It's a mess. It is not a novel, and it doesn't have much by way of characterization, no plot to speak of, no pace, no flow, no interaction. It is inelegantly written. There are old dirty jokes inserted into this mess, and Vonnegut can't write them well enough to make them work. That's how bad this book is.

The book has Kilgore Trout in it, and he is not distinguishable from any character in the book save from name. Vonnegut never could characterise.

For some reason time stops and flows back ten years and repeats itself. This not a new idea. In some religions and thought systems it's called the eternal recurrence. A novel was written about the life of a man called THE STRANGE LIFE OF IVAN OSOKIN by P.D. Ouspensky. He keeps living his whole life over and over, and knows and cannot change anything. Vonnegut did not interject one sense of wonder or terror at the knowledge of such a happening.

And of course, Vonnegut repeats a phrase over and over until it becomes annoying as he tries to leverage some intellectual weight onto the new cliche.

And this was a New York Times Best Seller? I knew there was a reason to avoid it as a suggested reading list.

Rating -1 *

And I must add a footnote: many years ago I wrote a review of VENUS ON THE HALF SHELL, that novel Philip Jose Farmer wrote under the name Kilgore Trout. I jokingly wrote it was "Vonnegut's best novel" in a review that was published in an advertising rag.

Someone who knew Vonnegut phoned me at my job and threatened to sue me on Vonnegut's behalf, unless I retracted my claim. "Sure, Okay," I said.

Another issue never appeared.

Vonnegut must be peeved by that book. It's better written, funnier and is more interesting than anything he's ever written.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I LOATHE LUCY script #23


In this episode, Lucy comes home from grocery shopping to find Ricky junior passed out on the floor. He has been drinking Vodka.

Ricky is holed up in the bedroom with another woman. Lucy becomes furious. While she is seething, she sees an invitation to a Big Dance. Always one to find another excuse for shopping, she throws the other whore out and requests $10.00 from Ricky to buy a new dress. He refuses.

Lucy goes on the town to sell herself and raise money for the dress.

Hours and hours later, she comes home with a bag of nickles. It's $22.00 in nickles.

She cries and tells Ricky what she's done. "Who gave you the nickles?" he shouts.

"They all did!:" she cries. "Waaaaaugh!"

Fred Mertz drops in and gives Lucy a dime. "What's this for?" asks Ricky.

"It's a tip," he says.

Ending credits.

And I wonder why my screen writing career isn't going anywhere.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

TURKEY AND GRAVY SODA * * (out of five)

Well, I bought it and tried it. It's kind of interesting . I bought it at Target, which is the only distributor. It's a novelty item, and only gets distribution around Christmas--excuse me--the Holidays in December. They were sold in a pack of five, and at about $10.95. You get Turkey and Gravy, Cranberry, Wild Herb, Brussels Sprouts, and Pumpkin Pie.

The loser was Wild Herb. I like carbonation. But having to taste something tasting like oregano and other mild stuff was kind of annoying. The household did not like this one.

Brussels Sprouts got an okay, but the initial objection was to the sweetener used: Sucralose. It's awful, and has an after taste from hell.

Turkey and Gravy: Hokey, okay, but it has that Sucralose. The flavor was mild and interesting. Not oily.

Pumpkin Pie: nice, interesting but artificial, and plagued by that awful after taste.

Kind of a winner: Cranberry Soda. Liked by the household, in spite of the awful after taste. We've decided to get real cranberry, some CO2 Cartridges, a seltzer bottle and make our own.

And it won't have that crappy after taste... the way. The Wild Herb and Brussels Sprout sodas were not finished. Four and a half months later, they show no sign of decay. No mold, no bad smell, no color change. Not a sign I'd like to drink material that has a formaldehyde analogue within it.

Too artificial. I don't think I'll try again. My own ingenuity is better than the purchase of something costing nearly $2.00 a bottle. for further information. They change the photo labels a bit, and if they like what you've snapped, they might use yours. The Pumpkin Pie Soda has a nice lizard with a Santa Hat on it.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bush is my shepherd; I dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.
He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war,
I will find no exit, for thou art in office.
Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion.
Thou anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance runneth out.
Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of
thy term, And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.

I did not write the previous; it showed up in my e mail box and like many other before me, I forwarded it to someone else.

I just wonder about the right wing talk show hosts. It must be depressing to go on the air and rally around this administration. But lying on a daily basis seems to be the norm for a right wing talk show host ~~~~~

Monday, April 17, 2006

HERMOINE and her little group of Serious Thinkers

I have gotten together with my little group of serious thinkers.

We’ve been doing this for a while.

No one has complained yet.

We go to the bar on the corner at the Main Street and intellectualize

about the world.

We discuss things.

We’ve had this problem for a while and we have not solved it.

We talked and worked on it.

We decided to channel.

Not the TV with the remote.

This is the latest rage.

Shirley McClain, the renown intellectual, does it all the time.

Sometimes she knows what she is talking about.

My little group of Serious Thinkers decided since everyone is doing

it, we should try too.

I thought about channeling once, a couple of months ago.

Not that I gave it a lot of thought, mind you, but I thought about it.

Isn’t that a coincidence?

I thought about it in April, and someone brings it up three months


Coincidences are so strange.

They just seem to happen all at once.

Channeling is like that too.

We called some of the ones who are no longer with us.

People who are not really here.

At least, not reachable by the phone.

It’s awfully hard to stay in touch with other people when you live in

another dimension.

Some people use the term “the other plane” but I don’t know any


And the phone company can’t bill the dead.

Not right now, anyway.

So I found out I’m receptive.

I’m a psychic.

I can tune into the dead and they take me over.

I’m in a trance.

And another voice is coming out of my mouth.

They get into my body and say anything they want.

It’s like a divorce court.

You don’t know what’s going to come out of this mouth.

I don’t notice anything.

Which is a shame because I’d like to maintain a good relationship with
people I didn’t talk to when they were alive.

Even members of my family.

When it happened the first time and “they” got out of me I did not


It was like a bad date, where you drank too much and didn’t know

where you were in the morning.

It was so abstract, almost intellectual.

Channeling: there’s something to it.

My little group of Serious Thinkers wanted to use this ability to know

the truth.

For days, maybe weeks, we thought of nothing else.

We talked about the need to know the truth.

We held parties.

We would experience.

There’s nothing like experience to show you what is going on.

And sometimes evidence helps too.

If you can grasp such a concept.

After about ten beers Frothinggill can see the truth but can’t work his


And then he spends too much time in the bathroom.

The conclusion was the living do not know the truth, no matter what

shape they were in.

We decided to use my channeling abilities, and call up respected

personages from the other side.

Lincoln was called, but he didn’t know beyond 1865.

Edison was called, but didn’t know people.

Orson Welles was channeled and ordered four anchovy pizzas.

John F. Kennedy complained about a bad back.

Einstein scrawled doodles on paper no one could read.

We made a list and choose one last person.

It was Abbie Hoffman.

He said: “Don’t trust anyone who’s dead.”

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A few months back (around late October) I made mention in numberous posts to friends and family that two kinds of bugs swarm into parts of the house and garage seeking small cavities to pass the winter away. One of the insects are stinkbugs. They tend to stay in the garage, locating themselves under a small pile of cardboard. The others are ladybugs, which hide inside the house. My son and daughter don't like this: they bite. I wasn't overly worried about being bitten by a ladybug: they're small, I'd only worry if they were half an inch long, or if I was an aphid.

More recently as the climate gets back to spring weather, the ladybugs have moved out of hiding places and have tried to locate places to escape. Often they wind up under the sheets, or dropping into my ear when I'm sleeping. I woke up once trying to dig one out of my nostril. (Press other nose opening hold and blow out.) We leave windows open, often collecting a few and releasing them.

Many years ago someone I know said she and her boyfriend got stoned and in the dim candlelight watched a cockroach crawling on the ceiling. After several minutes, he yawned. At that moment the insect dropped from the ceiling into his mouth.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006



Robert Whitaker Sirignano

Slightly revised from its original appearance…

Script attempt #73

This is a simple outline.

The Predator (or something to be called a "Trophy Hunter") has seen far too much Earth based television programming, and with a question on his mind (since he thinks the programs are documentries) and goes to visit Marvin the Martian.

Marvin tells him that nothing on the planet Earth has ever caught a road runner. That’s all the Predator needs to hear. He flies his space ship into the American Southwest.

He sets up an elaborate device he has purchased from "Acme Intergalactic" in an effort to catch the elusive bird. Coyote chases bird. Bird stops. Bird looks in device. Bird dodges coyote, and coyote falls into device. Predator catches a nosey coyote. In an effort to free the coyote, the trap shocks the alien.

Or: Coyote places large rubber band across the road, bird runs by, disturbs a running Predator who hits rubber band and goes sailing into the sky, falls on his space ship, sets off a rocket that hits the coyote.

All efforts by the Predator to catch the bird are interrupted by the coyote, all which backfire onto the Predator. All coyote’s efforts backfire on the Predator and the coyote.

After a few skirmishes, the Predator has developed a large hatred for the coyote, and begins to set out to trap him. The end shot frame set is back to Marvin the Martian, watching a television set and who has been shooting and recording the sequence of events.

He says "Isn’t it lovely? I know I’ll watch it more than once."

That’s all folks.

PS: from 2005. Written several years ago after hearing reports of comic books and video games based on "Alien versus Predator", and I developed a mean streak about who the "Predator" should meet: Ewoks, the Olsen Twins, David Hasselhoff, some con committee members, Rod Stewart, Carrot Top, Joan Rivers….pure formula even with the forgone but satisfying ending.

I also wrote a nice outline to submit to the DC Comic's LOONEY TUNES comic, but discovered they don't accept outside contributions. If you see this guys and want to use it, let me know.

Launched my thinking into movie sequels and found no one was interested in my treatment for HONEY I FREEZE DRIED THE CHILDREN, or REANAMATOR: THE BARNEY FACTOR. I guess you can undertstand my my movie screen writing career isn't going anywhere.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


While I have my mind here and am typing away, I ask you to consider Professional Wrestler Autobiographies. (Not too seriously, now).

Did you ever wonder why so many of them just don't sell, and are sent to the over stock and remaindered bins about an hour after they are published? Could it be that the target audience doesn't know how to read, even if they're thirty years of age? They live in their parent's basement, and do have too many friends. People who watch WWF and its ilk are the kinds of people who move their lips when they think and they do it real slow, and God knows how they count above ten without taking thier socks off. I don't know how they deal with eating with a fork, unless supervised, lest they gouge an eye out, or leave many missed attempts bloodying thier cheeks.

The cat is okay. He likes to sleep under tires of parked cars, which provide some sense of shade. Looks a bit unsettling to animal lovers.


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