persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eating at McDonald's on a regular basis is like having unsafe sex. You know that sooner or later there will be hell to pay.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

ON ROBERT E. HOWARD, creator of Conan

Dear sir,

Yes, it's true. We loaned out Robert E. Howard's laundry list to a bunch of writers who will produce another fifteen novels based on lines like "dirty shirt with a stain", "worn out socks", "need clean jeans" somewhere in the text--since REH wrote the lines, they're real collaborations.

And while we're at it, the holder's of copyright have merged and will produce the following company and product for SF fans to behold:

Isaac Asimov's FOUNDATION SERIES and J.R.R.Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS presents SLEEPAWAY CAMP OF THE DAMNED, which will present robots, horny teenagers, zombies, hordes of monsters, piles of dead teenagers and the book with have a unicorn, a cat and an elf on the cover.

With any luck, we can present it as "by Robert E. Howard and Isaac Asimov and Tolkien" all in one punch.

know any really hungry writers? There's a book that needs writing!

Irving Galoot



That recalls the time when Robert E. Howard's output of previously unpublished stories outpaced Alfred Bester, who was still living.

I just found a copy of THE CABINET OF CALIGARI, the really bad restructuring of the silent film. What makes this much more awful is that it was scripted by Robert Bloch, borrowing heavily from the plot structure of PSYCHO. This was "released" in 1962, and promptly ignored and shelved and rarely shown on the tube.

Some woman is driving her car in the opening shots. It is a convertible. Somewhere along the way, the car breaks down. She wanders off and looks for help. She does not bother to lock up the car and put the top up. I thought, "this woman is stupid."

And it continues in this manner. She wanders (and it looks like for hours and hours) to this large manse and goes in and never has anyone go out and help her with her car. She gets a room and a place to stay and all thoughts about where she was going and who she is are shelved.

It doesn't look as if she's being held prisoner, so her staying there makes no sense. The house is filled with other pointless, clueless guests. A mind game is being played, and one of the other "people" is also the "Caligari" guy and he tries to manipulate the situation(s) and people for whatever reasons that are never explained. properly.

Film has really nice "retro" fifties looking jazz art direction.

Film also has one horrid child star in a role that is hard to watch.The kid is related to the director.

There are these little weird touches, people seem to be furious with one another, argue, strain, move quickly, slam themselves down onto a bed and never once does the hair on their heads ever gets mussed up.


I have been buying biographies again. And some other stuff. I just wonder when I'll read them. as previously noted, I read the band biography EYE MIND, and there's a book titled WILL THE VAMPIRE PEOPLE PLEASE LEAVE THE LOBBY? which seems to be about fandom. Media fandom, to be specifically precise. SHULZ AND PEANUTS (which I have discovered people don't know how to spell his last name, and pronounce it with a "t" in it). SON OF HARPO SPEAKS, by one of Harpo Marx's sons.

I read HARPO SPEAKS when I was twelve, borrowing it from a neighbor and taking a week with it to read it twice. At that point, I had never even seen a Marx Brother's film, but Harpo and Groucho were all still actively showing up on television. I seem to recall Harpo showed up on Red Skelton's show and played a guardian angel. The book instilled a life long interest in the people he wrote about, which led me to reading material by those folks who were "members" of the Algonquin Round Table.

So I sought out Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker and Alexander Wollcott. Harpo bought a book of Alex's and presented it to him for an autograph. "What", he asked "is so rare as a Wollcott first edition?" "A "Wollcott second edition," said Franklin Pierce Adams. Wollcott was well known enough that he shows up in a few Warner Brothers Cartoons.

There's another collection of Warner Brother cartoons to be issued on DVD at the end of the month. I go though them quiet often. I had once thought there was be a book on the cartoon's cultural references, but there seem to be a handful of websites devoted to that already. I wrote to one, mentioning that Conrad Cat was probably based on Harry Langdon, and to ignore whatever it was Chuck Jones was trying to say about it.

Chuck Jones got kind of cranky about himself in later years. I think he carried on a love life with his stature, but I guess he deserved it. I never bothered to deal with his website, or the cartoons he did later.

There was a sequel to "One Froggy Afternoon", that appears in the DVD packaging of SPACE JAM. Being kind to it, I won't mention it again.

SPACE JAM was almost SPACE JUNK, I mean, the guys at Warner Brother animated Bugs and Daffy and all the, why didn't they animate Micheal Jordon? Might have helped. He was about as good an actor as he was a baseball player.

I was looking for the DVD of SPACE JAM and couldn't find it. I was going to rattle off the names of the other cartoons it contains that are distressingly awful. Did see the title BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL, which is Japanese, which combines the following elements: Zombies, kung fu and baseball. It's pretty good.

While at the video store, I was several movies whose titles were interesting, but didn't rent. one was a zombie movie called FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which moves SNAKES ON A PLANE to a different level: zombie outbreak. Another film was called FREAK OUT, which teens find a homeless slightly disturbed man and try to get him to be Jason Voorhees. These movies might not ever get rented. Just noticed. There was even a movie called SNAKES ON A TRAIN.

I wouldn't watch that either. One of the films I did watch was LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, which manages to be uninteresting and trite and it was dumbed down from a comic book.

And Leo came home from the Dover Library, brining with him various editions of Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN series, which he has taken to heart. When he was in Japan, I gave him a few books to read on the plane. He never did that, since they showed movies and had other media. What was lost was a copy of NEVERWHERE, but the copy of the biography I loaned him bcame back. That was HARPO SPEAKS.

from the book EYE MIND, by Paul Drummond, which was about THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS and ROKY ERIICKSON)... page jaw dropped when I read the following..."Having joined a psychotherapy class for a few weeks Roky enrolled in the prison band. ...Roky started a rock band and called in The Missing Links. Roky was backed by truely crazed and sick individuals. Roky's new friends, Frank Walcott, second guitar, (shot and killed his mother father and sister while high on glue...), Charles Hefley, bass (raped a policeman's daughter, stabbed her with a screwdriver and killed her two infant sons by throwing them in the Trinity River; he later won the custody of his own two children and disappeared and is still at large), a deaf tambourine player (participated in the rape and murder of a twelve year old Houston boy and stuffed his body into an abandoned refrigerator) and a drummer (who shot and killed an impound clerk after his car was improperly towed)....recreation director Jack Ball and an attendant Jack Priest (on pedal steel guitar) accompanied them to shows at high school proms, festivals rodeos and three television appearances...

I wish I could see any VHS tapes of these shows....I also did a review of the book for AMAZON.COM which you can probably Google and read and look over my other reviews. This is a shameless plug.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


(initially it was my inclination to bring forth chapter by chapter quotations from the novel But my mind started to rot.)


At dawn the girls swam in the nearby lake while Waldo strengthed his grip by squeezing trees.

(there’s a longish section about Waldo not being able to have an orgasm, one woman saying she could induce one, and he kills her because she lied, and thought it was funny..and kind of bashes her head in and left blood all over the room.)

Waldo surveyed the blood bath and there was nothing on his face but nothing.

Realising he would be the object of a police search, he put on a clown’s disguise and ambled away down a hillside road.

(Waldo joins a circus and then buys it.))

Waldo’s disguise was perfect. His face was painted and he assumed a stooped over look that made him look shorter. Oh this was one werewolf who was very clever.

The doctor had a prefect prescription for the girls “Why don’t you go to the circus tomorrow?”

(maybe more later)

I had been trying to post for a few days, but nothing came forth. I also have been dealing with a nasty broncial congestion, so trying to write what I know would have led to typing the word "cough" to the point of meaningless repetition.