persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


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.


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