persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Friday, July 27, 2007

LEESTEIN wrote about "Eye of Argon", which is a story written by a sixteen year old, that appeared in a fanzine. It was enthusiastic, clumsy, eager and awkward. It tries too hard and it is unintentionally funny. THE WEREWOLF (etc), was written by a professional writer working for a rag called THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. There is a vast amount of difference here: the Argon story is kind of convulted and verbose, while WEREWOLF is simplistic and breezy. Leo Guild, the author tagged with writing WEREWOLF, also wrote biographies of various Hollywood types. On eBay there's the horror called THE LOVES OF LIBERACE, which the seller wants $75.00.

For Eye of Aargon.

HOUSEHOLD NOTES, or notes on things to come (or already have arrived, at least in one unit).

Giani's is going to jail. The comment got some awkward glances and a few that know us pretty well know the one liner. She goes to a prison and teaches inmates the Alternatives to Violence project (AVP), which is a program designed to get inmates to learn how to deal with anger and not throw punches when dealing with a difficult situation.

I could wish that this was taught in schools.

No one could have missed any kind of Harry Potter mania that issued forth at the beginning of the month. Household went to see the film based on the fifth book. Leo complained it was too short. I told him if they filmed the whole book, it would have been thirty hours long. He said, "So...?"

A week later finds me at home , Giani teaching inmates, Leo staying awake all night, doing a marathon watching of SOAP and TITUS on DVD. When the mail arrives the last Potter novel is snuck into the library room (the one where the ceiling fell) and concealed. I finish off about a 150 pages. Leo finds out and removes it from my hands. He falls asleep and by Sunday afternoon, I have finished 555 pages. Leo wakes up and takes the book back. He then proceeds to watch all four previous Harry Potter DVDs and read the book at the same time. I don't get the book until Wednesday.

Spoiler: everyone dies.

Somewhere in that intensity and diversion, Leo gets hungry. He pours out a bowl of frosted flakes. His mind caught up in the book, reaches into the 'fridge and takes out a container and pours it onto the cereal.

It is orange juice.

"It was pretty good," he said.

Probably better than the container of blueberry juice that I had once, that was drained cleaned out and filled with beef broth. Talk about a midnight surprise...

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is a reality TV series idea. You take one of the more recent drunken celebrity train wrecks, prop him/her up in front of a bar with a contestant and you match shots, drug dosages and whatever else is at hand.

They get into two separate cars. Same make and year and same amount of gas and are given a destination to go to.

The police are notified.

The one not arrested is the winner.

Extra points for shaving any body hair. On camera.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

George H. Wells reports:

Dear Robert,
Dennis K. Lien, sf reader and librarian, once tried _outlining the
plot_ of Werewolf Vs Vampire Woman but had to give it up as an impossible
[more or less] task. In one chapter Wandessa and Waldo discuss how they
have to stay where they are [so they won't be discovered?]. On the first
page of the NEXT CHAPTER there's a sentence [or as Gary Tesser has said a
'nonsentence'] which I'll quasi-quote as "-So one day Waldo and Wandessa
decided it would be nice to move to California so they did.-"
Hope all is well with you all.
Your pal, George Pal
[actually Wells}

Someone e mailed me and inquired of the cover, asking innocently with tongue in cheek, if this was where Kevin Duane got his start as a furry?

Then he Googled Kevin Duane and got some sincere evil laughs. You could do the same.

THE WEREWOLF VS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN by Arthur Scarm G-H Books 1972 190 pages

There is no way to review this as a novel. I'll just quote:

Perhaps I should first tell you what a werewolf is like. It was never adequently been described, even by a werewolf's wife.

Waldo was dead, but not very dead.

"Please don't hurt me Mister Werewolf," she begged. "I'm only 21 and I have at least 10 good years ahead of me yet."

I forgot to mention that werewolves are very strong. Their diet includes such things as animal blood, ailing grandmothers and rancid chicken fat.

Waldo had no intention of harming Ruth. In one yank he pulled of her silk blouse and lace bra and left her defenseless against any young child who might come along who wanted his lunch.

Though a werewolf, Waldo had the ego fault of all men. A conquest was terribly important. He tweaked her nipple through her lovely nurse's uniform.

Waldo woke up. "I'm sick of all this hypocrisy," he said. "So I'm a werewolf. Why all the fuss."

Genevieve said, "Wow, werewolves sure can fuck." To which Ruth hit her with her purse.

Geneview had enough of the party. "We'll find an expensive suite and sleep, and tomorrow we'll be off for the Ack Ack Cemetary and find the dead vampire Queen."

Being a werewolf is strictly against the law in most countries because they can be cruel and inhuman.

"Yes," Waldo answered, "it's one of the duties of a werewolf. I must frighten people."

"I'll try," Waldo promised, "but the ways of a werewolf are strange and he who fools with a werewolf is in constant danger.

...And all of this is just from the first chapter.

Monday, July 09, 2007

GOING POSTAL : IN THE POSTAL ZONE: Working with boneheads

“I had asked the guy if I could come in early.”


“Mitch. He said I couldn't. I told him I had come in early before. Said I was no longer allowed to do that.”


“He made up a new rule. And I don’t know why. He did it because he could do it. Anyway, I asked about the overtime day and if I could come in early. He said no, and then I asked if I could put in a change of schedule. He said no. I asked him why not. He said I had to report at my regular time. That’s what I wanted to have that Change Of Schedule for. I told him if it was my day off, I had no schedule and then I could come in when I was allowed. Mitch said, no, I have no schedule and had to report at my regular time. My regularly scheduled time. Then I said, then I do have a schedule, and therefore I could put in a request for a change."


“He said no, because he didn’t want to hear any more about it. He was the Boss and I wasn’t to question him. Because it was an Overtime day, so I had to come in at my scheduled time. He finally said there's no change of schedule for a drop day."

"When did that become a rule."

"The moment he said it."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Warning! Warning! Offensive satire!

On some posting boards, FOR BETTER OR WORSE is being toasted as going downhill, as Lynn Johnston plans on phasing out the strip. This is a link to a vaster website that shoots down daily strips.

Like Gil Thorp, which often you can't tell the difference between characters unless one of them wears a hat.


Laura moved out to Montana, under a Horatio Alger scholarship to study the effects of fresh air on Delaware lungs. Or something. I sent her DVDs of the tv show TITUS, so she'll have recognition humor about the family she escaped from.

Her x-boy friend has a lifetime order of no contact, and it sounds good. He's busy pumping gas and going bald. He doesn't have the smarts to operate a computer, so he won't see this comment.

Leo is spending his time of the summer doing games and DVDs and staying up all hours, going to bed as I go to work (about 5 AM). He wonders if the families of Titus and the ones in MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE could do a series and would be a good cross over. (What was Malcolm's last name, anyway?)

Giani is going to jail soon.

Friskit the dog has gone blind, but is happy, wags his tail when we talk to him, and constantly misses the newspaper. There are times when he gets angry with Scampi dog and snarls and runs after with with his four remaining teeth with intent to bite and savage. The solution is to grab him and spin him around a few times and he'll spend about half an hour trying to re orient himself and forget whatever doggie altercation caused him to lash out.

Saw TRANSFORMERS last night on the big screen. A good loud noisy effort, aimed at perpetual 14 year olds and geeks and folks who like exploding cars, buildings and falling debris. The best impersonation of John Cusack ever.

Bad news: someone is doing a "Chipmunks" movie. Jason Lee needs the money to pay for his Scientology involvement.


Hi Robert - WEREWOLF VS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN is an even worse movie than QUEEN KONG, dull as dishwater. But the novel by Arthur N Scarm (or Scram, apparently a pseudonym for Leo Guild) has a strange fascination. It's not just the syntax that's bizarre, so is the imagery. George's readings from it at DeepSouthCon made it so popular that Alan Hutchinson did a set of great illos for it, which were then published in two editions - a 6-copy hardcover (John Guidry knew a binder in New Orleans) and 4-on-1 SFPA micro-print edition with the pb pages printed 4 to a standard sheet and the Hutchinson illos full-page. Years later I let Fender Tucker at Ramble House have the scans and he published a pb with a cover by Gavin O'Keefe - I tried to get the Hutchinson art included, but he could never reach Hutchinson for permission. Now if they would just do an anime version based on the artwork....

I wouldn't pay $50 for the QUEEN KONG pb either. But I see that I have two of them - I'd trade you the rather worn one for anything else weird that I don't have.

By all means tell us about the geese and the goats. I have never tried to keep any sort of animal. I'm very allergic to cats. My mother and sister kept an ancient dog for friends on and off - it got out and ran off and when I tried to catch it, it bit me. I told them I would sue for the loss of my career as a hand model, but in fact the scar has vanished and I'm no longer sure where it was.

Best, Ned

Ned's referencing a note I send him about Giani's efforts at raising geese in the dining room (near the laundry) and Leo's efforts at raising goats in his bedroom. The draw backs to the geese are the smell they eventually produce, the flies and night long peeping. The flies were so bad, a strip of fly paper would be cloaked with them after a night. That's why they were moved out.

Leo's efforts with the goats produced one inspired comment. He woke up grim and sleepy, complaining that the kid kept him up all night.


And someone is sending me a copy of WEREWOLF VS. VAMPIRE WOMAN. It is not "versus" just Vs. If you check references to it on various websites, it's "Vs", including the book cover. I'll pass on QUEEN KONG, even if I could read the "lyrics" to the songs sung in the movie. Memories of Ray Fay on the Giant Picnic table will haunt me until I find another film as equally absurd. Or worse.

I have attempted to watch the movie of WEREWOLF VS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN. The first scene is very good. I can't recall the rest of it because I feel asleep. Not once, but over several attempts at watching it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I don't know if anyone really cares about THE LOCKHORNS, since it's a small panel tethered away in a lower left or right handed corner of a lot of newspapers' comic section. It is not smart or savvy or illuminating. It looks back on older traditions that men and women were different species. It annoys me. I always thought that the only punchline ever needed was "I hate you and wish you were dead." Since it is quite clear they loathe each other. Why are they still married? Maybe they're old school catholics? No one else would have them? At least they haven't had children, otherwise American comic strip readers would be subjected to small daily windows of child abuse.

More unsettling is that there are people who sit themselves down day by day and write and draw this up. I am thinking of the case of Chester Tinsley, who used to draw "Chester the Molester" for HUSTLER magazine and is now serving a long term in prison for his pederastic inclinations. I hope the two that produce this aren't married to each other. "Hey," one of them says, "How about if they say they hate each other simultaneously?"

Even more absurd, you can purchase Lockhorns products, like t shirts and posters from CafePress. Unsettling is the smiling Lockhorns on the opening page, as if they'd both pulled an O. Henry styled poisoning of each other and could not contain their glee. Want to say I love you to that someone special? Give them the gift of The Lockhorn's on a coffee mug. In their face.