what it is: dummies where i found it:the oxford american
There's a good mini article in this season's Oxford American that turned me on to the annual Kentucky ventriloquist convention, an event for those who take their profession quite seriously (e.g. believing that your dummy should never be left alone, "dead", ignored or unanimated). There are a myriad of disturbing aspects to this, a number of which can be explored through the documentary Dumbstruck, a horror show of which I've only been brave enough to view the trailer.
There is also the top grossing ventriloquist in the world, this guy, who has gotten famous alongside his dummy Achmed the Dead Terrorist, predictably landing him in trouble with a number of living terrorist organizations. He is not really that funny and so much of what he is doing is assinine for so many reasons, but I admit it's kind of fun to watch him shriek "I kill you!" at increasingly shrill volumes without moving his mouth.
The same issue of the OA (elephant on the front) is worth tracking down for it's narrative of a cross country Greyhound bus ride.
what it is:old cartoons where i found it: childhood
Before we hop into some old cartoons, I'd like to both acknowledge that, yes, posts will be more seldom for a little while around here and, indeed, i do have regrets about not acknowledging the death of Elmore Leonoard earlier in the week. Go check his novels out of the library and google his ten rules for writing.
In other news, the child in my household is waxing curious about old cartoons and he's about old enough to stomach some Tom and Jerry-level violence, so I've been busy exploring cartoons of yore with him before bedtime every night. This has led me to enjoyable areas such as the coyote falling off cliffs again and again and Popeye being attacked by termites. It's also led to the discovery of a whole slew of tinkered-with old school cartoons. My top favorite is a redub of GI Joe advice segments. Coming in just behind that is a series of Wonder Twins re-dos, which are astonishing in the way they nail the production and animation style of the original and are almost indistinguishable as a fraud other than in the absurd plot twists. It takes me a minute with each episode to figure out if I'm watching one of the old episodes or one of these new weird ones. Usually a drug reference or two gives it away. I love this most of all because my kid can't tell the difference and I can watch one of the Wonder Twins take form of a bucket of crap being flown around by an eagle without him batting an eye.
what it is: guy's domain where i found it: mr neuser of brooklyn
Mr. Neuser of Broolyn brought the below great link to my attention. That shitty celebrity chef named Guy seems to have forgotten to register domains similar to his name, so someone was nice enough to create a menu in his honor. Either that or this was the domain for his restaurant, which went out of business. Either way, I'm not sure, but this kind of stuff is why I love the internet. I'll provide the link, which I'm sure will be taken down soon, but I also grabbed one of the visuals, which is posted below, but is a little hard to read.
This weekend a bat ended up the hallway outside of my apartment door. Theories were gathered, such as that humans cannot get rabies from a bat, that you should get rabies shot if a bat ever comes anywhere near you, that animal control must be called to destroy the animal at once, etc. The bat eventually flew back outside on its own, but not before I came across this advice, which seems hilarious to me for some reason:
"If you woke up because a bat landed on you while you were sleeping or if you awakened and found a bat in your room, you should try to safely capture the bat and have it tested. The same precautions should be used if you see a bat in a room with an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person." (from CDC.org)
what it is: study materials where i found it:again, facebook, mostly
My posting frequency is going to be temporarily diminishing over the next couple of weeks so I'm giving you a few materials worthy of meantime study.
First up, we have this. Just watch it. Reader JPW strikes again.
Second up we have this extraordinary collection of photos, posted by my cousin. I was kind of tempted to skim through them, but each one provides deep horror if you study the details long enough. Each and every one.
Third up: Rest in Peace Karen Black. She put many great, unique, creepy moments on the celluloid and even had a weirdo band who painted their entire bodies (including their teeth) and broke eggs on their vulvas named after her. But her finest moment is certainly pushing the Easy Rider cemetary acid scene way further out than if it had simply been Mia Farrow or something. This one is good for at least 500 repeated views, depending on your level of sadism.
i don't know this movie, killer fish, but it's probably worth checking out.
what it is:crap to watch where i found it:facebook
Say what you want about the stupidity of Facebook, about how it's an obvious ploy to capitalize on your personal life without compensating you, a transparent scheme for your ass to be spied on, etc. If you choose your "friends" wisely they post some pretty great videos. The below are all from just yesterday:
what it is: satan is real where i found it: the greatest country close gospel brother duo that ever was
I just finished up Satan Is Real, the tale of the Louvin Brothers, Ira and Charlie, as told by the latter. There are a great many wonderful moments in the book, not the least of which is when Charlie beats the shit out of Ira on the very first page. Other highlights are when the brothers build their own flaming set for the Satan is real album cover (complete with burning tires, falling rocks and a Satan made of Charlie's daughter's old dollhouse - see above), get rich enough to buy their parents indoor plumbing but their dad still walks across the road to take a shit, claiming "you don't do that in the house," and this conversation between Ira and Bill Monroe (just after Ira borrows Monroe's mandolin due to smashing his own to smithereens for the umpteenth time), as witnessed by Charlie:
“If there’s anything I can do for you,” Ira said, “you just let me know what it is.”
“I’ll tell you what,” Bill said. “There is one thing you can do.”
“What’s that?” Ira said.
“When I die, you can sing a song at my funeral.”
“What song?” Ira asked.
“Any song,” Bill said. “You pick it.”
Ira laughed. “All right, Bill,” he said. “But just in case I don’t make it to your funeral, I need you to make a promise.”
“I want you to sing ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ at mine.”
That started Bill laughing, too. They sat there giggling over which one was gonna die first. I though it was creepy as hell, but they were just giggling like a couple of girls.
Landfills are full of unfortunate country music memoirs, but this one, along with almost all of the Louvins' music, is certainly worth your time.
what it is:harlem week where i found it: on the way to work
When I got off the train this morning there was a big sign at the station that said Welcome to Harlem Week. I wondered what kind of great Harlem Week things I might see on my walk across the neighborhood. The only thing out of the ordinary was a line of morbidly obese people in lawn chairs in a line around the block waiting for the brand new Joe's Crab Shack to open on it's first day of business.
Not a block later I was passed by a guy talking to himself, not so unusual. Until he suddenly pushed another pedestrian under a moving car and just kept walking, turning his head around to announce, "gotta show these motherfuckers I ain't gay". I'm not sure if they caught the vigilante homophobe, as me and the few other witnesses had to call the ambulance, try to keep the random victim from going into shock (he lucked out with just a disgusting compound arm fracture) and wait for the popo to take a report. I should also add that one of the other witnesses didn't miss the opportunity to ask me for a quarter several times between between our being questioned by police. ("What about a dollar then?", "Come on man, just help me out with a cup of coffee", etc.). Welcome to Harlem Week.