Friday, October 15, 2021

💥"Guten tag, Pokey!" GUMBY SPEAKS GERMAN!💥


This is just so weird that I HAD to post it. Yes, there really was a German dub of the Gumby Movie (which I THINK was called The Gumby Movie) that flopped so badly in the '90s that it went direct to video. If you look closely at this, the animation is pretty terrible, nothing like the bizarre but somehow believable work of Gumby creator Art Clokey. There are continuity problems, problems with synchronizing sound and dialog, and even remnants of props showing which are used to keep the clay figure in place while each frame is photographed individually ("claymation", which is also known as stop motion animation). The thing I notice the most is that the characters' HAIR moves all over the place, a weird side effect of bad animation which makes the whole thing look amateurish. As for the plot of this thing. . . never mind, but hearing Gumby and his pals speak German makes this excerpt worth watching for its sheer bizarre-itude.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

😾😲KITTEN WITH SUPERPOWERS: Don't Mess With PUFF!😲😾


One of my more primitive, but still favorite, animations, originally made for this blog - I think?? Or maybe Facebook. But here it is in a more fully-realized form. It amazes me that I get views for these, but people seem to like the fact it's handmade, deliberately primitive, and the farthest thing from CGI possible.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

😳JENNIFER GREY in EMBARRASSING '80s Computer Dating Video!😳


I will admit to stealing this video from a magnificent YouTube channel called Pics and Portraits. Why it's called that, I do not know, because a soporific-sounding announcer keeps coming on and saying things like, "You're watching Sleepcore. Pleasant dreams."  So was the channel originally called Sleepcore? Did someone else steal the name, or - . Or did it get shut down, the way I have also been nearly shut down for no particular reason except benevolent plagiarism? 

But the art of stealing reached the level of the sublime when I saw a comment under one of the Sleepcore videos. A guy was complaining about some aspect of the content, I think the format of it, because it made it harder for HIM to upload everything onto HIS channel. In other words, he was openly admitting to stealing ALL of this guy's content, whole and unedited. The Sleepcore guy just told him he had nothing to complain about, which was true.

As if that were not weird enough. . . the YouTuber behind Pics and Portraits admits to using "repurposed" material. A nice way of saying "stolen". Which means I am either not really stealing it,  or stealing pre-stolen material. Kind of like "distressed" jeans, which I would never want to wear because, let's face it, most days, I am distressed enough already.

This little gem is just one of a genre called "retrofuturistic computer horror stories", in which we're all told we will soon be swamped in a sea of ignorance about computers unless we scramble to find out EVERYTHING about them. Long strings of incomprehensible techno-babble soon follow, just to make sure we feel properly terrified and thrown off-balance. This stuff must have been produced by sadists. Suffice it to say that none of it ever came true.


I know nothing about computers after all these years, and still use them fairly competently, at least to the point of maintaining a blog and a YouTube channel. So that was a bunch of bunk. Some of these retro-mini-dramas tried to put a more positive spin on the oncoming horror. Jennifer Grey is excruciatingly cute in this little snippet, which extols the virtue of a magical system which allows a teenaged couple to draw pictures together without actually being in the same room. Both are supposed to be nerdy, unpopular kids who can't meet anyone in the usual way (whatever THAT is), but the whole thing just fizzles because Jennifer Grey is charismatic and sweet, and the guy is - well, he's  a doll, and I wouldn't have minded at all having him for a boy friend in 1972. But this was long before the prototype of the nerd as pop culture hero. 

I think the real truth of all this, besides the fact that both of them are well into their 20s, is that Jennifer Grey needed the work (this was a couple of years before Dirty Dancing), and the really cute guy was the only one who auditioned. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

😳WHAT DOES IT MEAN??😲


This is a really, truly, scary thing that happened to me a couple of years ago when I was on a Facebook page. I don't even know how or why it popped up. So what do they mean by "kill" the page? How do you do that, and why would anyone want to? I thought the term was "delete". I still haven't figured it out, but it made a cool animation which started life as a gif, but is now posted on YouTube.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I love you, Piers Morgan!

BLOGGER'S NOTE. I know damn well I am not supposed to be doing this. I have no permission from anyone to copy and paste an article from the Daily Mail. But posting a link is useless, no one will click on it anyway, and anyone remotely interested in "these two" HAS to read this! It's the most scathingly brilliant summation of this infuriatingly self-important, pompously narcissistic duo I've ever seen (with the possible exception of his LAST scathingly brilliant diatribe in the Daily Mail). Piers Morgan resigned from his job on morning TV when his views on Meghan Markle and her histrionics were censored, then was vindicated when the bigwigs decided he had every right to practice freedom of speech and say that he wouldn't believe a weather report from that empty-headed, self-absorbed, pretentious faux-royal piece of baggage. 

PIERS MORGAN: We need an urgent vaccine to save us from the Duke and Duchess of Polluting Hypocrisy and their cynical campaign to set up a rival money-grabbing renegade Royal Family

By Piers Morgan for MailOnline

There’s a new advisory on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website Archewell, the one named after the son they were determined to keep private so he wouldn’t be used as a media tool.

‘We love having you here,’ the message reads, ‘but we’re mindful of screen time. Why not take a break? We’ll still be here.’

This disingenuous virtue-signaling guff was presumably crafted by one of the couple’s partners, the Centre for Humane Technology, which counsels how to remove toxicity from one’s life.

I’d certainly welcome a break from the world’s most toxic royals whose laughable mission statement is to put ‘compassion into action’ but who never miss a chance to spew unsubstantiated abuse about their own families that they persistently trash and disown.

As with everything in Meghan and Harry’s ludicrous world, they love to preach one thing and do the exact opposite.

They’ve just finished a four-day trip to New York which even by their two-faced standards set a new low bar for hypocrisy.


Ostensibly designed for them to lecture the world’s ‘ultra-rich’ pharmaceutical firms on ‘equality’, something the privileged, pampered prima donnas know all about from the palatial comfort of their Californian mansion, the trip was in fact a ruthlessly cynical attempt to establish their new alternative Royal Family.

And it made me puke.

Let’s remind ourselves that the Sussexes quit Britain and royal duty because they supposedly wanted privacy.

Yet ever since they landed in the United States, they’ve been engaged in a shameless, relentless orgy of self-publicizing, money-grabbing duplicity.

The duplicity comes from their pretense to loathe everything the Royal Family and Monarchy stands for, but at the same time gleefully milking their royal titles with the obscene greed of a sounder of swine, the term for a group of feral hogs that destroys everything in its path.

Meghan and Harry have their noses permanently rammed in the regal trough, and it’s obvious that they now intend to keep them there until they’ve made themselves repulsively rich and famous.

In this regard, they’re the royal version of the Kardashians – people with no discernible talent other than for pimping themselves out to the highest bidders and a craven desire to air their dirty family linen in public for financial gain.

But at least the Kardashians’ mission to be billionaire TMI merchants is founded on a basic honesty: they don’t pretend to be talented or saving the planet.

By contrast, at the heart of the Sussexes’ stated campaign to ‘uplift and unite’ us all with their searing compassion – unless you’re related to them, then you can go **** yourself - lies outrageous two-faced deceit.


For a prime example, the self-styled eco-warriors never stop lecturing the world about the environment.

Only last month, Harry warned us that climate change is one of the ‘most pressing issues we are facing.’

And one of the purposes of the Global Citizen Live concert they attended on Saturday night was to demand tough new eco laws halving US emissions by 2030.

So, you might assume they lead by example in deliberately reducing their own carbon footprint?

Don’t be silly!

In fact, they deliberately do the complete opposite.

On Saturday, the Sussexes flew back into Santa Barbara from New York in a private plane, a Dassault Falcon 2000 jet. It will have produced around 17 tons of carbon emissions for the flight.

It’s the same mode of transport they have repeatedly used – often as guests of celebrity pals like Elton John and George Clooney - despite being criticized for obvious double standards.

Now, I’ve nothing against private jets, and have used them myself, but I’m not constantly lecturing the world on the urgent need to reduce its carbon footprint.

The hypocrisy is breath-taking.

Their mode of road travel follows a similar theme.

Waiting for them on the tarmac in Santa Barbara was a large gas-guzzling 4x4.

In New York, the Prince and Princess of Pollution sped around Manhattan in a luxury convoy of at least three Range Rovers and SUVs.

To quote from their own speech on Saturday, this willful disregard for their own eco-hectoring is ‘like throwing away life vests, when those around you are drowning.’

And what were they doing there anyway?


Ostensibly, the Sussexes were in the Big Apple to harangue pharmaceutical firms for not doing enough for ‘equality’ when it comes to dispensing vaccines to poorer countries.

As with everything else these two harp on about, the real issues surrounding vaccines and patents are far more complicated than they suggest, and the companies they’re attacking have already saved tens of millions of lives with their brilliant work in this pandemic.

But one of Global Citizen’s main objectives is also to ‘defeat poverty.’

Well, I’m sure we can all agree that nothing screams defeating poverty more than Meghan Markle sporting $100,000 worth of designer clothes – though whoever paid her to wear that unflattering bulky winter wardrobe on warm sunny days probably deserves a refund - and lavishly expensive jewelry as she trotted around impoverished parts of Harlem where she read schoolkids extracts from her own book, The Bench.

We were told this cringe-making display of self-aggrandizement was to ‘promote early literacy’ but as reviewers of this god-awful pile of bilge have attested, The Bench is to literacy what Madonna is to growing old gracefully.

It takes a special kind of brazen shamelessness to use children who can barely read to fire up your book’s flagging sales.

Just as it does to film yourself doing so, as Meghan and Harry reportedly did throughout their trip, to fulfil your massive multi-million-dollar contracts with paymasters like Netflix.

It also takes a special kind of brazen shamelessness to attack big pharma for being ‘ultra-rich’ and not doing enough to promote equality, when you are making yourselves ultra-rich by preaching about equality from your private jets and nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion.

But my biggest concern about this New York trip though is not about the Sussexes’ shocking hypocrisy which happens with such regularity now that it’s lost all ability to surprise.



No, what worries me far more is the ongoing damage they are doing to the Royal Family and Monarchy with their very transparent attempt to establish an American-based renegade royal entity.

One that’s not based on the kind of quiet, admirable, stoic, modest, duty-led majesty of the Queen, but on a cheap, tacky, noisy, toxic, Kardashian-style 24/7 invasion of our senses that’s specifically intended to fleece royal status for maximum personal commercial benefit.

Meghan Markle’s incendiary but still-unproven claims of racism and callousness against the royals during her Oprah whineathon back in March have already caused very real harm to the Monarchy, especially in parts of the Commonwealth.

Now she and her hostage victim husband are striving to be a rival Royal Family that bestrides the globe like a woke colossus, and they’re being enabled in this delusion by the likes of New York mayor Bill de Blasio and the United Nations who treated them like world leaders in the past week.

New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio hasn’t found time to pay an important long overdue trip to Rikers prison but did find time to suck up to the Sussexes.

Governor Kathy Hochul took time out from her presumably busy schedule to join de Blasio for a photo PR op with the Sussexes at One World where they also met the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed.

And the US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield was so thrilled by rubbing shoulders with the royal couple that she excitedly posted pictures of them all on social media.

All of them were treating Meghan and Harry like world leaders.

But they’re not.

They’re a retired actress and a retired Prince pretending to be world leaders so they can fill their royal boots with as much filthy lucre as possible before the penny finally drops to their gullible acolytes about what their real game is.

I see right through these ridiculous little chancers.

We need an urgent vaccine to protect us from these right royal hypocrites.


Monday, September 27, 2021

Quirky vintage ad of the day: EGYPTIAN TENEXINE!

 



As you might know by now, I adore everything Victorian/Edwardian - particularly the costumes, which make me dizzy with joy, but also the quirky little ads for products that no longer exist. I could not find anything on Egyptian Tenexine - what it is, or was; what it was supposed to do; whether it was a health aid, or a tranquillizer, or an energizer, or what. Maybe a bottle of glue? 

The ad portrays an impossibly elegant lady in a blue gown standing in front of a paunchy older gentleman (paunches being quite socially acceptable and even desirable in those times, a sign of prosperity). The woman appears to be chastising or at least wagging her finger at the man, while he leans back with one hand up as if to defend himself. Meantime, a little boy in the corner is messing about with the hem of her dress, nailing it down or something? A small dog appears to be running away in the bottom right corner. But it's the caption at the very bottom that intrigues me the most: "WITH A BOTTLE OF TENEXINE IN THE HOUSE, DIVORCE IS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE". 

So what's going on here? The bottle of EGYPTIAN Tenexine (so what's Egyptian about it?) looks almost like an ink bottle with a stopper. Or is it some kind of beauty enhancement? And if so, why is she wagging her finger, and why is the little boy nailing her dress to the floor? Back in that era, people collected Egyptian mummies and even ground them up into powder and ate them. Was this a flavour enhancer for the mummies? I've GOT to find out some more about this!

NEWS FLASH! Another ad for Egyptian Tenexine!



The scales are falling from my eyes! This ad establishes that Tenexine IS a kind of glue (as I suspected).  I'm still not clear on the "divorce" reference in the previous ad - maybe the man would love to get rid of his nagging wife, but can't because they are "stuck like glue" to each other? Has the little boy glued her hem to the floor, or what? Horrible thought. This fellow flapping in the breeze at least makes it clear what the product is. I assume this is meant to be some sort of politician, maybe a crooked one, stuck to his "post" (an actual post, as you can see) by the wondrous power of Tenexine.

I did find a bit more about the product - there was an actual old glassTenexine bottle for sale on Worthpoint, an impossibly expensive and elite auction site featuring trolls I can't afford, among other things. And yes, the bottle looked exactly as pictured here. It was called "mucilage", a term I remember from childhood -  a gooey, brownish liquid  that came in a bottle with a weird rubber stopper in it. You pressed the pink rubber stopper down on your paper, and a bit of mucilage came out of a tiny slot. Do they even make the stuff any more? It strikes me as a product likely made from boiling down old horse hooves. I seem to remember a friend of mine referring to it as "mule sewage". 

But why is the Tenexine "Egyptian" in one ad, and not the other? THAT is the mystery of the day.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Pied Piper of Hamelin: a tale of pride and destruction


The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Robert Browning - 1812-1889

I

Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.


II

Rats! They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.



III

At last the people in a body
To the town hall came flocking:
"'Tis clear," cried they, "our Mayor's a noddy;
And as for our Corporation--shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you're old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!"
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.


IV

An hour they sat in council,
At length the Mayor broke silence:
"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell,
I wish I were a mile hence!
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain--
I'm sure my poor head aches again,
I've scratched it so, and all in vain
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!"
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
"Bless us,' cried the Mayor, "what's that?"
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle, green and glutinous)
"Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!"


V

"Come in!"--the Mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in--
There was no guessing his kith and kin!
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: "It's as if my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!"


VI

He advanced to the council-table:
And, "Please your honors," said he, "I'm able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole and toad and newt and viper;
And people call me the Pied Piper."
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To match with his coat of the self-same check;
And at the scarf's end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
"Yet," said he, "poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarm of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampyre-bats:
And as for what your brain bewilders--
If I can rid your town of rats
Will you give me a thousand guilders?"
"One? Fifty thousand!" was the exclamation
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.



VII

Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives--
Followed the Piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser
Wherein all plunged and perished!
Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar,
Swam across and lived to carry
(As the manuscript he cherished)
To Rat-land home his commentary:
Which was, "At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider-press's gripe:
And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks:
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
Is breathed) called out, 'Oh rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast dry-saltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!'
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said 'Come bore me!'
-- I found the Weser rolling o'er me."


VIII

You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
"Go," cried the Mayor, "and get long poles!
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
Consult with carpenters and builders
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats!"-- when suddenly, up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
With a, "First, if you please, my thousand guilders!"


IX

A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;
So did the Corporation too.
For council dinners made rare havoc
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
And half the money would replenish
Their cellar's biggest butt with Rhenish.
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
"Beside," quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink,
"Our business was done at the river's brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what's dead can't come to life, I think.
So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something for drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty:
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!


X

The Piper's face fell, and he cried,
"No trifling! I can't wait! Beside,
I've promised to visit by dinnertime
Bagdad, and accept the prime
Of the Head-Cook's pottage, all he's rich in,
For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor--
With him I proved no bargain-driver,
With you, don't think I'll bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe to another fashion."


XI

"How?" cried the Mayor, "d'ye think I brook
Being worse treated than a Cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!"


XII

Once more he stept into the street
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.



XIII

The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step or cry,
To the children merrily skipping by--
And could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the Piper's back.
But how the Mayor was on the rack
And the wretched Council's bosoms beat,
As the Piper turned from the High Street
To where the Weser rolled its waters
Right in the way of their sons and daughters!
However he turned from South to West
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every breast.
"He never can cross that mighty top!
He's forced to let the piping drop
And we shall see our children stop!
When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
And the Piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last,
The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
Did I say all? No! One was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say,--
"It's dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can't forget that I'm bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the Piper also promised me.
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles' wings:
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!



XIV

Alas, alas for Hamelin!
There came into many a burgher's pate
A text which says that heaven's gate
Opens to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
The mayor sent East, West, North and South,
To offer the Piper, by word of mouth
Wherever it was men's lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart's content,
If he'd only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw 'twas a lost endeavor,
And Piper and dancers were gone forever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and year,
These words did not as well appear:
"And so long after what happened here
On the twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six;"
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children's last retreat,
They called it the Pied Piper's Street,
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
To shock with mirth a street so solemn,
But opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church-window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away,
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That, in Transylvania there's a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
To the outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbors lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterranean prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why they don't understand.


XV

So, Willy, let you and me be wipers
Of scores out with all men--especially pipers!
And, whether they pipe us free, from rats or from mice,
If we've promised them ought, let us keep our promise.


🤍What NOT to say to a depressed person🤍


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Why I think this Bob Dylan song is all about Joan Baez



One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)

Bob Dylan

I didn't mean
To treat you so bad
You shouldn't take it so personal
I didn't mean
To make you so sad
You just happened to be there, that's all

When I saw you say "goodbye" to your friend and smile
I thought that it was well understood
That you'd be comin' back in a little while
I didn't know that you were sayin' "goodbye" for good

But, sooner or later, one of us must know
That you just did what you're supposed to do
Sooner or later, one of us must know
That I really did try to get close to you

I couldn't see
What you could show me
Your scarf had kept your mouth well hid
I couldn't see
How you could know me
But you said you knew me and I believed you did

When you whispered in my ear
And asked me if I was leavin' with you or her
I didn't realize just what I did hear
I didn't realize how young you were

But, sooner or later, one of us must know
That you're just doin' what you're supposed to do
Sooner or later, one of us must know
That I really did try to get close to you

I couldn't see
When it started snowin'
Your voice was all that I heard
I couldn't see
Where we were goin'
But you said you knew an' I took your word

And then you told me later, as I apologized
That you were just kiddin' me, you weren't really from the farm
An' I told you, as you clawed out my eyes that I
Never really meant to do you any harm

But, sooner or later, one of us must know
That you just did what you're supposed to do
Sooner or later, one of us must know
That I really did try to get close to you


This song appears on Dylan's second-to-best album, Blonde on Blonde (1966), the best (of course!) being Rough and Rowdy Ways, which he released only last year. My analysis of this song, line-by-line, attempts to prove my thesis:  though never recognized as such, it is a shockingly detailed, almost literal re-telling of his stormy, complicated and often sado-masochistic relationship with Joan Baez.

I didn't mean
To treat you so bad
You shouldn't take it so personal

The song starts off with this heartless and cynically dismissive assertion. In essence, he's saying to Joan, "Hey, I demolished you emotionally, but stop being so touchy about it. It didn't mean anything to me."

I didn't mean
To make you so sad
You just happened to be there, that's all

That glimmer of compassion ("I didn't mean to make you so sad") is then negated, if not stomped into the ground, by the cruelly casual "you just happened to be there, that's all". This is beyond dismissive - it borders on contempt, as if a figure as crucial to his career as Baez was just a bystander or a piece of furniture in his path (if not in his  way).


When I saw you say "goodbye" to your friend and smile
I thought that it was well understood
That you'd be comin' back in a little while
I didn't know that you were sayin' "goodbye" for good

Now, this MAY be related to a scene from the infamous 1966 documentary Dont Look Back (apostrophe omitted on purpose, for reasons unknown). Cameras followed Dylan around on his London tour, and though the concert performances are outstanding, the really fascinating part  takes place in Dylan's hotel room, filled with hangers-on (including a then-unknown Donovan, soon to eclipse Dylan on the hit parade) and media people hanging about like vultures. But one of these hangers-on was Baez, who came along with Dylan on tour (inviting herself, I believe) as a tag-along. Though Baez generously gave Bob's fledgling career a boost in 1961 by bringing him up onstage with her (when he was "a complete unknown" - sorry!), Dylan even more famously did NOT return the favor. It's as if she wasn't even considered. Was she asking too much, or did she have a hidden agenda all along, boosting her OWN career by giving the meteoric "unwashed phenomenon" a leg-up which he didn't actually need? 

In any case, the dynamics here are tangled and complex. The thwarted Joan was left strumming a stray guitar in the hotel room and singing in an ear-splitting voice that is really meant to be heard from  a distance. I don't remember the song, but it sure wasn't anything original. She was still singing archaic, traditional folk ballads like Mary Hamilton and Silver Dagger, with Dylan having long passed and surpassed her several years before.

"When I saw you say goodbye to your friend and smile" - that whole verse actually, literally happened. A particularly obnoxious sycophant named Bobby Neuwirth, supposedly Joan's good friend, attacked her verbally on-camera for no reason, claiming she was nothing but a flat-chested has-been (!). Joan tried to laugh it off, but you could see how devastated she was as she slipped out the door to catch the nearest plane home. Goodbye for good. But Dylan attempts to yank the yo-yo string by assuming she'd be "coming back in a little while" - an arrogant assertion if ever there was one.


But, sooner or later, one of us must know
That you just did what you're supposed to do
Sooner or later, one of us must know
That I really did try to get close to you

Again, this is so back-handed! "You just did what you're supposed to do" may be a reference to the way Baez proudly displayed the still-wet-behind-the-ears Dylan on stage during HER concert performances. After singing Masters of War or With God on Our Side, she'd get the audience all stirred up by asking the crowd, "Would you like to meet the young man who wrote  that song?", prompting screams of adulation.  And "I really did try to get close to you" can be taken at least two ways. It echoes the story of the disgusting sycophant Richard Farina, who, shockingly, married Joan's teenaged sister Mimi just to "get close to" Joan. For career reasons only.

I couldn't see
What you could show me
Your scarf had kept your mouth well hid
I couldn't see
How you could know me
But you said you knew me and I believed you did

More enigmatic statements, but "your scarf it kept your mouth well hid" may be a shockingly direct detail (in the way Dylan can throw in shockingly direct details, even in the middle of the most surrealistic song). In Dont Look Back, Joan attempts to attract some attention by covering her mouth with a gauzy scarf and doing a sort of seductive harem dance in the hotel room. For no apparent reason, Neuwirth casually, mockingly rips into her. She dances around like Mata Hari, trying  desperately to look as if she's just goofing around and having a good time, as Dylan coldly ignores her and Neuwirth gores her in her most vulnerable places. "Look, there's Fang Baez, wearing one of those see-through blouses that you don't even wanna!" Ignoring all this, Dylan is as self-absorbed as always.  "But you said you knew me and I believed you did" seems to hint that HE felt (bizarrely) betrayed by HER. Today we'd call that "gaslighting".

When you whispered in my ear
And asked me if I was leavin' with you or her
I didn't realize just what I did hear
I didn't realize how young you were

Oh, now THIS one! This is very direct. At the time of the London tour, Dylan  was secretly married to Sara Lownds, a figure who is  to this day mysterious because she has never spoken to the media about Dylan or anyone/anything else. Baez knew nothing of her or of his secret marriage, but was to find out in a shocking, hurtful way. She came to his hotel room after hearing a rumor that he was sick, bringing him a shirt she had picked out for him. Sara answered the door, took the shirt, thanked her nicely, and closed the door again. "You or her" is sung with such vitriol that it can only be for real. "I didn't realize just what I did hear/I didn't realize how young you were" is a bit mysterious, since Baez is half a year older. And why is he playing so innocent with that "I didn't realize" business? "How young you were" is a bit of a puzzle, but it's known that Dylan was attracted to the 17-year-old Mimi Baez (then still in high school) before he took up with Joan.



I couldn't see
When it started snowin'
Your voice was all that I heard
I couldn't see
Where we were goin'
But you said you knew an' I took your word

Am I reaching here? Not by much. In the lyrics of Baez' melancholy anthem to Dylan, Diamonds and Rust, there appear these lines: 

Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

Yes, SNOW. But the snow falling all around them and lighting on his famous nimbus of hair was blinding his view. Can't see in front of me, Joanie, it's SNOWING outside. And "your voice was all that I heard" - well, that's a bit obvious. What else does he care about 'cept what she (meaning her voice) can do for his career? "Couldn't see where we were goin'" might be literal (Dylan is blind as a bat without his glasses, and too vain to wear them in public), but it can also mean where the relationship was going. It was inseparable from the complicated dynamics of their briefly-intertwining careers. It seems to me he  (at least initially) liked and admired her, but SHE was madly, passionately in love with him. "But you said you knew an' I took your word" seems to suggest  Baez wanted to retain sort of share in Dylan for "discovering" him, and the direction she was taking him in (a sort of creative partnership) wasn't what he wanted at all. He was too proud to receive help from anyone, and by that time he was already more famous than Baez would ever be. So, once again, the line has a flavour of accusation, as if he trusted HER and she somehow betrayed him.


And then you told me later, as I apologized
That you were just kiddin' me, you weren't really from the farm
An' I told you, as you clawed out my eyes that I
Never really meant to do you any harm

This may just be a Dylanesque detail thrown in for drama. Hmmmm, did he really apologize to her, how sincerely, and exactly for what? For shooting down her floating hopes with a poisoned arrow? "Clawed out my eyes" and "never meant to do you  any harm" both seem like fiction to me. But years later, in answer to a sappy song Dylan recorded called Oh, Sister (which most felt was a sort of backhanded, even chastising love song for Baez - he  wasn't quite through with her yet), Baez wrote a song right back at him, called Oh, Brother! In it she clearly refers to the nasty triangle of Dylan, Baez and Sara Lowndes. But all this came much later. Could Dylan see (even with his blind eyes)  "where we were going", after all?

The line about "from the farm" makes no sense to me at all, unless it's a reference to Maggie's Farm. Upon which Dylan ain't going to work no more. Oh, or it could be this - on the same album, there's a line in Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands (known to be a paean to Sara): "They wish you'd accepted the blame for the farm." I can't make this one out either, except her "streetcar visions" may be a reference to A Streetcar Named Desire and Blanche Dubois losing the family plantation, Belle Rive. OK, I know, it's far-fetched, but so is Dylan, sometimes.

But, sooner or later, one of us must know
That you just did what you're supposed to do
Sooner or later, one of us must know
That I really did try to get close to you

Sooner or later, and he  doesn't seem to care too much if it IS sooner or later, "one of  us" must know (and in Diamonds and Rust, Baez talks about Dylan's talent for "keeping things vague") that she served her purpose - what she was "supposed to do", which is to make him famous. But did he really try to get close to her, and what exactly does that mean? In the Richard Farina sense? Though Dylan's famous, probably fictional "motorcycle accident" in 1966 gave him  the massive time-out he needed to survive, ironically, Farina died at the same time in an actual motorcycle accident. Richard Farina, who was married to Joan Baez's 17-year-old sister. Oh, what a tangled web, and how skillfully and ruthlessly Dylan weaves fiction and fact together! But this is one nasty song, and I can't  see how to read it any other way.

In subsequent years - MUCH later - Dylan praised Baez to the  skies, even rhapsodizing about her in a bizarre 30-minute award acceptance speech in the early 2000s. Too little, too late? Though  Baez generously and publicly congratulated Dylan for his 2020 masterpiece, Rough and Rowdy Ways, she has also said she has no desire to meet up with him again. Sooner or later, one of them (meaning HIM) must know just what he did to her, and how wounds that deep and devastating can never heal.

 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

HOW I love you, HOW I love you - my dear George Gershwin!


This is without a doubt the most hell-for-leather, no-holds-barred, almost pornographic version of Gershwin's Swanee you will ever hear, a real rip-snorter played at a New Years party by the master Gershwin interpreter, Jack Gibbons. This is proto-Gershwin, restored like an Old Masters painting to its original brilliance, with all the sudsy layers of arrangements stripped away. He makes meticulous transcriptions of original Gershwin piano scores, and I suspect uses the many piano rolls GG made himself (the conventional recordings are mostly poor quality, and shockingly scarce). Piano rolls are kind of like listening to a ghost, which I guess we are in a way, since I've written before that George's ghost still roams freely. We get some information from them, keystrokes, tempo, etc. - but there just isn't a sense that anyone is there. Gibbons has rushed in to fill the void. It's like he's possessed by the spirit when he plays, and who knows? George is like that. 

What's so freaking brilliant about Swanee (a juvenile piece that became an unexpected hit when Al Jolson brought it to the stage - oh God, Mammy, all that stuff. . . but still, he made George famous, so we'll forgive it. I guess) is that at the very end, with only a few bars left, he works in quotes from TWO Stephen Foster songs: the original Swanee (Old Folks at Home), and - incredibly - Listen to the Mockingbird. This is woven in so deftly that you almost don't notice it - the notes sparkle like evanescence on water. But you feel the delight. It's what GG did best - convey delight, fun, rapture - even though he didn't really have much of it to spare in his short, mostly lonely life.

I'm convinced that it's those genius little quirky quotes that made George a star. At least, it gave him his first big break. But hell, he'd have got there anyway, don't you think? 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

🥚😲HORRENDOUS EGG JELL-O ANIMATION!🙄🥚


I suppose I should apologize for this, but my bizarre non-animations are actually getting some views on YouTube. I try not to be a view junkie, but I am only human. I made most of  these as gifs a LONG time ago, either for Facebook or this blog (I don't remember). I have since pretty much dumped Facebook as shallow and irrelevant, and most of my posts were either ignored or only praised if they were totally stupid. So here is something totally stupid, and I don't care if anyone sees it or not (because it's already on YouTube!).

Thursday, September 16, 2021

🚗🚙🚔VINTAGE BEAUTIES! PORT COQUITLAM CAR SHOW 2021🚔🚙🚗


One of the highlights of our year has been the annual Port Coquitlam car show, which  (to our  chagrin) was cancelled for the second year in a row. . . EXCEPT that it went on! The neighborhood drive-by is always the highlight, and this year I got some great shots. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

For Mercy has a human heart, pity, a human face

 


The Divine Image


William Blake - 1757-1827



To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.
 
For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is God, our father dear:
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is Man, his child and care.
 
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
 
Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
 
And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew.
Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

What NOT to say to a depressed person (encore!)


What Not to Say to a Depressed Person

“It’s all in your mind.”
“You just need to give yourself a good swift kick in the rear.”
“No one ever said life was fair.”
“I think you enjoy wallowing in it."
"Depression is a choice, you know."
“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
"There are a lot of people worse off than you.”
“But it’s a beautiful day!”
“You have so many things to be thankful for!”
“You just want attention.”
“Happiness is a choice, you know.”
"Just read this book. It'll fix you right up."
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“There is always somebody worse off than you are.”
“You should get off all those pills.”
“You are what you think you are.”
“Cheer up!”
“Have you been praying/reading your Bible?”
"People who meditate don't get depressed."
“You need to get out more.”
"Don't you have a sense of humour?"
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
“Get a job!”
“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.”
"Just read this book. It'll fix you right up."
“But you don’t look depressed. You seem fine to me.”
“You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.”
“Snap out of it, will you? You have no reason to feel this way.”
“I wish I had the luxury of being depressed.”
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
"Just read this book. It'll fix you right up."
"Do you want your family to suffer along with you?"
“Can't you at least make an effort?"
“Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.”
“Turn it over to your Higher Power.”
“I think your depression is a way of punishing us.”
“So, you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?”
“You’re always so negative! Look on the bright side.”
“What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective.”
"You're a writer, aren't you? Just think of all the good material you're
getting out of this."
“Have you tried camomile tea?”
"I TOLD you to read that book."
"Go out and help someone who is worse off than you and you won't
have time to brood."
“You have to take up your bed and carry on.”
“Well, we all have our crosses to bear.”
"God never gives us more than we can handle."
"I was depressed until I tried yoga."
“You don’t like feeling that way? Change it!"
“SMILE!”


Friday, September 10, 2021

Most Godawful Cookbook of All Time?

 



I apologize in advance for the quality of the mages in this post - but this was the only form I could find these horrendous recipes in (lifted from a Facebook page which features Godawful cookbooks from the past 100 years or so).

This is the kind of thing women were told to do in the 1950s, and - as we too often forget - well into the '60s. To "keep your man" (i. e. not allow him to stray sexually), you had to satisfy "that other appetite" - an idea as old as Betty Crocker herself. Just the assumption that you "caught" him in the first place is insulting - implying trickery, false pregnancies, and all sorts of promises that are never kept. Treachery.

This freaking thing came out only FIVE YEARS BEFORE I GOT MARRIED. I have nothing to add to that.










Wednesday, September 1, 2021

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK! A Major Victory for Piers Morgan

 


(I may be stretching copyright a bit here, but I wanted to copy and paste this piece from the Mail because it delighted me so! Chalk one up for Piers.)

PIERS MORGAN: Ofcom's vindication of me is a resounding victory for freedom of speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios who think we should all be compelled to believe every fork-tongued word they say – now, do I get my GMB job back?

By Piers Morgan for MailOnline

'Everyone is in favour of free speech,' said Winston Churchill, 'but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.'

He could have been talking about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, two people who think they have both the right to drop endless incendiary unsubstantiated bombshells about their family AND the right to censor and silence anyone who dares to disbelieve or challenge them.

Back in March, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent two hours spray-gunning the Royals to Oprah Winfrey in an explosive interview on prime-time US television.

They claimed a member of the Royal Family had been racist about their son Archie, and that their little boy had been banned from being a Prince because of his skin colour.

Hours later on GMB, Piers said he didn't believe a word Meghan Markle said triggering furious protest from her fans of the couple. Today OFCOM announced that they had rejected all the complaints against Piers 

Meghan also claimed that she told several senior Palace officials she was feeling suicidal, but they told her she couldn't have any treatment because it would be bad for the royal brand.

Oh, and she stated as fact that she and Harry secretly got married three days before their official wedding, in a private ceremony conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

On ITV's Good Morning Britain a few hours later, I said I didn't believe a word Meghan Markle said.


This triggered a furious protest from fans of the couple who accused me of being a racist callous misogynist who was belittling Meghan's 'lived experience' of mental health and racism.

But it was simpler than that: I just didn't believe her.

Not least because it was immediately established that some of her more outlandish claims, like the secret wedding and Archie's princely ban, were provable nonsense.

As the furore grew, a record number of 57,000 people, including Meghan Markle herself, complained about me to the UK TV government regulator OFCOM.

ITV's Chief Executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, responded by saying that she believed Meghan's mental health claims, and I was then told by my employers to either apologise for what I had said or leave the show with immediate effect.

I decided to leave.


As I explained in an article for the Mail on Sunday several weeks later: 'I wasn't going to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle, because the truth is that I don't believe Meghan Markle. And in a free democratic society, I should be allowed not to believe someone, and to say that I don't believe them. That, surely, is the very essence of freedom of speech? If I said I now believed Meghan, I would be lying to the audience, the very thing I've accused her of doing.'

Today, in a stunning verdict, OFCOM announced that they agreed with this argument, and rejected every single complaint against me.

Their report is lengthy and detailed, but in the end, it came down to an unequivocal and emphatic endorsement of my right to an opinion.

'OFCOM is clear that, consistent with freedom of expression, Mr Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account,' they declared, adding that their Broadcasting Code 'allows for individuals to express strongly held and robustly argued views, including those that are potentially harmful or highly offensive, and for broadcasters to include these in their programming.'

It concluded: 'The restriction of such views would, in our view, be an unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression both of the broadcaster and the audience.'


Chilling… wow.

Ironically, I would imagine that word will prompt a very chilly reaction from the self-satisfied Sussexes as they slurp kale smoothies in their California mansion over breakfast this morning.

Make no mistake, this is a watershed moment in the battle for free speech.

If OFCOM had found against me, that would have signalled the end of every UK TV journalist's right to express any honestly held opinion on air lest it upset the likes of Meghan Markle.

The whole point of journalism is surely to question and challenge statements from public figures, particularly when no actual evidence is produced to support them?

Five months on from my sudden departure from GMB, at least 17 of Meghan and Harry's claims in the Oprah interview have now been shown to be false or disingenuous.

 The whole point of journalism is surely to question and challenge statements from public figures, particularly when no actual evidence is produced to support them? writes Piers 

The poor old Archbishop of Canterbury was even forced to publicly deny he'd conducted a secret marriage ceremony because that would have been a criminal offence and he might have been sent to prison for it.

More pertinently, none of the couple's most sensational and damaging statements about racism and mental health have yet been supported by a shred of evidence amid furious denials from the Royal Family.



So, my observation that I didn't believe Meghan Markle is looking stronger by the day. And for the record, I still don't believe her.

But that's not really the point.

This is not about me, or Meghan Markle.

It's about free speech and the right to have an opinion.

We now live in a woke-ravaged era where it's become a punishable offence to say what you really think about almost anything for fear that someone, somewhere, will be offended.

This insidious 'cancel culture' as it's been termed represents the most serious threat to democracy in my lifetime.

People all over the world are being shamed, vilified, and even fired from their jobs for expressing an opinion that the woke brigade don't like.


Every day, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook explode with self-righteous judgements handed down by the court of woke public opinion, and the consequence is that debate is being destroyed at the altar of political correctness in a way that would have Churchill turning in his grave.

This was a man who fought off the freedom-muzzling Nazis, for God's sake!

Yet now people calling themselves 'liberal' are behaving like the worst kind of fascists.

That's why this OFCOM ruling matters so much.

It was preposterous that I had to leave a job I loved because I didn't believe a demonstrable liar.

But it happened because the corporate world has been cowed into surrendering to the woke mob whenever it bays for blood.

I was reliably informed recently that Meghan Markle wrote directly to my ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall the night before I was forced out, demanding my head on a plate.

Apparently, she stressed that she was writing to Dame Carolyn personally because they were both women and mothers – a nauseating playing of the gender and maternity card if ever there was one.

What has the world come to when a whiny fork-tongued actress can dictate who presents a morning television news programme?

So yes, I'm obviously delighted that OFCOM has supported my right to disbelieve the Sussexes' lurid claims against the Royal Family, many of which have failed to stand up to even a scintilla of basic scrutiny of the kind that a woefully enabling Oprah should have conducted.

This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.

As OFCOM determined, to have restricted my right to disbelieve her and Harry would have been 'chilling.'

And when Meghan and Harry, whose unofficially authorised biography is titled 'Finding Freedom', lick their failed censorship wounds today, I suggest they heed the words of George Orwell: 'If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.'

Just one question remains: does this mean I get my job back?