Oh, wouldn't America's scores of war dead be just tickled to know, were they able to know or experience anything at all, that in honor of Memorial Day today, Value Village thrift stores are having a 50% off sale!
Wouldn't those cut down in the prime of their lives in the most gruesome and terrifying situations be proud to know that you could be part of the "savings generation" now? For all the heart-felt and sincere expressions we offer in gratitude to those who died in military service today, for all the flowers and wreaths we bring to gravesites, for all the teary moments we spend in somber reflection about the cost of war, ultimately, we are hypocrites and failures. Our war dead can't hear us, after all; there's nothing whatsoever Memorial Day does for them, despite our good intentions. We can thank our veterans and active military for their service, but a once-a-year thanks doesn't really mean much when the 364 other days we ignore them upon their return, and the burdens they and their families are left with.
Imagine any other situation today where it would be acceptable to say to a large group of our young people, "Hey, we are going to ship you off for a few years to an incredibly-dangerous place where there's no doubt some of you will die or be gravely injured. About one-third of you will return with a mental-health disorder such as depression or PTSD, which may be very difficult to treat and leaves you at greater risk for developing dementia. Even more of you will come back as chronic alcoholics or substance abusers, affecting every area of your personal and professional lives. Every day, 1000 of you will attempt suicide, and 18 will succeed. Your government-promised health services are so messed up that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Veterans Administration to fix its 'unchecked incompetence.' And, by the way, all of your sacrifices are for corporate oil wars which we have zero chance of "winning," and will only serve to further inflame the terrorists you are supposed to intimidate into inaction. Have a nice day, kids!"
Imagine a country that valued its citizens more than to do this to them. Speak up and speak out -- call or write your government representatives and let them know that if we continue to send people into war that at the very, very least those who return should receive the finest care our country can offer. Period. How about spending your Memorial Day Tuesday doing that instead of buying flowers or filling up your cart at Value Village?
"Come Up From The Fields, Father" -- Walt Whitman (1900)
Come up from the fields, father, here's a letter from our Pete,
And come to the front door, mother, here's
a letter from thy dear son.
Lo, 'tis autumn,
Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,
Cool and sweeten Ohio's villages with leaves
fluttering in the moderate wind,
Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and
grapes on the trellis'd vines,
(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?
Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)
Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent
after the rain, and with wondrous clouds,
Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful,
and the farm prospers well.
Down in the fields all prospers well,
But now from the fields come, father, come
at the daughter's call,
And come to the entry, mother, to the front door come right away.
Fast as she can she hurries, something ominous,
her steps trembling,
She does not tarry to smooth her hair nor
adjust her cap. Open the envelope quickly,
0 this is not our son's writing, yet his name
0 a strange hand writes for our dear son,
0 stricken mother's soul!
All swims before her eyes, flashes with black,
she catches the main words only,
Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish, taken to hospital, At present low, but will soon be better. Ah, now the single figure to me,
Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio with all
its cities and farms,
Sickly white in the face and dull in the head,
By the jamb of a door leans. Grieve not so, dear mother (the just-grown
daughter speaks through her sobs,
The little sisters huddle around speechless and
dismay'd), See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will soon be better. Alas, poor boy, he will never be better (nor maybe
needs to be better, that brave and simple soul),
While they stand at home at the door he is
The only son is dead. But the mother needs to be better,
She with thin form presently drest in black,
By day her meals untouch'd, then at night
fitfully sleeping, often waking,
In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with
one deep longing,
0 that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent
from life escape and withdraw,
To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead
It took me less than a quickly-walked block after I left Seattle’s Egyptian Theater this afternoon to note the irony present in director Andrew Rossi’s documentary film, “Page One: Inside The New York Times.” For a movie about journalists and journalism, it oddly fails to tell a story. It does not particularly enlighten nor inform. It seems scattered and asks questions that are not once ever really answered or even explored in much detail. That was the last thing I expected when I walked into the sold-out showing, part of the Seattle International Film Festival, after standing in a line that stretched around the block with other people like me that were enthused to spend part of their holiday weekendwatchinga movie about a newspaper.
Are my criticisms fair? I think so, even though there are many positive, even glowing reviews for the film. What I thought I would see comes straight from the film’s title: an insider’s look at the running of the world’s most famous and most respected newspaper. I expected to see what it was really like to work there, how stories were developed, written, checked, and published under constant pressure and deadlines – or why stories were not published. I wanted to know more about the structure of the New York Times – who are the people running the show, what are the politics (personal and otherwise) behind the decisions the paper makes, what the paper’s long-term plan is to attempt to remain solvent in a world becoming less and less reliant upon traditional news outlets. We do get these topics, but in a most unsatisfying way. The unprecedented access to the high-level Page One meetings, where the head honcho editors, managers, and publishers of the paper decide what goes front page and what doesn’t? OK, we get that, but it’s only the tiniest glimpse where little is actively pitched or discussed. It’s incredibly polite and would bore a fly right off the wall. I want to know WHY and HOW stories are given priority considering the impact they have upon the world. What makes the NewYork Times the NEW YORK TIMES?
The film focuses mainly on those who work in the paper’s Media division, but these men are sort of just plopped in our laps with little explanation of who they are or how they made it to the big-Times. We see them make some phone calls, tap loudly on their laptops, wander over to other offices, and drink beer together when one of them leaves to cover Iraq. But we don’t really care about handsome Tim Arango going to Iraq because all we really see him do is type fast, walk his little dog in a park, and take off his jacket once. The film has a natural star in cranky/hilarious/brilliant reporter David Carr and recognizes that – he provides sparks in an otherwise pretty dull setting. Blogger-turned-Times-reporter Brian Stelter (in genial attendance at the SIFF showing) made a great counter to the crusty Carr as a new-generation Twitter-happy journo; the differences and similarities between the men should have been explored more. How much richer this film would have been to show us more about the people who have the awesome responsibility to bring pieces of the world to us.
Don’t look for a lot of women in the film. The most time spent on any female in the film is in the story of Judith Miller, the Times journalist who disgraced herself and the paper over the Iraqi WMD falsehoods. We also get to see a few older, overweight, crying females in less-important divisions let go over newspaper budget cuts.
“Page One…” spends a fair amount of time telling us things we all already know. Yes, we know newspapers all over the country have closed. Yes, we know circulation and ad revenue is way down for all papers. We know that the internet has created a new world of information, fast and free, if not always accurate nor unbiased. We know that traditional media has had to branch out online, even heading to Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with people.We know that most folks would rather read a puff piece on a Kardashian than a Pulitzer-Prize-winning piece of investigative journalism. We know WikiLeaks is controversial and game-changing. We know!That’s all old news by the time it reaches us in a film. Please please please…if you are making a film, tell me things I don’t know and things I can't know in any other way. Make the 88 minutes I sit in a cramped, hot theater and the eleven dollars out of my pocket worth it.
In the end, it felt like Rossi turned the cameras on and expected something compelling just to come from that. Too many topics were touched on that led the audience nowhere, too many opportunities to dig deeper avoided. It’s frustrating, because we don’t know where the Times will land in two, five, or ten years – what we see in the film could be gone forever by then, if current trends continue. When making a film about an institution known for depth and excellence, we expect a similar level of competence within the cinematic vehicle which is supposed to bring us to another place by the end of the movie. “Page One: Inside The New York Times” idles in place, demurely sitting at the curb, while the all the interesting stories that could have been told remain stalled in the garage.
As much as I enjoyed the blockbuster film "The Hangover," it was dead clear to me when I viewed the preview trailer a few months ago that "The Hangover II" was going to be a spectacularly cynical Hollywood sequel hack job, and apparently it is indeed. Most reviews coming in are as unflattering as Nick Schager's here for Slant. I will never understand, especially when you have MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars to spend, why Hollywood time after time must default to the shittiest, cheapest options. They think so little of us, and we repay their disdain by continuing to buy tickets to bad movies.
So, why not just jump on the garbage truck to fame and fortune? I will now show you how to do it. First, spend one minute reading over the plot synopses of "The Hangover" and "The Hangover II."
rAjOo (email@example.com) at imdb.com: Just two days before his marriage with Tracy Garner, Doug Billings, in the company of two friends: Phil Wenneck and Stu Price; and Tracy's eccentric brother, Alan, head out to party in Vegas. Driving his father's Mercedez, they rent a pricey villa at Caesar's and head for the rooftop to have a good time. Three of them later wake up with a hangover, unable to re-collect what exactly happened. With the villa in a wreck, they find that they have a baby in the closet; a grown tiger in the bathroom; Stu has a missing tooth and a hooker for a bride; and Doug is missing. Hilarious chaos results as the trio head out to re-trace their steps as well as try to locate Doug and bring him home in one piece before the wedding.
"The Hangover II"
Warner Bros. Official Synopsis:Comedy. In the follow-up to the record-breaking hit comedy “The Hangover,” Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.
Priyanka Kapoor for ApunKaChoice: ...In this part, Stu the dentist, played by Ed Helms, is getting married to a woman from Thailand. Of course his gang -- the street smart guy Phil (played by the sexy Bradley Cooper) and the Man-kid Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis) -- follow him to Thailand. Stu does not want a bachelor party, but one beer on the beach turns their night into a nightmare. The next morning they wake up only to find that they can't recollect anything that happened the previous night. Stu has a tattoo on his face, his brother-in-law goes missing, Alan turns bald and they have a monkey (who smokes cigarettes) in their room! Unquestionably, now they try and solve the puzzle by joining all the pieces they have!
Now you have seen everything you need to write up your pitch for "The Hangover III." Here's my example, leaving a few options in so the producers can justify their lives.
"The Hangover III" (proposed plot)
MarianneSp for Popthomology: The four buddies (Regular Guy, Hot Guy, Straight Man, Funny Man) travel to exotic (Siberia, the Vatican, the Moon) for (Funny Man’s wedding to Regular Girl). After the unforgettable bachelor party in (Las Vegas, Thailand), (Funny Man) decides to hold his (pre-wedding male event) at (a yurt, the Pope’s swimming pool, sunny side of the moon). However, things don’t go as planned. The four buddies ingest (a mind-altering substance, spoiled food, rubbing alcohol) and then (trash everything, have sex with everything, procure animals), not remembering the details afterward. (Straight Man) (is missing a limb, has unknowingly received DD breast implants, has a comical family of gerbils up his rear). (Marginal Innocent Cast Member) is missing, and the four buddies scour their location to find him or her. (Animal, Infant, Dwarf) joins the buddies in their quest and comically (poops, pees, vomits) at inopportune moments. (Regular Girl) is kept in the dark about everything in the entire movie and appears (once, twice, three). (Hot Guy) is shirtless at least 20% of the time. The four buddies make jokes about (angry fiancées, penises, Straight Man). (The Mafia, a gay Asian gangster, Neil Armstrong) threatens the four buddies over a misunderstanding. Pressure mounts, and the four buddies (sweat, get beat up, swear). Finally, the missing (Marginal Innocent Cast Member) is located, the (Animal, Infant, Dwarf) is returned to a proper location, the four buddies rush to (Funny Guy and Regular Girl’s) wedding, and (fake penises, fake DD breast implants, fake gerbils) are shown over the ending credits. The four buddies take home massive paychecks, which go a long way to soothe lingering lame-film embarrassment.
See? Easy as pie! Rent your tux or gown for the Golden Globes now!
When people ask me, (and they do, constantly, interrupting my shopping and sleep and coffee-sipping with their inquisitive inquiring) "Hey, Marianne, what's your favorite movie of ALL TIME?" I am able to answer with quick, precision accuracy: "Hey, Inquisitor, it's 1967's 'The Graduate,' starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross, with the screenplay co-written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham from the 1963 novel by Charles Webb, and directed by Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for it. DUH!" Then people respond with something like, "Huh," or "Oh," or "Yeah, that's a really good movie."
HELL YES, it's a good movie! It's a great movie, one of the greatest ever, and that's not even including my tiny opinion. Even The Library of Congress has chosen "The Graduate" for historic preservation for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Lots of people more schooled in the art of film criticism can tell you in many thousands of words and down to the tiniest detail just why this film is so excellent, and have done so already (the film is oft-chosen in schools across the country for analysis). For me, the most wonderful thing about the movie is its breadth and balance; a remarkable symmetry that succeeds like no other film I can think of. It somehow manages to be hilarious and deeply sad, pointed and sympathetic, romantic and jaded, of its time and of all time, all at once. There are good guys and bad guys, but each one of them receives nuance that makes them richer, more interesting, more real. The film is immensely entertaining, beautifully shot, masterfully acted, and has kept me thinking about it and its meanings since I first saw it when I was a kid. (Should I have seen it when I was a kid? Well, not really. But THANKS ANYWAY, LAX PARENTING!)
Anyway, the whole point of this and telling film-fans something they know ANYWAY is to make sure that you get a chance to see this cute little short by the wonderful AV Club for their "Pop Pilgrims" series. The climactic scene in "The Graduate" takes place at the United Methodist Church in La Verne, California, and as we can see here, it still stands, looking almost exactly as it did in 1967. It's very cool to get a little glimpse of it now, and hear a little history from the church's present-day pastor (and a very hairy old-time congregation member).
I would love to be able to personally visit the church someday, even though I am not at all god-following. It's a beautiful place, and I promise if I were there that I wouldn't all of a sudden yell out, "BEN!!!!!!!!!!"
Today's fun little project was some more archival footage plundering set to the Black Lips' "Modern Art," the first single pull from their "Arabia Mountain" album, which is due to be released on Vice Records June 7, 2011. (You can watch the official video for the song here and you can listen to a stream of the album and/or order it here.) I love this song, and I love these old insane 1920's amusement park rides, especially those damn horses. Please to enjoy!
On a whim, I said yes. Now, granted, sometimes this sort of agreeing with things can get you into trouble, but this time I think it went OK. Last night as I was drifting my eyes rather lazily through my Twitter-info-stream, I saw that the3six5 were looking for a writer to contribute a piece immediately. The project is a very interesting one: every day, a different author writes a 365-word essay about something going on in their particular universe and also provides a related photograph. I had thought previously about applying to write an entry for them, but it drifted off my radar, as so many interesting things do, sadly. So, when I saw the call I thought, yeah, 365 words right away about something I did today?... NO PROB, I'M IN. I'm all about the little moments kind of thing. I was kindly accepted and published and you can see it here in their May 2011 archives along with my other fellow May-ers. Even more kindly, they allow me to re-publish the piece here, so I shall, because I can. You can keep up with the project on Twitter @the3six5 and if you are interested in writing an entry yourself, there seems to be a few openings left for the year. Be whimmy -- apply!
One good thing I can say about our incessant rains here in Seattle is that they indeed bring bright blooms of pink and red and purple and yellow flowers in the spring, the colors a welcome relief after months of somber grayness. I can see them through my front window now, as close as I will get to nature today as this Sunday has been designated for Spring Cleaning. I’ve spent the day reorganizing our family video library, a task I return to every few years as my children grow and technology beckons me to replace tapes with DVDs, then with better DVDs. The collection takes up all of a huge black media hutch; I am determined to weed, whittle down, de-clutter.
The bottom two shelves in the hutch hold all the kids’ movies, many passed down on wobbly VHS from my 19-year-old son to my 13-year-old son, to, finally, my 8-year-old daughter. I stare at the titles on the spines of the tapes. Today’s the day, Barney and The Wiggles and Maisy and Care Bears. My last child is too old for you all now; off to Goodwill you shall go. I hesitate slightly as I put some of the tapes in a white garbage bag ready to take to the donation truck. Would they ever want to see these later on when they are adults? Would they care? I glance over at the bootleg DVDs of the ‘60s-era Beatles cartoons I hungrily obtained a few years ago. I can’t, I think, I can’t keep everything, as much as it is my nature to do so. I stop thinking about it and keep putting them in the bag.
I am annoyed to find a large stack of unmarked, dusty VHS tapes in a drawer near the hutch. Oh, great, now I’ll have to look at every one of these before I can toss them. More work. I pop the first one in the dual VHS/DVD player over the flatscreen, and I see the face of my 13-year-old, at a birthday party at age two. I watch silently, both smiling and sad.
I remove one Maisy tape out of the garbage bag, and set it aside.
WHAT??? I haven’t done a single Police Blotter Round-Up YET in 2011? Well, that’s not right at all, so please to enjoy these strange people and their strange crimes from around the U.S. of A.!
OH, YOU KIDS
Property damage:An officer who was driving southbound on Summit Avenue near Robruck Drive just before 4 a.m. on April 24 saw what appeared to be a yard on fire in the area of Dorchester Drive near Bub Heritage Park. The officer drove over to the front of 1182 Dorchester Drive and saw something on the road was burning, but was nearly extinguished. Upon checking the burned part of the road, the officer noted that the word PROM was spelled out in large letters. It is believed that the subject spelled out prom with gasoline-covered toilet paper that was held down by small rocks. Police were unable to locate anyone in the area. The matter has been forwarded to the detective bureau for investigation.
Theft: A kid on a bicycle who habitually swipes cookies from a coffee stand on Highway 2 E. struck again.
Disorderly: A pack of feral teenage boys were excessively rude to the mother of one of their friends.
Disorderly: A 14-year-old in a purple halter top yelled and cussed at her mom.
Theft: A 17-year-old City of Oconomowoc boy was cited Feb. 15 for attempting to steal a $57 bottle of cologne from Kohl's, 3105 Golf Road. The boy told police that he took it because his 13-year-old brother was being bullied and the older boy said he learned that if his brother gave the bully a bottle of fragrance, the bully would leave his brother alone, the report said.
Mischief: A baby called 911, pushed some buttons then hung up.
Disorderly: An intoxicated young lady threatened family members with toe-nail clippers, yelled and reportedly ran into traffic. She was taken to juvenile detention.
Harassment: A young man felt he was deceived by a member of the Insane Clown Posse and fellow Flathead High School student who “friended” him on Facebook. The boy feels that this other kid is not who he says he is.
Child welfare: A lone toddler was seen riding his tricycle through an intersection on 10th Ave W.
Suspicious: An Evergreen resident reported that a weepy girl on a horse just knocked on their door asking to use the phone.
PEOPLE DRINK TOO MUCH
Drunken driving: A 50-year-old Oconomowoc man has been charged with his fifth drunken driving offense. Ronald R. Wezyk, 526 Silver Lake St., is facing felony charges and was taken to Waukesha County Jail after being arrested by police at 5 p.m. on March 12. According to the police report, a woman observed a man ahead of her in line at the Pick 'n Save off Highway 16 who appeared to be intoxicated and the clerk confirmed he seemed drunk. The shopper observed the man in the lot drive off and called police and provided a license plate number and description of the vehicle. A City of Oconomowoc officer overheard the Village of Oconomowoc Lake police dispatched for a possible drunken driving complaint and shortly after saw a truck matching that description. The officer saw the truck traveling westbound on Forest Street and Stadium Drive and heard the truck at a stop sign excessively accelerating, causing the engine to race and tires to spin and causing smoke to emit from the spinning tires. The truck was loud and left 62 feet of skid marks on the roadway as a result of a power stand. It then took off at a high rate of speed in a 25 mph residential zone according to the report. Police pulled the vehicle over and said the driver had slurred speech, glossy eyes and when asked how much he had to drink responded, "too much." Wezyk failed the field sobriety tests and registered a .316 on the preliminary breath test. He was taken to Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital for a blood draw. While walking into the hospital, the man asked the officer if they were in Mukwonago because he needed to go to a bachelor party.
Harassment: A Hungry Horse woman reported that her drunken ex-husband violated their parenting plan when he called the night prior and asked what kind of panties she was wearing.
Public urination: Reportedly, an intoxicated man driving a large white vehicle with the license plates “wutever” urinated in a grocery store parking lot.
Drunken driving: A scruffy-haired, toothless drunk was spotted driving his Buick through town.
Disorderly: A 22-year-old City of Waukesha woman was arrested Feb. 18 after a dispute with a 25-year-old City of Delafield man over money involved in an alleged drug deal. According to police, the woman initially called police at about 8:50 a.m. to report a strong-armed robbery. When police arrived, they learned the woman and man had allegedly had a physical altercation. The woman allegedly tried to scratch the man's eyes out and scratched him. The man did have scratches to his face, police said. The woman was physically removed by others in the residence in the 100 block of Stocks Drive, and the woman spread dog feces on the door, police said.
Reckless: Someone in a silver Lexus on Highway 93 reportedly drove really fast, honked the horn then showed someone their middle finger.
Vandalism: Someone on Mission Trail complained that “I suck” had been scratched into their vehicle.
Assault: Someone heard from someone else that a Kalispell man hit a woman on the head with a vacuum.
Disorderly: A woman driving on Highway 93 in Kalispell explained that a big man in a little car yelled four-letter words at her then cut her off.
Disorderly conduct: Police cited Michael Hebert, 30, of Waukesha for disorderly conduct after he damaged a car in the parking lot of Knucklehead Pub. The owner of the car told police he had been involved in a brief confrontation with Hebert at the pub. When he left, he found a key had been broken off in the driver's door and a tire on his vehicle had been flattened. The damage was reported at 8:18 p.m. Jan. 27. Police contacted Hebert, who initially denied being in Eagle, but then later recanted and admitted to breaking the key and flattening the tire.
TEENS IN NEED OF SUPPORT
Theft: Two 17-year-old girls, one from Colgate and the other from Hubertus, were cited for retail theft from Kohl's, 3105 Golf Road, on March 27. The Colgate girl attempted to steal two bras and a shirt, with a total value of $103, and the Hubertus girl attempted to steal two bras, with a total value of $67
Disorderly: Juan Garcia, Dousman, called police to report that he had been punched in the face by Juan Pablo Lopez-Jacinto outside a residence at 124 Henry St. Both men were cited for disorderly conduct.
Theft: Two men, dressed like females, stole four to five digital cameras from Best Buy, 3207 Golf Road, on Dec. 17. The men were able to flee the store. Each camera is valued at $50.
Breaking & Entering: A resident on Seventh Avenue East said someone broke into her house and possibly enjoyed a meal in her basement.
Suspicious: Someone claimed to have seen a fireman and a Great Dane standing together on the side of Highway 2 West.
Animal Control: A chubby dog was seen roaming around Third Avenue West in Kalispell.
Mischief: A man on Fourth Avenue West complained that someone put two tires and a log on his car.
Suspicious: Reportedly, there was a man wearing all black standing in the middle of the Highway in Columbia Falls.
Suspicious: According to an Evergreen gas station employee, a girl tied a horse up to a gas pump then took a nap in the bathroom.
Disorderly: People on Main Street were mooned by a man in a white truck.
Suspicious: Someone on Columbia Falls Stage reported a suspicious situation involving a child running from a man in a van claiming to be her father. The man actually turned out to be her father.
Suspicious: A Kalispell man said “Obama” suggested he call in anything suspicious. He saw a strange vehicle by his mailbox.
Animal control: A Kalispell resident reportedly knows of a rabbit and ferret hoarder.
Reckless: Deputies were alerted that someone on Kelly Road was reading a book while driving.
Suspicious: Apparently, but not surprisingly, there was a creepy short man with missing teeth at a bar in south Kalispell.
Domestic: A woman on Dun Movin Lane alerted deputies that her old boyfriend stole her car that happens to be in his name.
Suspicious: According to a Martin City man, many strange things were going on. The deputy was unable to validate his statements.
Suspicious: The same Martin City man reported knowing of someone doing “fantasy tricks.” It is unknown whether or not the man had been drinking.
Disorderly: A Martin City woman who called 911 five times to ask for phone numbers was strongly advised to stop.
Suspicious: Someone on Bernard Road said they saw a mustached man who smelled like pot riding a bicycle that was too small for him.
Property damage: A Hungry Horse man said a red pickup just drove through his lawn.
Breaking & Entering: A woman on Glendale Drive reported that a woman wearing a pink shirt and overalls barged in through her front door and refused to leave.
Theft: On 49th Ave s.w. last week a burglary victim called police at 7:30 a.m. because his garage door had been kicked in the night before and someone stole a case of chocolate milk from the fridge. After securing his/her calcium fix, the burglar opened the car door, fled to the getaway vehicle and left fresh tire tracks in the victim’s lawn as he/she sped away.
Suspicious: Someone found a shovel in a bag.
Suspicious: A man claimed that someone follows him around town and places weird cards on his vehicle. The mysterious cards have an eye and a sequence of numbers on them.
Property damage: A mailbox exploded on Farm View Lane.
Nuisance: Apparently, residents on Park Drive have been burning rabbit feces.
Harassment: A woman on Highway 35 in Kalispell said her mother continues to send her text messages about an old skillet and a vacuum cleaner.
Animal control: A hound dog didn't comply when it was asked to stop eating a dead dear carcass that was blocking traffic.
And finally, my favorite…
THE LUCILLE GOODMAN FILES
Disorderly: Police cited Lucille Goodman, 64, of W291 N2201 Elmhurst Drive, Town of Delafield, for disorderly conduct after she was seen urinating near her car that was parked at Walmart, 2863 Heritage Drive, on March 21.
Theft: Lucille Goodman, 64, of W291 N2201 Elmhurst Drive, Town of Delafield, was cited for retail theft after she attempted to steal three packs of cigarettes, valued at $23, from Sentry, 3255 Golf Road, on Dec. 17.
I had two main thoughts as I left the annual tour of the Found Footage Festival at Seattle's Central Cinema last night: that late '70s/80's/early '90s fashion was as godawful as I remembered it to be, and that people are really damn odd. I also had a third thought, which was that my face hurt from laughing so much during the 2-hour presentation. I was lucky to have scored tickets to the sold-out 10PM show -- the 7PM show sold out as well, and I could imagine the FFF selling out a far larger venue, although I totally enjoyed the intimacy of Central Cinema and its yummy food and beer and very friendly staff. The people behind me in line to get in made sounds of severe devastation when they saw the "SOLD OUT!" sign on the door: "Aw, duuuude......NOOO!!!! Oh WOW! This is, like, not happening to me right now!" along with many curses and frustrated exclamation grunts.
I can understand the angst. The Found Footage Festival, if you are unaware of its fine function, is a creation of funny fellows Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher (oh fine fine, I'll stop with the friggin' F's. FINE.) Joe and Nick began collecting "unintentionally funny" VHS tapes in the '90s, usually salvaged from thrift stores, warehouses, garage sales, and the garbage -- strange instructional/training videos on any number of topics (exercise, hunting, workplace safety, massage, pet care, you name it), celebrity career nadir moments, cable access weirdos, marketing for bizarre products...anyone one-off nutcase that could make a video back in the VHS days seemed to, which makes for a fountain of freak-fun for film fans (SORRY! OK? DON'T JUDGE ME!). Joe and Nick wade through thousands of hours of mind-bending bizarros to bring FFF attendees the very best moments -- head-shakingly, thigh-slappingly, jaw-droppingly hilarious stuff. The duo stands onstage and presents each subset of clips, and they are funny, too. Hoo eeee!
I came across the Found Footage Festival via the wonderful "Winnebago Man" film, which was released last year. (AS POPTHOMOLOGY READERS MAY KNOW *COUGH COUGH*, my strange and spontaneous urge to write a tribute song & video in honor of found footage hero and Supreme Master Of Cursing, Jack Rebney, ended up with me meeting WM producer Joel Heller and attending a taping of the Tonight Show. My homemade mess is now living on the "Accoutrama" page of "Winnebago Man" film site. I love those guys.) FFF is featured prominently in "Winnebago Man," and Jack Rebney's reluctant appearance at a San Francisco FFF tour stop with Joe and Nick is the turning point in the movie. I figured if Found Footage Festival found Jack, they were bound to have more amazing stuff, and they sure did. I laughed the entire time, except for when I was eating or drinking, because that's a choking hazard.
What a truly entertaining night. If you can go, GO GO GO and don't be late like those sorry-ass hipsters behind me -- GET THOSE TICKETS RIGHT AWAY! Here's the rest of the Found Footage Festival tour schedule for 2011 as of this writing:
Sat May 21, 2011 7:30pmLaurelhurst TheaterPortland, OR
Sat May 21, 2011 9:30pmLaurelhurst TheaterPortland, OR
Sun May 22, 2011 8:00pmBijou Art CinemasEugene, OR
Wed Jun 8, 2011 8:00pmRialto TheatreRaleigh, NC
Thu Jun 9, 2011 8:00pmThe Grey EagleAsheville, NC
Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:00pmMcKnight TheatreCharlotte, NC
Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:45pmThe Idiot BoxGreensboro, NC
Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:30pmBoulder TheaterBoulder, CO
Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:45pmDenver FilmCenterDenver, CO
Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:00pmDenver FilmCenterDenver, CO
Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:00pmThe Kress CinemaGreeley, CO
Thu Sep 8, 2011 8:00pmMaryland Inst. College of ArtBaltimore, MD
Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:00pmUrbana UniversityUrbana, OH
You can also visit the FFF site and buy previous FFF shows on DVD, which you should because it's all comedy GOLD. My little gift to you here today is the short that opened last night's show: "Heavy Metal Parking Lot." I'm not going to say any more. Nope. Not me. Other than it brought back LONG SUPPRESSED AND UNWANTED MEMORIES. Please to F-IN' ENJOY! (NSFW, btw)
As a supporter of Karen Whitehead's documentary about rock photographer Jini Dellaccio, I have been excited to see the project progress and move closer to completion. I am delighted to tell you that the film now has an official title: "Her Aim Is True," and also glad to share this new film trailer!
First things first: why is Joe South so damn great?
1. He changed his name from Joe Souter to Joe South. Could there be any cooler classic name for a Georgia-born boy than "Joe South?" "Bill Midwest" simply doesn't have the same ring to it, does it. JOE. SOUTH! WOOOOO! FREEBIRD! WOOOOO!
2. He was a red-hot guitar picker, and has played on records by such musical luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Marty Robbins, Simon & Garfunkle, and Bob Dylan, as well as the slightly-less-luminous Tommy Roe.
Sadly, after a family tragedy in 1971 and other personal issues, Joe South largely left the music business and has remained reclusive. He is now 71 years old. Today, I am bringing you three versions of a song Joe composed in the mid-'60s, and which took a few more years to find its biggest success: "Yo Yo."
First version is by South's pal and former roommate Billy Joe Royal (another great Southern name there). This has a Motown-stamp all over it, with the handclaps, honking sax, soul vox, and quickstep pace. It's easy to hear almost any of the Motown artists handling this one, male or female. South completely nailed the format. It creeped into the Billboard charts in 1966.
A couple of years later, Cavern-days Liverpudlian Beatle gal-pal Cilla Black took a crack at the song, although it was rather buried on the B-side of an album called "Sher-Ooo!" which I doubt was ever released in the US. Her booming husky white-soul voice better captures the playful twists and bends in the melody, and largely sticks with Royal's arrangement.
Fast forward to 1971, and who grabs up "Yo Yo" and takes it to #3 on the charts? Why, of course, the toothy clan from Utah, the Osmonds! I wasn't at all an Osmonds fan then, even though I was the correct demographic, but you have to give them props. They worked incredibly hard and had a lot of vocal talent, not to mention dance moves that were "Soul Train" quality. Don't you sneer at me; it's true!
So why did this version make it to the top, even after its particular Motown-genre was getting a bit out-of-date in '71? It wasn't just that a top teen group with a lot of TV and radio exposure did it, although that's big. But listen to what they threw in to the arrangement, which completely grabbed listeners ears -- the calliope-circus backing vocals and the slide whistle metallic pseudo yo-yo bounce, which I PROPOSE was influenced by Smokey Robinson's "Tears Of A Clown," which was a mighty hit the year before. Adding to the catchy was the lead vocal split between Merrill Osmond and teen god Donny. It amuses me to hear what they had to do with the key there -- poor older brother Merrill had to bust a gritty gut to hit the notes that had to be tailored for the 13-year-old Donny, whose voice hadn't changed yet. But Donny owns it in the choruses, hitting the blues notes dead on and singing it like he MEANS IT. Later on in concert, the Osmonds would drop the key as Donny's voice matured, and as they sing it now as elder gentlemen, the blast of the original is gone, along with the soulfulness. What can ya do. This was the only Osmonds record I ever bought, on a 45, and I wrote my name in my newly-acquired cursive script on the blue-and-gold label.
I think -- I think -- I might know the author of all these anonymous spams that I space into poems for you. Go ahead and click here to take a look at the lyrics to Bon Iver's new album, and tell me what you think. Hah? Yeah? Right??
Justin Vernon, I've got my eye on you, buddy. You and your watches.
Please to enjoy two more freshly-delivered spam poems!
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(I am happy to present a small slice of fun from the exotic and far-away land of Australia, via my dear school pal "B'Essr," whom I have known since she was a vibrant, fun-loving, and mischievous young teen with a wicked, lovely grin. She is now is a resident of Oz, and kindly sent along a few photos of some interesting signs she's seen on her Aussie travels, and our combined comments.)
"Saw this on a trail on the way to the beach. 'If you park here, a man will pee on your tires,' was the best we could come up with."
To me, this looks like the man is trying to lob a Superball off the 'roo's head, which should also be discouraged.
Honestly, I don't know that I wish to go to a place where branches are just falling all willy-nilly out of trees so's I have to always wear a helmet. It seems a bit burdensome and death-y.
Are Australian dogs severely constipated? Damn.
I think this one should be captioned "LOL - YouTube Fail Fall Video Area."
"Unfortunately we were zipping by in the rain when I snapped this one - it's a girl making the Internationally recognized symbol for "small penis" (crooking her pinky finger) and the billboard states: Speeding...No one thinks big of you."
I'm Marianne Spellman. I am in Seattle-ish. I like and make music and words and photos and coffee and have crappy eyesight, like every other blogger. I do freelance thingies for cool people and places every so often. I post here often.