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LADIES – no need to fight. There are shoes aplenty in this article, so there are more than enough for the both of you. Here is a cornucopia of retro footwear adverts that should keep everyone satisfied for a while. From hippy clogs to funky sidewinders fit for the most stylish of 70s pimps, they’re all here. Some of the advertisements are blatantly sexist, some are just plain odd, but there is much fun to be had. Enjoy!
Each Dexter shoe comes with a hotel coupon and a free condom. Plus, the shoes are highly durable and waterproof in case you’re going to move on from Casual Dex to Fetish Dex.
For much of the Seventies, no brand embodied the Black Power philosophy as much as Flagg Brothers and Eleganza. They offered the very best in pimpwear – I’m talkin’ ermine collars, big ass heels and pearl handle canes. African-American fashions were bold and flamboyant during this decade – if the jive-turkeys didn’t like it, they could kiss their black ass.
A completely nude woman hopelessly in love with a guy’s shoes. Is this advert pure genius, or pure sexist? I’d posit that it’s a lot of both.
It’s become a cliché to say that fashion is circular, but it is absolutely true. The 1970s clogs above would have been absolutely mocked and ridiculed in the 80s and 90s. In 1986, you would have been stoned to death and your entirely family imprisoned for sliding into a platform mule. Today, it’s the entirely fashionable…. although, embroidered fruit still hasn’t made a comeback. In due time.
At first this just seems incredibly odd; however, I guess there are stranger things than choosing to paint your shoes. Apparently, they even had “animal textures” – for instance, you could spray on lizard skin. (And at that point, I would start to question your mental condition.)
Amazingly, someone along the way thought having a nude middle-aged man on a ladder was a good way to sell slippers. But, before you start feeling too sorry for yourself for being subjected to this – just think about what a view those poor firemen are getting!
Very few people know this, but it’s a fact that Nostradamus actually predicted the arrival of the denim boot.
In the land with a climate opposite to Babylon there will be great shedding of blood.
Heaven will seem unjust both on land and sea and in the air.
Sects, famine, kingdoms, denim boots, plagues, and confusion shall rule the Earth.
– Century I, Quatrain 55
What significance it has remains to be seen, but the mysterious denim boot will no doubt play a major role in the apocalypse.
It says the footwear was designed especially for Pat Boone. I’m assuming that means it will never become unclean and remain for all time as pure as the wind driven snow. In this advert, Pat demonstrates the magic of Velcro – “the closure invention of the century”. There’s even directions for proper Velcro use: “to close, press together – to open, peel apart.”
These slippers come in a variety of colors: Spring Green, Royal Blue, Cocoa Brown, and Glowing Nuclear Waste Orange. All Minute Crochet Slippers are machine washable and stain resistant, except the orange, which may cause birth defects, tumors and long term environmental devastation.
The infamous “egg chair” was perhaps mankind’s greatest creation, yet it fell out of favor by the end of the 1970s. You were comfortably enclosed within this upholstered ovum, and some even had speakers inside…. a toker’s throne, you might say.
A guy in a leisure suit is framed by a ring of godawful footwear – Worst selfie ever.
This seems to be nothing more than a cheap and shameless ploy to grab our attention by having us look up this chick’s skirt. In a perfect world, all adverts would be this cheap and shameless. I’ll wager this particular shoe advert had more than its share of men examining it close-up for any glimpse of immodesty.
And speaking of cheap and shameless… ¡Ay, caramba!
FIVE weeks after the horrors of Hillsborough, when 96 Liverpool fans died at the FA Cup semi-final, the mighty Reds won the FA Cup. The final was a Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, played at Wembley Stadium, London, on 20 May 1989. Liverpool won 3–2 after extra time, with goals from John Aldridge and two from Ian Rush. Stuart McCall scored both Everton goals.
Liverpool were on for the Double. Kenny Dalglish’s team needed only to avoid losing the season’s final game by a two goal margin to win the League title.
That final match had been originally scheduled to be played on 23 April. However, the deaths at Hillsborough had caused the Liverpool-Arsenal fixture to be postponed, with no suitable date found until after the FA Cup Final.
So. On May 26, 1989, England’s dominant team hosted Arsenal, the team needing to win by that two goal margin, a result the Gunners hadn’t achieved in years. The title would be decided on a Friday night. The Gunners did it, of course, with Michael Thomas scoring the title clinching goal in injury time.
I was there. Indulge me. It wasn’t just the shock of seeing Arsenal win the title that made that warm night unforgettable. It wasn’t just the joy of being able to run on to the pitch and ruffle Paul Merson’s hair. It was the Liverpool fans. I had watched the match from the Main Stand at Anfield, me and one friend having lost a draw for tickets. While everyone else from the coach stood with the Arsenal fans, we were with the Liverpool supporters.
As that second goal went in, and we cascaded madly down the steps to the pitch, Liverpool fans congratulated us. As we stood at the pitch-side, no policeman shoved us back or grabbed us in a headlock. No truncheons were drawn.
Everyone seemed to stay in the ground. They sang Walk On. And we joined in. Fans mingled on the Anfield Road End. There was no trouble. Seats were ripped up as souvenirs. Liverpool fans helped.
Was this the game that a 1985 Sunday Times editorial had called “a slum sport watched by slum people in slum stadiums”? It was. But the Times was only right about the stadiums, neglected and inadequate. In May 1985, the Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985 killed 56 people.
In 1985, 38 Italian fans died following a charge by Liverpool supporters at the Heysel stadium. The dead were killed when a faulty wall collapsed.
So. Why were Liverpool fans given the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough while their less well-supported opponents Nottingham Forest stood in the bigger end of the ground? Because that was how the police wanted it.
The deaths were accidental. But they were the result of a policy that portrayed and treated football fans as scum.
The elite never did understand football. They just use it – still do – to empathise with the working classes and sell TV packages. Anyone who blamed football fans for Hillsborough, should have been there that night at Anfield.
The elite will tell you how sorry they are for the 96 dead and that “lessons have been learnt”. Government and police will bow their heads in grief, sharing the mood with those who lost loved ones and survived the horror. And the elite will hope that the anger will melt away. They will tell Liverpool that its people are mawkish for holding onto the pain. See how we all lament your loss, say the powerful. You don’t need to sue for compensation and justice. We feel your pain. We’re all in this together. We got over it. So can you. Stop wallowing.
More lies. More control.
The 96 who died at the match were not killed by hooliganism. Their deaths were a result of those in power treating football supporters as a problem to be caged and whipped into line. The 96 who died were killed by police acting on Government orders to control the mob. Don’t help them. Just prevent a riot.
As the injured were being treated, the police stood guard lest distraught, shell-shocked and injured fans attack the dying.
As the fans were being crushed in their pens, police lined up military style and shoved them back into the wire cages.
As the fans tried to escape, the police didn’t send for the 40 ambulances parked by the ground. They sent for the attack dogs. They then let one ambulance drive in to help.
This was a result of football fans being used to test new methods in keeping order. Margaret Thatcher’s Government wanted fans – what one Tory called “the yob class” – to carry ID cards. Baron Peter Hill-Naugton, admiral of the fleet, said football was “a slum game played by louts in front of hooligans”. Football fans were the Untermenschen on which all new methods of control could be tested. One doctor present at Hillsborough said the only difference ID cards could have made that day was to make it easier to identify the young corpses.
The police will tell you that all-seater stadium and filming the fans with CCTV prevents another Hillsborough. That’s balls. It was the police treating the football fans as animals that created the deaths of so many. The police have just found new ways to control the mob. You can now be ejected for swearing or saying something offensive. The culture of fear and loathing continues.
Anyone who went to a football match in the 1980s will understand that the Liverpool fans who died could have been them. Amid all the guff about the “football family”, this is one truth that binds all fans.
ON August 19, 1975, the third England v Australia Test at Headingley was abandoned following vandalism. A man who said he was a supporter of the George Davis campaign telephoned BBC radio London and claimed the group was responsible. Slogans were daubed outside the ground and the wicket was vandalised with a bit of digging and poured oil.
The Test was declared a draw robbing England of the chance to win back the Ashes and the trophy.
THERE”S always a good time to be had touring through old computer books, especially if there’s lots to point at and laugh condescendingly. Technology has advanced so exponentially that a 1980s computer textbook may as well be ancient Sanskrit written on palm leaves. Suffice it to say, things have come a long way in just a short amount of time, and it’s a lot of fun to look back. So, let’s jump into Living With Computers by Patrick G. McKeown (1986).
“A complete computer system – user, software, CPU, internal memory, secondary storage, keyboard, monitor, and printer – is shown here.”
Admit it Guardianista Handwringers, You Love Game of Thrones For The Sex And Violence…Just Like The Rest Of Us
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: Admit it Guardianista handwringers, you love Game of Thrones for the sex and violence…just like the rest of us
THAT irritating rubbing noise you can hear is the handwringing from British TV reviewers who love their restarted weekly dose of Game of Thrones but must make sure to tell their readers how appalled they are by the objectification of women and the gratuitous violence. That they remain surprised that the fourth season of the show for which the neologism “sexposition” was coined hasn’t suddenly converted to Guardian approved chin-stroking and Nordic knitwear covered leads is a little baffling.
NOT so long ago we covered the most depressing songs ever recorded, but there’s a big difference between depressing and sappy. A depressing song can actually be quite good; the artist intends to elicit sadness and it works. “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan is a fine example, as is Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle”. Things turn sappy when it becomes excessively sentimental. Maybe the lyrics are transparently gooey, or the notes are sung to exaggerate the emotion. Take, for instance, the Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt song “I Don’t Know Much”:
I don’t know much
But I know I love you
That may be
All I need…. to know, whoaohohohah
You all know this misty-eyed classic. You half expect Linda to break down into convulsive sobs at song’s end. Yet, it still doesn’t rise to the level of sap needed for a spot on this list. The reason: We can’t go calling every romantic ballad “sappy”. Just as depressing songs have their place, so do overtly romantic songs. Perhaps, the best way to illustrate sap at its worst is by example. So, here we go…
10. “All Out Of Love” by Air Supply (1980)
They may be all out of love, but there’s still plenty of cheese to go around. Indeed, Air Supply made quite a successful career smothering the early eighties in saccharine sincerity. Their tracks were perfect for couples skating at the roller rink, but that’s where their usefulness ended. To listen to an Air Supply album the whole way through is like passing through a cloud of schmaltz.
9. “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie (1984)
Lionel Ritchie (or as I like to call him, Sappy McSapperstein) left his funk roots behind when he departed from the Commodores in favor of a solo career drenched in sentimental slush. No doubt, Ritchie could craft a beautiful melody, but they are dripping with sap. It’s a shame he couldn’t add even a little unvarnished edge to his 80s schmaltzfests.
8. “Clair” by Gilbert O’Sullivan (1972)
This song is just so precious it’s impossible to criticize. It’s like a warm buttery blanket of sentimental lovey-dovey-ness. Gilbert wrote the song for his manager’s daughter, whom he babysat. How can I complain about such an innocent lullaby…. yet, it’s saccharine levels are so high, listeners are in danger of developing Type II Diabetes. You have been duly warned.
7. “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro (1968)
There’s nothing wrong with sad songs. “At Seventeen” by Janis Ian and “Ode to Billy Joe” by Bobbie Gentry are perfect examples of songs that had sad stories to tell, but they were also meaningful and even profound on some level. In stark contrast, “Honey” has nothing to say except just how sh***y it was that his wife died.
And speaking of songs about dead wives…
6. “Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphy (1975)
My apologies to those who hold this song dear, but this is just dreadful. “Wildfire” is 4 minutes and 47 seconds of weepy drivel. Michael Martin Murphy makes Barry Manilow seem edgy and cynical.
And if you just can’t get enough of dead spouse music, I recommend “Daisy a Day” by Judd Strunk (1973).
5. “Heartlight” by Neil Diamond (1982)
There’s been just so many sappy songs over the years, it’s difficult to cherry pick; I could have made this a Top 100 list and still not scratch the surface. “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone, “Careless Whisper” by Wham, and “Send in the Clowns” by Judy Collins would all qualify. Then I remembered the saptastic “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Streisand and Neil Diamond, which led me to the frighteningly cheesy “Heartlight” – a song literally inspired by the movie E.T. It simply doesn’t get much sappier than this, folks.
4. “Don’t Give Up On Us” by David Soul (1976)
When Soul wasn’t starring in gritty TV crime dramas (Starsky & Hutch) or gritty cinematic crime dramas (Magnum Force), David Soul was dishing up one of the sappiest tracks ever recorded. Scientific studies have demonstrated that bees are actually attracted to the saccharine tones of this song. Indeed, chemical analysis of the 12” vinyl single of “Don’t Give Up On Us” was found to contain trace quantities of fructose. Sounds crazy, but it’s all true.
3. “There Will Be Sad Songs” by Billy Ocean (1986)
This one gets bonus points for being a sappy song about sappy songs. But, now I’m faced with a question: which decade excelled in sappiness the most? I would say the 1980s were the Golden Age of Sap. In the 1970s, soft rock flourished, but it only rarely had the sugary outer-coating that 80s artists dripped on their songs so lovingly. In other words, 70s soft rock was about getting high and introspective and taking it down a notch; whereas, 80s pop was a damn schmaltzapalooza.
2. Every Power Ballad Ever Recorded by Hair Metal Bands
I use “I Hate Kissing You Goodbye” by Tuff to illustrate, but this could just as well be any hair metal power ballad. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison, “When the Children Cry” by White Lion, “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)” by Cinderella, “I Remember You” by Skid Row… the list could go on forever. There was something very un-metal about these hair metal bands. Not only did they look like androgynous hookers, their music was more akin to Streisand than it was Maiden.
1. “Feelings” by Morris Albert (1975)
Is it any surprise that the Grand Poobah of sappy love songs makes an appearance on this list? “Feelings” combined the traditional cheeseball ballad with the corny flakiness of the lounge act and created a monster. Children of the Seventies well remember the horror of hearing this come on the car radio. Despite urgent pleas to turn it off, our parents would sing along instead. Oh, the humanity!
And on that note, I think the perfect ending for this list has to be “Feelings” as sung by The Bionic Woman. Enjoy.
FOUR movies strong, and spanning three decades (the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s), the cinematic Alien saga — consisting of Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997) — is renowned for its titular creature, one of the most terrifying silver screen boogeymen of all time.
Given the nature of this franchise’s hostile (and perfect?) monster, it’s no surprise that the death scenes featured throughout the saga are frequently terrifying, bloody, and brilliantly-orchestrated.
Yet the truly memorable death scenes possess another quality as well. They’re shocking. These scenes strike with a combination of terror, disgust, sorrow, and surprise, leaving a permanent imprint on the viewer’s mind.
For a death scene to be considered shocking, it must be one that the audience can’t see coming. In other words, we expect that Colonial Marines fighting aliens by the pack are going to die, or that confused convicts running from a monster in a dark corridor will come to a bad end.
WRITING on Peaches Geldof in the Guardian, Hadley Freeman says ‘The Geldofs were Britain’s first celebrity family”. The article is called:
‘Beyond pain’: Peaches Geldof, Paula Yates and one family’s epic suffering”
Epic suffering? We don’t know the family any more than Freeman does, but we imagine their suffering at untimely deaths of loved ones – Peaches’ mother Paula Yates, her partner Michael Hutchence (whose orphaned daughter has been raised by Bob Geldof) and now the second oldest daughter of three – though terrible for the nearest and dearest are no more epic than what many families have endured. But it’s this family’s fame that attracts the hyperbole and acres of news coverage, not the individuals.
HERE are four albums which serve as starting points to murder stories. They range from factual to dodgy at best, but they are all interesting. The four stories include: (1) A Sonny Bono wannabe turned nurse killer, (2) an ex-stripper ventriloquist who witnesses the JFK assassination, (3) a fairy tale turned horror story, and (4) an urban legend of a screaming nude cover model that just won’t go away. Enjoy!
THE JON & ROBIN ELASTIC EVENT (1967)
Jon & Robin were your standard pop duo of the late Sixties, specializing in groovy bubblegum psychedelia. Jon’s dad owned the record label, Abnak Records; so, naturally, his son was first in line to a recording contract (big mistake). I suppose dear-old-dad wanted them to be the next Sonny & Cher, but, alas, it was not meant to be. “Do it Again a Little Bit Slower” (1967) reached #18 in the US, but proved to be their only whiff of success.
The duo split up shortly thereafter, and poor Jon tried to continue his music career resulting in one failure after another. This ultimately contributed to his mental breakdown and he was checked into Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas. This is where fact and fiction intermingle, but the story goes that Jon starting getting it on with a psychiatric nurse. After he was released, they moved in together and started a new chapter in Jon’s life. Unfortunately, that new chapter is entitled “The Prison Years” because Jon murdered her.
.. so, there’s that information. Onward to the next murder.
ERICK & BEVERLY MASSEGEE – AMEN! (1974)
This Beverly Massegee LP has become something of an all-star in the world of bad album covers, but the biggest oddity surrounding this album is not the strangeness of the record, but Beverly herself. Many believe she is actually the Babushka Lady – the woman who filmed JFK up close at the very moment he was assassinated!
Beverly Oliver (maiden name) was once a friend of Jack Ruby, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Beverly was a singer (and possibly a stripper) at Ruby’s Carousel Club and the adjacent Colony Club. According to her own account, Beverly claims she accompanied Jack Ruby to New Orleans where she met Mafia bosses and was introduced to Lee Harvey Oswald, a friend of Ruby’s (!).
Beverly states that she was the infamous and mysterious Babushka Lady, the closest witnesses to the fatal shot that killed President Kennedy. Further, she claims that she filmed the event, but three days later two men who identified themselves as government agents confiscated her film and never returned it. Here’s an old video of Beverly breaking it down for us…
Unfortunately, much of this is considered nonsense by JFK assassination “experts”. However, it should be noted that Beverly married a pastor and found Jesus, which means all of this must be true, right?
CLAUDINE LONGET – THE LOOK OF LOVE (1967)
Claudine’s early years read like a fairy tale. She was a Vegas showgirl working for Barbara Walters’ father. One day, her car breaks down and she’s picked up by none other than Andy Williams. Marriage, wealth, a family, a recording contract, and an acting career soon followed. It would seem. Claudine Longet had everything a woman could ever want.
The couple were even good friends with Bobby Kennedy. In fact, they were supposed to go to a disco with him the night he was killed. Senator Kennedy told Andy and Claudine that he would make a “little hand gesture” at the end of his televised primary victory speech to let them know he could make it to the disco. The couple watched Kennedy’s speech from their Bel Air home, and when the gesture was made the two hopped out of bed to get ready to head to the disco…. then they heard the shots ring out. Three days later, Andy was singing at his friend’s funeral. The couple would name their 3rd child “Bobby”.
That was 1968…. by 1970 they were legally separated. Claudine and the three kids moved in with the famous Olympic skier, “Spider” Sabich. He was handsome, talented, and had become quite a popular figure. Robert Redford even played him in a movie (Downhill Racer). But this is where the fairy tale ends. The relationship became tumultuous and in 1975, Spider was fatally shot in the abdomen by Claudine.
Claudine claimed the gun discharged accidentally, and was charged with only negligent homicide. The fact that she was high on cocaine never made it into the trial, nor was the fact that their relationship had become hostile. Subsequently, Claudine spent only 30 days in jail.
THE OHIO PLAYERS – HONEY (1975)
The 70s funk band, The Ohio Players, weren’t exactly known for their family-friendly album covers. Their most notorious is the Honey album which featured a completely naked model (visible when you fold open the cover) shown from the side on the outside cover, and in a much more explicit position in the interior. Legend goes that this girl was brutally murdered and her screams can be heard in their song “Love Rollercoaster”.
Of course, urban legend debunkers have proved this to be complete bullshit. However, it’s a lot more fun to speculate, and you never really know, do you? As to exactly how she was killed and how the screams ever got recorded depends on who’s telling the story. One thing is for certain, the scream sounds completely out of place. It’s blood curdling – not something you’d expect to hear in the background of a lively funk song. The cherry-on-top to this urban legend is that the photography for the album cover was conducted by Richard Fegley, who had also photographed Sharon Tate (insert dramatic music)
One variation of the story goes like this:
The Ohio Players spot a runaway on the street corner and use her for on their album Honey. The album cover depicts the model nude and kneeling in glass while drizzling honey all over herself. The glass was actually fiberglass, and when it mixed with the honey caused the fiberglass to be bonded to the girl’s legs. She tried tearing it off of her legs, but only succeeded in tearing the skin off. She runs into the studio where the band was recording “Love Rollercoaster”. She was screaming at them, claiming she would sue them for everything they were worth. The band’s manager then dragged her outside the studio, and murdered her. Her screaming was audible, even outside the studio, and the band left the sound there as “a sick tribute”.
Sure, this is obviously bologna, but it’s a lot more interesting the much more probable claim that the screams are by the band’s bassist and the model is Ester Cordet. Cordet was a stewardess at the time and the October 1974 Playmate of the Month. Today, she is happily married to a smarmy motivational speaker and self-help author, Robert Ringer. Yuck. Sometimes reality is such a bummer.
WITH Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) shattering box office records this weekend, it is an opportune time to recall that this iconic Marvel superhero — and symbol of non-ironic Americana — has not always been treated very well by Hollywood.
In particular, the 1970s and 1980s proved a difficult span for the patriotic Cap, who had made a career in his Marvel comic-book of smashing Nazis and communists.
But first, the 1944 Republic serial, Captain America, created a new character and origin for the superhero.
IN 1903, The Commonwealth Publishing Company of New York City’s magazine Vanity Fair (no, another one; this one ran from February 1902 to April 1904) produced the article on The Bifurcated Girls: Gay Girls In Trousers.
Dian Hansen notes inHistory of Men’s Magazines:
While France had a well-established men’s magazine industry by 1900, America was just showing its ankles in 1903. A magazine called Vanity Fair (unrelated to the current incarnation) was the raciest thing around, and rooming house loozies the hotties of the time. In this New York, tabloid girls who drank like men might strip down to their petticoats and fall into bed together, exposing their corset cover and stockings to peeping male boarders. The famously loose morals of stage actresses made them popular subjects for these shenanigans, but the biggest thrill of all was bifurcation. “What?” one may well ask. Bifurcation, meaning “split in two”, referred to the contours of a woman’s legs revealed by her donning men’s trousers. Bifurcation was a regular and very popular feature in Vanity Fair, it’s popularity leading to Vanity Fair’s Bifurcated Girls.
WE’VE all heard about the titans of the silicon Valley venture capital industry. One day they put 30 cents into the stock of some company enabling people to show cat photos to each other and then three weeks later they’re running off with $10 billion from the IPO.
All most, most, annoying.
However, there’s one company out there that has been doing this venture capital stuff for over a century now. And they’ve made some quite glorious suck ups. No, not in what Bessemer Venture Partners did invest in, rather in what they didn’t. And they’re self-confident enough to tell us what they did fail to invest in too.
On investing in e-Bay:
“Stamps? Coins? Comic books? You’ve GOT to be kidding,” thought David Cowan. “No-brainer pass.”
WHAT’S the worst movie title of all time? Freddy Got Fingered (2001) and Stop! Or my Mom will Shoot (1992) are often cited as contenders. One that nearly earned a victory for worst is Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters (2007) – an immensely serious film which very nearly is The Master Debaters. Close but no cigar. The unpronounceable film The Rural Juror could have walked away with an easy victory. Alas, it’s a fictitious film from the TV show 30 Rock. Disqualified.
Perhaps, it’s best to look back a few decades. It may not be possible to scientifically lay out the all-time worst, but we can certainly make like Freddy and Finger a few candidates.
10. Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973)
Sometimes a title is just trying to be get our attention by its ridiculousness [i.e. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990). For low budget films without a lot of financial resources for promotion, the best way to lure audiences is via a sensational title. So, I understand the rationale, and am sure it served its purpose; however, the title is still horrible. Functional, but horrible.
WHEN police announced that Peaches Geldof had died the newspapers rushed to shout “first”. Her death at 25 is a shocks. To her husband and two young children it is a tragedy. To the media it’s a result.
The celebrity death is heralded by people on social media shouting “FIRSTS!” and the “ker-ching” of big media’s cash register. Who can be first to dash out a few hundred words of speculation veering between the mawkish an the insulting about the dead person they never knew?
HERE is some free advice for up-and-coming marketing execs: Adverts should not make consumers feel nauseous or deeply uncomfortable. Nor should they cause consumers to experience waking nightmares or abdominal pain. You wouldn’t think this sort of instruction would be necessary, but here are five examples which demonstrate that it is. Please take notes.
1. SEXUALLY AROUSED STUFFED TOYS PROMOTE BEAR HOSIERY
“What a treat to stocking those legs. Wish I were a man,” says the first bear. I’m not sure how I feel about stuffed animals ogling over a woman’s legs. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer Teddy Bears without a sexual appetite.
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
IN 1865, Seth Kinman (1815-1888), the California Hunter and Trapper, gave US President Andrew Johnson a GRIZZLY-BAR CHAIR.
AT last, a welcome repeat of Michael Palin and Terry Jones’s Ripping Yarns – post-Python parodies of all things public school and derring-do.
The series is reflected upon, and its inspiration investigated, in this highly enjoyable BBC documentary…
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: A Harsh Handbrake Turn – From How I Met You Mother To How Tim Hetherington Lost His Life
I’VE been thinking about bad endings this week; one in fiction and one, dreadfully, tragically real. Pulling together the finale of How I Met Your Mother, which used a by-no-means unexpected passing to tie up loose ends, and the real death of Tim Hetherington, the astounding documentary photographer whose life is the subject of Which Way Is The Front Line From Here?, in one TV column may seem crass. It probably is. But that’s how TV works, mashing together different stories, shifting tone more awkwardly than a local radio DJ.
If you were engaged in idle channel surfing, Sebastian Junger’s film on the life and death of Hetherington, his friend and collaborator on the Academy Award-nominated Restrepo, would have pulled you up short. Named after a casual remark made by documentary photographer as he and a group of other journalists made their way into the Libyan town of Misrata, the film paints a picture of a man who had to document the world and its most dangerous stories even when he knew he should stop.
TO HELL with the electric guitar. That may attract a flock of dirty groupies, but the real chick magnet is the accordion. Sure, it has a reputation as being even less sexy than a French horn, but don’t believe the hype. A look at this stack of old accordion LPs, and you’ll quickly see that the instrument of desire isn’t the guitar, drums or microphone, it’s the mad love machine called The Accordion.
(Lots more vintage gold on Flashbak.com)
WE might accept as axiomatic the belief that patience is a virtue. However, over the decades, several notable and even celebrated science fiction TV series have failed to live up to this ideal.
Instead of demonstrating patience and prudence, their makers have instead demonstrated radical impatience, and — after promising first season sorties — instituted sweeping changes that, in some cases, threw away the baby with the bath water.
ON May 3 1996, Theodore John Kaczynski, 53, had his mug shot taken by7 the Lewis and Clark County Jail in Helena, Montana. Kaczynski had been taken into custody at his mountain cabin north of Helena as a suspect in the Unabomber bombing spree.
The man called the “Unabomber” had killed three people and maimed 23 others with parcel bombs. His first known device exploded in 1978 and the last, killing California Forestry Association president Gilbert Murray. His campaign had continued to his most recent bomb in 1995. His final bombs was his 16th.
MUSICIANS like Billy Joel and Elton John didn’t start out as solo acts. Like nearly all solo pop stars, they began as just another member of a band. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at musicians who we primarily identify as being solo acts and see what bands they were in before venturing out on their own and making it big.
TO the delight of virtually everyone, the late, great Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988 – 1999) seems to be experiencing something of a pop culture resurgence these days.
April 1st of this year saw former Mystery Science Theater 3000 stars Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy return to top form in National Geographic’s Total Riff-Off, and the cable network Retro TV recently announced that it will begin airing MST-3K reruns starting July 5, 2014.
STROLLING down Memory Lane on the way to Anorak Towers, we came across an old advertisement for Spangles – the sweet signifier of choice for lazy peddlers of nostalgia.
But instead of invoking it alongside Chopper bicycles and Spacehoppers, it invoked an earlier, less innocent time, when germs were everywhere, and the role of confectionary packaging wasn’t simply to announce the Old English delights within, but to keep dirt out. ALL dirt. Yes, that includes you, Foreign Dirt, coming over year and contaminating our indigenous flavours.
THEY say not to judge a book by its cover, but I think it’s pretty safe to say all of these books are horrible without ever turning a page. That being said, it’s sometimes fun to check out some good old fashioned paperback trash – so let’s have a look.
Perhaps this is a prequel to the William Burrough’s classic, Naked Lunch. I suggest, then, a third volume called Naked Supper and make it a trilogy.
THE MAN WHO SAID NO
You mean they actually found the guy who said no to sex? I thought it was just an urban legend……. Oh, wait…. I’ve just been informed it’s a false alarm. He didn’t say “no”; he was merely clearing his throat. It’s all been a big mistake. False alarm.
RONALD REAGAN: A MAN TRUE TO HIS WORD
My favorite part of Ronald Reagan: A Man True To His Word is when the president sells arms to Iran then uses the cash to fund the Nicaraguan rebels. Don’t miss the exciting climax when he completely denies it.
“Suspecting Linnie’s affairs with the others, Chris’ vanity couldn’t accept the thought of being included out because of his age.”
I think the word they’re looking for is “excluded”. Somebody get Mary S. Gooch a dictionary pronto.
I WAS A TEEN-AGE DWARF
No offense to those short of stature, but this title puts the vertically challenged on par with being a werewolf or Frankenstein. (Note: This is a Dobie Gillis novel, so it was actually pretty popular in its day.)
KISS MY FIST!
Damn! Those hardboiled pulp fiction novels could get to be pretty brutal, but this is extreme. Just be glad I didn’t show you the back cover where he karate chops a kitten.
SWEET DADDY: THE STORY OF A PIMP
I think there’s been a mistake. The title should read something like: Sweet Daddy: The Story of a Tax Attorney. I’m no authority on pimps, but I think they could have chosen a guy who looks a lot more “pimp like”.
BURT REYNOLDS HOT LINE: THE LETTERS I GET AND WRITE!
I doubt Burt even noticed the naked woman attached to his backside. In the 1970s, nude females collected on Burt’s body like barnacles. Lucky bastard.
COUCH OF DESIRE
Forget 50 Shades of Grey, I recommend Couch of Desire (truthfully, it’s probably written better). But if the eroticism is just too extreme for your tastes, I suggest the much lighter read, Beanbag Chair of Friendship.
GOOD NIGHT SWEET DYKE
A perfect end to our reading list of shame. Good night, dear reader.