Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Paradigm Shift will be released in a few days. Click the photo to enlarge it enough to read the back cover blurb. The American Empire has been slowly crumbling for most of our lives, and this is that story told from the perspective of a national populace that has collectively lost its mind. The story opens with a detailed timeline of the many events that have shaped our economic and consumer culture toward its suicidal end. Paradigm Shift is a personal story of reflection, humor, and compassion that most Americans can easily assimilate into their own personal stories. We have been on this ship of fools together for far too long. It's time to break out the life preservers and hoist the sails before we crash on the rocky cliffs of Republican goals.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix will be released on schedule next week. The earliest copies will be available in print directly from the publisher or in the Kindle format at Amazon. The retail prices will be $17.95 for the 7 x 10 paperback and $6.00 for the Kindle. I do not have any control over whether or not any retailer will discount the book any at all or ever. In the past both Amazon and B&N have offered my previous books at less than retail in a sporadic manner. The book is 382 pages and 212,000 words. The page count was trimmed back a bit by using a smaller font to hold the retail price down. The print version has somewhat more elaborate formatting than the Kindle version, as is often the case with new releases these days. At this point in time, due to the holiday season, I cannot tell you precisely when and where Paradigm Shift will become readily available. We know the bad boys are moving into Congress next week and I want the book to coordinate with that event as closely as possible. If I could have it my way, the book would be available for order 1/1/11. What a prophetic date!
Paradigm Shift has never been intended to be the story of Sarah Palin. She just happens to have elbowed her way into its spotlight. As with all my Nonfiction in a Fictional Style books, Paradigm Shift is a story told from a psychosocial viewpoint. None of my books are exactly what you might expect, and this one is no exception. I have stood my ground as a rill American and a progressive, liberal, white Southerner all my life. This is the story of how I have felt surrounded by authoritarian buttheads who never seem to find their way out of Kansas. Why have they chosen to be angry for the full extent of their lives? I do not know; however, I fully understand the forces controlling their minds, and this is the story of those forces and how they have operated since America was born, and particularly over the past forty years.
What is The Palin Matrix? You could define it in many different ways, all of which boil down to a madness that has infected the political lives of many Americans. You cannot see it or hear it or feel it with your hands, but you can certainly see its brainwashing effects on cable news, hear it discussed infinitely on talk radio, and feel it as you walk among the masses from the other side. America cannot heal its economic divide until we stop fighting The Second Civil War. The specific problem is that the other side has become so vehemently rabid that we cannot ignore the bully and hope he will just go away. We must defend the compassionate America we all know and love before it ceases to exist.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix has been sent to the publisher. The book should be available for the first pre-orders in about ten days to two weeks. The final price and page count is $17.95 and 382 pages. I managed to shrink the font one size and get it down below 400 pages. The reason for this was to try to get the retail price for its 212,000 words down as low as possible for readers in this tough economy. The book is quite an emotional roller coaster ride, with tall peaks of parody and hyperbole and fast downhill drops into Depression 2.0 and the crashing of the American Empire. The book's progress through the publishing system will be monitored on this site. I am quite proud of my magnum opus, although I am also psychologically exhausted. The poignancy of wrapping up such a project on Christmas Eve has not been lost on me. Paradigm Shift is a book for real Christians, not those holier-than-thou pretenders who go to church to be encouraged to vote Republican en masse while they economically crucify those who are less fortunate or different than themselves. Paradigm Shift may be a relentless humorous rant, but it is also a serious manifesto for those Americans who are the true followers of Jesus and the Christian religion, with sincere compassion for their fellow man. Merry Christmas, Sarah. This is my lump of coal gift to you.
Monday, December 20, 2010
My baby tiger is about ready to be unleashed on schedule. The cover is complete, the final proofread has been done, and I am adjusting the last few details. I expect to send it to the publisher before Christmas. The first copies will be available early next month. Although the media, the economy, and The Big Picture of how America got itself into this mess, and how it will get out, are the overall focus of the book, probably 70% of the content is about Sarah Palin in one way or another.
PARADIGM SHIFT: The Palin Matrix (The Progressive Left Strikes Back!) is struggling at its leash! Here is a preview of the back cover blurb:
Timeline for a Psychotic Nation
Paradigm Shift is the story of the rise and fall of the American Empire as viewed within a psychosocial context. The timeline displays the development of the consumer culture and its economic vulnerabilities. After eight years of Bush and Cheney, we were almost ready to turn our Titanic around before it hit the iceberg. An unscrupulous celebrity politician with a wiggle, a wink, and an ice-cold heart has become our own American iceberg from Wasilla, AK.
These are the rumors and legends about the life and political career of Sarah Palin that the mainstream media do not want you to read or hear. She has become the gravy train for Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, The Discovery Channel, and many others. It is way past time to kick Sarah Palin and the media train she rode in on right in the caboose!
This is the book for all the many frustrated left wing progressives in America, those who have watched helplessly as our nation has been overtaken by greedy corporatist politicians, Wall Street scumbags, Tea Baggers, and power-mad Evangelical Christians. For all those who are as mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore, this book is for you!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
As promised last week, here is an update on the progress of Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix. The 7 x 10 book will be approximately 400 pages and 210,000 words, and it should be released on schedule in about the first week of January 2011. The subtitle is The Progressive Left Strikes Back!
The Table of Contents will read as follows (with a brief description of each chapter added below):
Chapter 1: Timeline for a Psychotic Nation - The whole first chapter is composed entirely of a timeline of American history, similar to some of the material in my earlier book, Timeline of America. In many ways, Paradigm Shift has always been planned as a sequel to the 2006 book. As you read through the timeline in the earlier book, you will wax nostalgic, but this one will be disturbing in a manner that will make you wonder why no one seemed to see the obvious coming.
Chapter 2: The Swing of the Pendulum - This chapter contains a lot of the material from the '90's that had to be edited down from a massive level. As things worked out, this material had to be severely cut and updated to leave room for the nightmares that would soon follow.
Chapter 3: The 2008 Presidential Election Primaries - Only a couple of months ago, you may have wondered why this short chapter has been included, but with the political events of the past weeks, that question has unfortunately been answered.
Chapter 4: Babygate - You can skip this chapter, since there is nothing new in it for you experienced researchers of this volatile issue, but I am sure the newbies will be fascinated!
Chapter 5: The Psychology of a Nation - I have often mentioned that Paradigm Shift would also be a sequel to my 2002 book, The Last Horizon, and the details of this concept are spelled out in this chapter.
Chapter 6: Highways to Oblivion - I know most of you women are going to take one browse through all this discussion of cars, motorcycles, engines, and the history of these industries in America, and want to skip this chapter altogether. All I can say is that if you do, you will be missing a key element of how our country got itself into such a mess that a boob like Sarah Palin could take over our TV sets!
Chapter 7: Race to the Bottom of the World - This chapter covers many of the economic and environmental issues aside from those involving the auto industry.
Chapter 8: Suck the Boob - This is a title that can mean whatever you like. It generally refers to how our political system came to be so stupid.
Chapter 9: The Wolf Pack Trifecta - This is a serious chapter about the GOP, the Evangelical voting bloc, and the media.
Chapter 10: The Palin Matrix Stalemate - I know you are all wondering exactly what I mean by the phrase The Palin Matrix. I am not sure that I fully understand it myself. The phrase represents many things that you cannot see or touch, but you can sense their presence and feel their effects. It is a rot emanating from deep within the American psyche. It is why the right wingers seem to be angry at all of us and the rest of the world. It is the monster that has been unleased on America by Sarah Palin.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
My magnum opus Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix will be released within the first two weeks of 2011. This is the book I began in 1990 that has passed through several titles and permutations on its long journey to publication. Although the book began twenty years ago on the subject of the economic collapse of the American Empire, someone from Wasilla AK crashed the party back in '08 and none of us has been the same since. The subtitle is The Progressive Left Strikes Back!
At its longest, the original manuscript comprised well over 253,000 words. I am near the end of the editing process and I expect the final page count to be about 400 in an oversize 7 x 10 format. In other words, Paradigm Shift will be physically quite similar to my most recent book, Ker-Splash 2, which tops out at 400 pages and 152,000 words in a slightly larger font sharing the page space with many photos. The final word count of Paradigm Shift will surely be more than 200.000. I am shooting for a published release date as soon after 1/1/11 as possible. Whatever the final release date, the book should be available from Amazon a week or two later, followed by the Kindle version in probably no more than two more months, and then a Smashwords (Nook) version will be offered at some point after that, probably no later than April.
As I have stated repeatedly in my books and on my blogs, I am not a journalist. Although Babygate has been given a complete chapter in the book and many of Sarah Palin's shenanigans another chapter, there is no silver bullet that is going to stop the political madness. As with all my writing, this book will be a complete psychoanalysis of a nation that has lost its mind, and that will be the central focus of the book. You will not be disappointed!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Dr. Al Past, an author friend of mine, best known for his Distant Cousin series of E.T.-like novels, took this photo of a cold front moving into South Texas last February 10. This photo inspired the title of my upcoming book to be named Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix. This photo will not be on the actual cover, but a similar one recommended to me by Dr. Past will be used; however, I do not wish to show that one until the actual book and its cover are released soon after the first of the year.
The subtitle of the book is The Progressive Left Strikes Back! Although I mentioned in an earlier description that the book would be at least 600 pages, I may release it in an oversized 7 x 10 format in order to display certain portions of the text in a little more attractive manner. In that case, the page count should be well over 400 pages, at the least. Either way, Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix will be a magnum opus of more than 210,000 words, and at least half the content, in one manner or another, will be about Sarah Palin and/or Babygate. The book will open with a timeline of how America developed the consumer culture from 1492 through the current economic disasters of 2010, and will close with a bibliography of books and blogs that cover the pertinent issues. Possibly in a week or so, I shall be ready to post the Table of Contents and/or promotional blurbs for the book. Thank you.
Monday, November 22, 2010
The stroke of midnight has just passed, and America by Heart has just hit #19 at Amazon, but this post is not about that book. This is about the book I began in 1990 that has passed through several titles and permutations on its long journey to publication. Although the book began twenty years ago on the subject of the economic collapse of the American Empire, someone from Wasilla crashed the party back in '08 and none of us has been the same since. You might have guessed that I was all set to write a Halloween post on 10/31/10 and follow it with a final post after the midterm elections, before pausing for a while to get the book finished. You also may have supposed that I got so totally fed up with the wimpy Democrats and the relentless media promotion of Palin and her brats that I threw in the towel a few days earlier than expected. You would be correct on both counts.
A few of you may even have noticed that I added all the posts from Palin Babygate to my NIAFS blog, too. That was an experiment to find out if I could collapse PB into my regular NIAFS blog and take all the wonderful comments the PB readers have made through Disqus with me. That project didn't fly: the posts went, but the comments did not. I was experimenting with that concept for three reasons. (1) I have enough time problems juggling both the new book project and my blogs. (2) I thought maybe if I dumped the PB name, I could get more posts plugged at The Huffington Post. (3) Babygate will be covered in the book, so it will soon become just another of the subjects of my publications. Right now I have no specific plans to continue blogging at PB or not, but I shall clearly have no time for it until the book is complete.
The book is planned for release as early as possible after the Christmas season and New Years are over. There was no way I could have possibly have readied it for a Christmas release, so I want it to come out as soon as the whole holiday period has passed. I am keeping the title and other details to myself until the project nears completion. At its longest, the manuscript comprised well over 250,000 words, which translates to approximately 800 pages. I am near the end of the editing process and I expect the final page count to be about 600, at the least. I am shooting for a published release date as soon after 1/1/11 as possible. Whatever the final release date, the book should be available from Amazon a week or two later, followed by the Kindle version in probably no more than two more months, and then a Smashwords (Nook) version will be offered at some point after that, probably no later than April 1.
As I have stated repeatedly on this blog, I am not a journalist. Although Babygate has been given a complete chapter in the book and many of Sarah's shenanigans another chapter, there is no silver bullet that is going to stop the political madness. As with all my writing, this book will be a complete psychoanalysis of a nation that has lost its mind, and that will be the central focus of the book. However, most of the Babygate material from this blog has been included in the book, albeit rearranged and edited, and some passages have been re-written. I look forward to sharing my twenty-year project with all my Palin Babygate readers. You will not be disappointed!
Friday, October 22, 2010
I wrote this article for Blogger News Network back on 9/29/08. I still think this list is a lot of fun!
Monster movies have fascinated me for over fifty years. As with anything else, there are, of course, good ones and bad ones, and in this genre, many produced in very poor taste. Some aficionados of the genre prefer those films that are heavy on the scare and light on the gore, and my tastes certainly fall within that category. As every October rolls around, I eagerly look forward to seeing the spate of horror flicks traipsed out by the cable channels, hoping this year that they will have discovered good taste. The sixty-two films listed here represent the best overview of the more tasteful classics for you to view over the course of the thirty-one nights of October.
This is an eclectic collection that ignores a few genres such as bloody slash-o-ramas and repeated sequels, but includes many B-movies that have received acclaim for their creators’ imaginations. A few notable writers, directors, and actors, especially those from famous television series, have been listed. The list is in release date order: if an exact date is included, it is to differentiate this order. Two run times are listed wherever two versions of the film have been released. All official information listed should be credited to Amazon and its sister site, the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com). NA means the film is not available directly from Amazon as of September 2008. You may very well locate the film for rent or elsewhere. Certainly many of them are occasionally shown on television. Find a partner to squeeze during the scary parts and let the fun begin!
Dracula (February 1931 / 75 minutes / $22 Special Edition) – Bela Lugosi discovers his calling.
King Kong (April 1933 / 100 & 104 minutes / $10) – Giant monkey love sells well during The Great Depression.
The Wolf Man (December 1941 / 70 minutes / $18) – Lon Chaney, Jr., Ralph Bellamy, Claude Rains, & Bela Lugosi – The old gypsy tells her tale and America is never the same again.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (March 1943 / 74 minutes / $13) – This began the monster-meets-monster genre that we have become so familiar with today. The most unusual thing about this film is that Bela Lugosi is playing Frankenstein’s monster instead of Dracula.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (June 1948 / 83 minutes / $15) – Bela Lugosi & Lon Chaney, Jr. – This feature opened the door to a string of A/C scream fests. This one has the honor of including Frankie, Dracula, and The Wolf Man.
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (August 1953 / 76 minutes / NA) – Boris Karloff & Craig Stevens of Peter Gunn – This is one of those kid movies that I just cannot seem to get enough of: Costello steals the show, of course.
Godzilla (April 1956 / 80 minutes / $15) – The original Japanese version was released in 1954. Scenes shot in L.A. with Raymond Burr of Perry Mason were added to the version released in the U.S. in 1956.
The Werewolf (July 1956 / 79 minutes / $20 w/three other films) – This is the matinee that first showed me what a monster movie was. It’s not that great a movie, but it has stuck with me for a long time.
I Was a Teenage Werewolf (June 1957 / 76 minutes / NA) – Michael Landon of Bonanza & Little House on the Prairie – Landon’s beard was a lot messier and his teeth were awful in this teenage scream fest. I found it to be considerably scarier than The Werewolf.
Queen of Outer Space (September 7, 1958 / 80 minutes / $13) – Zsa Zsa Gabor – The DVD is available at Amazon with surprisingly outstanding reviews. She was the queen, all right, and she was hardly old enough to slap a cop in this campy sci-fi romp.
The Blob (September 12, 1958 / 82 minutes / $30) – Steve McQueen – What? There are no motorcycles in this picture? No cars, either? Did the Jolly Green Giant knock over his ketchup bottle?
The Killer Shrews (1959 / 69 minutes) – These shrews are a lot bigger than mice.
The Giant Gila Monster (1959 / 74 minutes) – The title says it all. These two were originally released together as a B&W, double-feature matinee in 1959 (no month of release is available). Both are now available at Amazon as a $13 package of both movies in both B&W and colorized versions on two DVD’s.
House on Haunted Hill (February 1959 / 75 minutes / $11) – Directed by William Castle – Vincent Price – William Castle knew how to make teens jump out of their seats with carefully crafted plots and simple B&W sets.
The Tingler (July 1959 / 82 minutes / $9) – Directed by William Castle - Vincent Price & Darryl Hickman of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis – What made this movie special was the unusually original nature of the monster and a few of its special plot details.
Psycho (June 1960 / 109 minutes / $20 Special Edition) – Directed by Alfred Hitchcock – Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles & Janet Leigh – Jamie Lee’s mom learns the danger of a shower.
Homicidal (June 1961 / 87 minutes / NA) – Directed by William Castle - Glenn Corbett from Route 66 – William Castle may have taken a rear seat in the theatre behind Hitchcock, but he certainly knew how to entertain us!
Black Sunday (February 1961 / 83 minutes / $8) – Barbara Steele of the 1991 Dark Shadows series – The restored version of this Italian classic is currently available with 78 outstanding reviews for the new DVD release at Amazon. I knew from the very first scene that this is what vampires and witches were all about. If you choose to watch only one pre-Dracula ’79 vampire movie, this should be it.
Pit and the Pendulum (August 1961 / 80 minutes / $10) – Directed by Roger Corman – Screenplay by Richard Matheson – Vincent Price & Barbara Steele – This one was selected from the slate of movies produced by the same crew because it features Barbara Steele and the plot is one of the more memorable of this group.
The Raven (January 1963 / 86 minutes / NA) – Directed by Roger Corman – Screenplay by Richard Matheson – Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff & Jack Nicholson – This is one of the more unusual storylines shown by this crew in The Sixties.
The Birds (March 1963 / 119 minutes / $15) – Directed by Alfred Hitchcock – Tippi Hedren (Melanie Griffith’s mom), Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, & Suzanne Pleshette of The Bob Newhart Show – This seemed at the time to be the first attempt at the release of a truly A-rated (as opposed to B-movie) monster or horror film. Shot in color with big-name stars, this film introduced an idea that would later be extrapolated upon by Stephen King: create the monster from some benign entity in our everyday lives.
The Tomb of Ligeia (January 1965 / 81 minutes / $13) – Directed by Roger Corman - Vincent Price – This is the film in this Sixties series that is most often overlooked, but I have always felt it was the queen of the crop. It’s not so much monstrous and scary as it is unusually engrossing and carefully detailed. Like the last three movies on this list, Ligeia is as much a love story as it is a fright fest.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (January 1968 / TV / 120 minutes / $13) – Jack Palance – This is the best version of the classic Stevenson tale you will see on any size screen.
Rosemary’s Baby (June 1968 / 136 minutes / $7) – Written by Ira Levin – Screenplay by Roman Polanski – Mia Farrow – This film carried the A-grade horror movie to the next level, and made Mia Farrow a star and Roman Polanski a celebrity.
The Night Stalker (January 1972 / TV / 74 minutes / $10) – Written by Richard Matheson – Darren McGavin of Riverboat, Claude Akins of Murder, She Wrote, & Larry Linville of M*A*S*H – Has there ever been a better attempt made by a television movie to rival theatrical releases in the traditional monster movie genre? This movie pilot of the television series was actually scary!
The Girl Most Likely to… (November 6, 1973 / TV / 73 minutes / $10) – Written by Joan Rivers - Stockard Channing from The West Wing & Ed Asner from The Mary Tyler Moore Show & Lou Grant – This is such an unusual and little-known movie that I had to include it here. A homely young woman is mistreated horribly in a social context by a number of men she dates. After plastic surgery improves (and changes) her appearance, she hunts them down and kills them, each in a deliciously appropriate manner.
Frankenstein: The True Story (November 30, 1973 / TV / 182 minutes / $15) – James Mason, Michael Sarrazin, David McCallum of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Jane Seymour of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman & Agnes Moorehead of Bewitched – This is the best, most realistic expression of the monster classic.
The Exorcist (December 1973 / 122 & 132 minutes / $12) – Written by William Peter Blatty – Directed by William Friedkin - Linda Blair & Ellen Burstyn – We all know this movie redefined the word blockbuster. Who would ever have thought that people would stand in line to buy advanced tickets to see green vomit in a matinee?
Scream of the Wolf (January 1974 / TV / 78 minutes / NA) – Screenplay by Richard Matheson – Peter Graves of Fury and Mission Impossible & Clint Walker of Cheyenne – The appeal of this movie is mostly to see a pair of legendary primetime heroes of The Sixties act in a monster movie in which one of them is probably the villain.
Dracula (February 1974 / TV / 100 minutes / $13) – Jack Palance – screenplay by Richard Matheson – Jack Palance brings another classic performance to television.
The Stepford Wives (February 1975 / TV / 115 minutes / $13) – Written by Ira Levin (author of Rosemary’s Baby, The Boys from Brazil, & No Time for Sergeants) – Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss of He & She & Tina Louise of Gilligan’s Island – Don’t let that silly, trashy, theatrical remake of this television classic spoil your appetite for robotic women.
Jaws (June 1975 / 124 minutes / $10) – Directed by Steven Spielberg – Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss & Robert Shaw – I went swimming in the ocean off the Florida coast the day after watching Jaws in its first run, so what else is new? It never ages.
The Omen (June 1976 / 111 minutes / $15) – Gregory Peck & Lee Remick – The 2006 remake sucks, but this original was one of the better early attempts at making a horror movie for adults.
Carrie (November 1976 / 98 minutes / $11) – Written by Stephen King – Directed by Brian De Palma – Sissy Spacek, Nancy Allen, Amy Irving & John Travolta – The word is that Tabitha fished the manuscript out of the trash where Stephen had thrown it, and the rest is celebrity millionaire history.
King Kong (December 1976 / 134 minutes / $10) – Jeff Bridges plays the stowaway scientist hero, Jessica Lange gets a new boyfriend with big muscles, Charles Grodin calls for the mosquito spray, and Rene Aberjonois is the same pompous jackass as he is on Benson & Boston Legal.
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (August 1977 / 91 minutes / $10) – Jodie Foster & Martin Sheen of The West Wing – Teenaged Jodie plays a youngster who is acting as an adult after she has murdered her parents and buried them in the basement.
The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (January 1978 / TV / 300 minutes / NA) – Written by Thomas Tryon – Bette Davis, Rosanna Arquette, Rene Auberjonois, Donald Pleasence, & Tracey Gold of Growing Pains – This is simply the best currently unavailable movie on this list. Watch it if you can find it anywhere because it’s one of the best movies ever made for television. For some reason, the movie version of Thomas Tryon’s first book, The Other, is more commonly available, but in my opinion, Harvest Home is by far the better book and movie.
Halloween (October 25, 1978 / 91 & 101 minutes / $11) – Jamie Lee Curtis & Donald Pleasence – If only all slasher movies were as good as this one. Like mother, like daughter!
Alien (May 1979 / 117 minutes / $15) – Directed by Ridley Scott – Sigourney Weaver & Tom Skerritt – Like the legendary episode in which the M*A*S*H producers write off Colonel Blake, the actors in the ship’s crew were not aware exactly how the baby alien was going to make his appearance. This movie shot monster movies into the next dimension!
Dracula (July 1979 / 109 minutes / $10) – Frank Langella & Laurence Olivier – This one was a very successful play first, and the quality of the production, dialog, and soundtrack shine throughout.
The Shining (May 1980 / 146 minutes / $10) – Written by Stephen King – Directed by Stanley Kubrick – Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall & Scatman Crothers – Everybody in it should have received an Oscar.
Altered States (December 1980 / 102 minutes / $8) – Written by Paddy Chayefsky – Directed by Ken Russell – William Hurt, Blair Brown of The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid of Hill Street Blues & Drew Barrymore – This is an outstanding psychedelic psychodrama, and I think it is Ken Russell’s most accessible work. Surprisingly, the monster movie element of Altered States is my least favorite thing about it. Drugs and silence in the tank, yes, monkeys climbing out, no, is my vote.
The Howling (April 1981 / 91 minutes / $11) – Screenplay by John Sayles – Directed by Joe Dante – Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone, Slim Pickens, John Carradine, & Patrick Macnee of The Avengers – Don’t bother reading any of The Howling series of books because they all suck, as do all the movie sequels, but if you can see only one werewolf movie, this must be the one! The editing is tight, the soundtrack is excellent, the acting is clever, and of course, Rob Bottin raised the bar for all future monster movies. One little bit of trivia: the story goes that Spielberg liked Dee Wallace in The Howling so much that he launched her career as a movie soccer mom by casting her in E.T.
Wolfen (July 1981 / 115 minutes / $10) – Written by Whitley Strieber – Albert Finney & Gregory Hines – The book is one of the best of its genre. The movie version fails to include certain details that make the book so fascinating, but it’s still a winner.
An American Werewolf in London (August 1981 / 97 minutes / $7) – Written & Directed by John Landis – I have never liked this werewolf production as much as some do, but it is no doubt one of the best of its genre. I like the beginning and ending much better than the middle. If you like watching the dead friend deteriorate, then you might even enjoy the middle.
Poltergeist (June 4, 1982 / 114 minutes / $10) – Written by Steven Spielberg – Directed by Tobe Hooper – Craig T. Nelson of Coach, JoBeth Williams & Beatrice Straight – With big names and top production everywhere, this is the best movie about a haunting of anything.
The Thing (June 25, 1982 / 109 minutes / $10) – Directed by John Carpenter – Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley of Our House & Richard Masur of One Day at a Time – This movie made the list mostly because I like it better than John Carpenter’s other works. Horror fans seem to be divided concerning the quality and value of this remake.
The Hunger (April 1983 / 97 minutes / $15) – Written by Whitley Strieber - Directed by Tony Scott - Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie & Susan Sarandon – Strieber’s follow-up to Wolfen is weaker in both book and movie versions, but the star power is interesting. If only the rest of the movie held up to the level of the stunning opening, the opinions would probably be very different. The excitement of the tightly edited visuals and spunky Bauhaus tune deteriorates into a slow and loosely edited film.
Cujo (August 1983 / 91 minutes / $10) – Written by Stephen King – Dee Wallace & Christopher Stone – I had to pick one of the many Stephen King scripts about an otherwise commonplace and benign entity becoming a monster. Cujo happens to be my favorite of the bunch, although some of you may find a clown or an old Plymouth more frightening.
Body Double (October 1984 / 114 minutes / $11) – Directed by Brian De Palma – Craig Wasson & Melanie Griffith – I think this is one of the great unheralded thrillers of our time, and certainly DePalma’s best effort after Carrie.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (November 1984 / 91 minutes / $13) – Directed by Wes Craven – Robert Englund, John Saxon of Falcon Crest, & Johnny Depp – This is Wes Craven at his best, far more original than the many teenage stabbings of the Friday the 13th series. This one brought nightmares to life and made Robert Englund something of a household name.
Fright Night (August 1985 / 106 minutes / $9) – Chris Sarandon & Roddy McDowall – This may be just another vampire story plotline, but it is the best of its very specific genre.
Silver Bullet (October 1985 / 95 minutes / $8) – Written by Stephen King – Gary Busey, Corey Haim, & Everett McGill of Twin Peaks – Based on a story I have read, but few others have, entitled Cycle of the Werewolf, this is a case in which the movie is better than the book. The magic is derived from the story being told from the viewpoint of two kids, and of course, Busey is perfectly cast as the wild and crazy uncle the kids love.
Aliens (July 1986 / 137 & 154 minutes / $18) – Directed by James Cameron – Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser of Mad About You & Bill Paxton of Big Love – Most of us already know that the full level of scares, gunfire, and suspense crammed into this quite exceptional sequel is enough for anyone in one night!
Manhunter (August 1986 / 119 & 124 minutes / $13) – Written by Thomas Harris – Directed by Michael Mann – William Petersen of CSI & Dennis Farina of Law & Order – This little-known work should have launched William Petersen, Michael Mann, and Thomas Harris into household name status, but we all know it took the sinister mask of Anthony Hopkins to bring Manhunter to the attention of most of the public. I know you’ve seen The Red Dragon remake, but you need to see this one, too. It’s somewhat different, and probably better, easily one of the best movies on this list.
Werewolf (July 1987 / TV /90 minutes / NA) – John J. York, Lance LeGault, & Chuck Connors of The Rifleman – This is the pilot movie of what I view as Fox Network’s first attempt at a high-quality, imaginative series. Of course it was totally eclipsed by The X-Files, but that’s another story. Watch this one if you haven’t already and can find it. It’s a nice concept: the werewolf is the hero, and I positively love the music. It’s like every time the werewolf appears on screen, MTV took over the production studio.
Near Dark (October 1987 / 94 minutes / $10) – Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen & Jenette Goldstein – Some of the bug hunt crew from Aliens go after vampires in West Texas. The Tangerine Dream soundtrack is especially good.
The Serpent and The Rainbow (February 1988 / 98 minutes / $12) – Directed by Wes Craven – Bill Pullman – I felt I had to include at least one zombie film or I would receive a deluge of complaints from the undead. I am obviously not a zombie fan, but this one particularly gives me the cooties, and I mean that in a good way.
The Silence of the Lambs (February 1991 / 118 minutes / $15) – Written by Thomas Harris – Directed by Jonathan Demme - Anthony Hopkins & Jodie Foster – How could I not include the movie that made an already established, serious, English actor a household name? Although this is the favorite of most fans of the series, I clearly like Manhunter better. I guess I am somewhat more fascinated by The Tooth Fairy and his blind girlfriend than I am by a cannibal.
Dracula (November 1992 / 128 minutes / $11) – Directed by Francis Ford Coppola - Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves & Winona Ryder – I have to admit that this is my favorite movie of the whole list. Although I have never been a fan of Italian opera, this thing thunders through my screen like a snarling pack of wolves chasing a tragic couple who are deeply in love. Did I mention Gary Oldman’s hairdo and Winona’s boobs? If you’re looking for great acting, watch The Shining. If you want to grip the arms of your chair, watch Aliens. If you want to be blown away by a soundtrack, awed by elaborate sets, and wallow in the depth of a supernatural love affair, this is your movie.
Wolf (June 1994 / 125 minutes / $9) – Directed by Mike Nichols - Jack Nicholson, James Spader & Michelle Pfeiffer – This is a werewolf movie for adults in general and for people who normally don’t like monster movies in particular.
Interview with the Vampire (November 1994 / 123 minutes / $14) – Written by Anne Rice – Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater & Kirsten Dunst – I have to admit that I am a huge Anne Rice fan. I have even read some of her lengthy tomes twice. This surprisingly is one of my less favorite of her Vampire Chronicles, but it is the only one made into a movie from a screenplay she wrote, and that makes all the difference in the world. This is a high-quality production from any standpoint, and all vampire fans should most certainly see it.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
At 10 a.m. Eastern this morning Tom Ashbrook interviewed Michael Joseph Gross on his On Point radio show from Boston. The entire show can be heard at the first link in this post. I want to send out a special thank you to PB reader Cambridge Knitter for posting the link in a comment on the Kicking Butts & Taking Names post. The interview is well worth hearing!
If you have been following the whole Vanity Fair series of articles involved, I am sure you are already aware of most of the content of this interview. However, there are two particular new elements of the story that I noted in the live interview that deserve mention.
The first is when Mr. Gross is asked by the Mr. Ashbrook to describe exactly what the author meant by his phrase a sad and smoldering strangeness lies beneath. First of all, Michael choked on this question to the point that the sudden infusion of the bane of radio, dead air, caused the host to try to fill the void, and then after asking Mr. Gross to continue, Ashbrook finally cut to a commercial. After the commercial break, Tom Asked Michael a different question, but Michael asked to return to the original question. Before I mention his answer, I want to say that visions of Babygate and the sadness that Gryphen has mentioned surrounding that mystery flashed in front of my eyes! Michael's answer was methodically spoken, as if it was very carefully considered. His reply concerned the pall that seems to surround Wasilla and its sad, confused residents. He said that he had spent nearly three weeks in the town talking with residents, and most of their comments were along the lines of feeling betrayed when Sarah abandoned them for fame and fortune in the Lower 48. As you might surmise, I am sure that a lot of Wasilla residents gave Mr. Gross this precise impression, but I am not totally convinced that his reply to the host's question was the entire truth of the matter. Michael obviously chose to think the question and his answer through thoroughly before blurting out something that he might live to regret. My guess is that the truth of Babygate is hidden somewhere in the mind of Mr. Gross as he pondered his reply. I thought much the same thing the first time I read that key phrase in his Vanity Fair article, although to be fair, I also considered the paranoid citizens of Wasilla, just as he stated.
The second nice surprise was much more interesting: a lady called in to ask about Babygate, and they almost discussed it! Before you get too excited, remember that this is the top rung of my Babygate soapbox. Liberal NPR radio host Tom Ashbrook squashed this opportunity to discuss the truth just as efficiently as he could muster on a moment's notice. He mumbled some reference back to the rumors that had been so quickly disqualified back at the beginning of Palin's national career, and then immediately proceeded to make damn sure that the audience understood that this was not a serious matter to be discussed. See! This is exactly what I have been ranting about! This is how they do it, over and over again. This is why this horrible monster is taking over our country. The blankety-blank media, even the so-called liberal media, are helping her do it!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
One of the tunes by Mott the Hoople that caught my ear the first time I heard the band's first album in 1970 was "Laugh at Me", written by Sonny Bono and sung by Ian Hunter in a distinctly Dylanesque style. As you can see from this picture of me from 1965, I was a huge Dylan fan from his classic years. After staring at the cover photo on Highway 61 Revisited and other notable Dylan poses, I had my sister tease my hair, donned my paisley shirt and shades, and had her take my picture in front of a rusty little red wagon in our back yard. This shot from 1965 was originally taken as a slide with a Kodak Instamatic, so the quality may not be the best, but the point is that I have a sense of humor, about both myself and my heroes.
Although I have been writing since the '60's, due to my four blogs, I currently have more readers than I have ever had in my life. The point of this post is to show some of the readers of my more serious material that I do have a soft spot for humor blended with nostalgia. This quality permeates most of my books and commentary, but my fourth book, Timeline of America: Sound Bytes from the Consumer Culture, wallows in it. Timeline is a little book of facts, entertaining anecdotes, irreverent humor, and a big trivia quiz in the back. You would think it is a reference book, the kind you never actually read from cover to cover. For many readers, this may be true, but I personally found its relentless humorous facts pounded into my nostalgic desires to be entertaining reading as a conventional book. Of course it is the kind of reference that is always fun to read piecemeal, but I would expect at least a few readers to enjoy it cover to cover, too. Just don't try to read too much of it at one time or your brain will turn to mush. I have always thought Robin Williams is the most talented stand-up comic of our generation. It is his relentless, rapid-fire comedy that is so chocked full of jokes in such a small space of time that impresses me. I tried to emulate this type of comedy within a nostalgic, factual context in Timeline.
For you readers coming here from Palin Babygate, I think most of you would enjoy Timeline of America if you like the more humorous posts on that blog. I have mentioned The Last Horizon: Feminine Sexuality & The Class System many times at Palin Babygate. I hope to explain the relationship for you more thoroughly now. When the subject matter of Horizon began to materialize in my mind back in the late '60's, my biggest fear was that The Class System, as I called it, would eventually devour all of American culture. The book, as it was finally revised and released in 2002, begins with a detailed explanation of The Class System and its origins in Darwinian theory and the herd instinct. Horizon starts out as a book impersonating a much more academic tome before it loosens up into a more entertaining book than you might expect from the first two chapters. Horizon is basically about the DNA of the herd instinct that drives Americans to make many poor choices in life, from their sexual partners and mates to their elected officials. First we elected an actor President, then a pseudo-cowboy party guy, and now a mean girl moron puppet threatens to darken the doors of The White House.
Much of the material on NIAFS (this blog) and Palin Babygate was intended from its origin to become part of a sequel to both Horizon and Timeline, entitled 2012: Timeline for a Psychotic Nation. If the plan progresses as originally conceived, this book will be released sometime next year and cover the period between the Midterm Elections of 2006 and at whatever point prior to the Presidential Primaries of 2012 that I choose to end it, depending on whatever happens economically and politically between now and then. The first Timeline covers all the fun things about American history, only briefly mentioning wars, social strife, racism, and economic issues. The sequel was originally planned for 2010, but recent events have pushed the release back a couple of years. How seriously depressing will the 2012 sequel be? That is the question that I have difficulty answering, even as I have pondered it for several years. America has had very little to laugh about over the past decade. This is why Horizon and Timeline of America have been so light. Depressing my readers is not my goal. Before I dive into the depths of what America has recently become, give Horizon and/or Timeline a read and try not to laugh. This is what Nonfiction in a Fictional Style is all about. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Friday, August 27, 2010
Let's cut to the chase. There is precisely one, and only one, reason why any of us gives a rat's ass about Levi Johnston or any of his Palinbrat pals: he knows where the bodies are buried. Whether there is only one Trig or one separate Tripp or several of each, Levi knows enough to stop the madness, even if he is honestly ignorant about some of the details. His recantation this morning was about as surprising as a snowfall in Alaska, just as the news breaks of his girlfriend's new gig as an exciting new prime time celebrity. Wow! I have never seen this movie before. Who would have ever dreamed that the circus had kept its tent up for an extended engagement? We have to keep Joy Behar's millions coming in on the most provocative channel on cable! We wouldn't want her to actually have to tell the truth that the public really wants to hear. We have to all pretend that we care so deeply about the Palinbrat Circus that we watch it every day just for its unlimited excitement. Blow it out your millionaire ass, Joy, I'm sick of being provoked. If you cannot give us real news that matters, we'll be glad to change the channel.
I pick on Joy Behar because she used to be one of the good people, like Whoreanna Fuckington, Gloria Borger, Jay Leno, Barbara Wa-wa, and Oprah. Jay owns many of the exact models of sports cars and motorcycles that I can only worship from afar, but after decades of watching him and listening to his humor, he has been permanently placed on my no watch, no listen list. Since the day he interviewed Sarah Palin without asking a single question relevant to any pertinent scope of reality, Jay has been off my television screen. I refuse to watch even a single minute of his show. The same goes for the others I named, and more such interviewers with terminal amnesia whose names, only for the sake of brevity, I have not listed here. In my household, if you, Mr. or Ms. Millionaire A-hole Interviewer, talks on TV with Sarah Palin without asking a single tough question of the consistently lying and obfuscating witch, you are no longer welcome on my TV screen, and I mean forever.
If only we could all make this choice, maybe we could encourage some of the corporate news media to pay attention. Don't bring up that Maddow and Olbermann nonsense, either. Since when has either of them told the truth about Babygate? Do you think they were somehow excused from the meetings with the boss? Anyone who feels the same way I do about these truths should personally boycott any and all of these talking heads immediately. Yes, I understand if you want to give M & O a pass on a total boycott, but you could at least throw a pillow at the screen every time one of them is presented with a golden opportunity to mention Babygate and doesn't. Even if you make these choices within your own homes, at least your nerves could settle down a bit. If there is no decent news on television at the time, just as it seems in my house more and more these days, you could at least read a book. There are a number of these out there that will tell you the truth about SP, even if none yet specifically tell you the tale of Babygate that you yearn so deeply to read.
Whether it is a deceased Ruffles, an acquired Trig, or a Tripp born in early 2008, Levi knows the truth that will stop her. If we did not think this fact was at least more than a little likely, he could do a striptease on the news and most of us would go, Eeewww! and change the channel. Well, the male viewers would, anyway. We could care less who is the next Mayor of Wasilla or the dancing partner of a has-been star. We are all weary of counting babies and examining baby faces, ears, and toes. How many more newscasters, interviewers, and talk show hosts can we tune out? We are running out of viable news channels on our remote controls. Just tell us where the bodies are buried, take the media payoff or book deal, and run like hell to a warmer climate, Levi.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The latest poll results are in and they are no surprise to me, although the poll itself, like the photo at left, is a mysterious illusion. We know this is not Sarah Palin in this picture, and we know now that SP did not give birth in early 2008. We also know that somebody did, but outside that obvious statement, a ball of confusion has reigned over America for the past two years. Just as Tina Fey has become a symbol of something most of us were not even aware existed until August 2008, we didn't know exactly where to look for the keys to the mystery until long after the perpetrators had intentionally scrambled the evidence. Everybody went back to Saturday Night Live to see Tina imitate an idiot two years after she had left the show. Now we are all closely examining a couple or three babies to try to discover their true birthdays after the fact.
The poll question itself was strangely worded: When were the Trigs born? The poll results were easily predictable: January (41), February (65), March (16), and April (7). These represent the supposed months in 2008 in which any baby playing the part of Trig might have actually been born. The strange part is that the month is not actually as pertinent as exactly which babies are we talking about? I set up this poll at a time when I was fairly certain that Ruffles was a Trig instead of a Tripp. Now that I think it is even more likely that Ruffles is a Tripp instead of a Trig, the plot implied by this poll either thickens considerably or simplifies, depending on your point of view. From the moment I created this poll, I expected the results to show the order exactly as they have, with February being the first choice of most of my readers, and January in second place. The bigger question is what Trig or Trigs, or even Tripp, was in the mind of each voter as she made her selection in the poll? Let's assume for the moment that most of the responders were thinking of Round Ear, some were thinking of Ruffles, some were considering both, and maybe a few were even adding Elfie into the mix, but few or none were considering Tripp.
We are going to take a little detour for a moment to a right-wing blog that discussed Governor Palin as McCain's VP pick in May and June 2008. This article at Wizbang clearly delineates that hopeful Alaskan Palin fans, and some from outside the state, were keenly aware that McCain might very well unleash the pitbull. Most of the commenters were thrilled with the idea. If you read through those comments, you will begin to better understand the title of this post. Yes, I know that most of them are laughable in their naivete about Palin's personality, accomplishments, and future issues, but the time frame of these comments should send a chill through your sane mind. If the witch's Alaskan Fan Club knew this much this early about McCain's plans, exactly how much and how early did Sarah Palin know? Needless to say, this article reminds me just how much I have been singing this tune for nearly two years: it was all a plot, people!
Now the next little detour I want you to take is to go to the Tripp slideshow in the sidebar. If you have already examined it, please take another look because I added a few more photos just before writing this post. There are purposely no captions or identifying dates listed in this slideshow, but the order of the pictures is important. I have positioned each of them in as chronological a manner as I can just by looking at Tripp and ignoring all the other information. Yes, there could be a few minor discrepancies within this order. I tried to group them by subject and size just to make the slideshow flow smoothly, but the point is to closely examine the age Tripp appears to be, while ignoring whatever preconceptions you might have about the time of the shooting or publication of any particular photographs. Open your mind and you might discover a few new avenues of thought.
The poll indicates clearly that most of us think whatever babies are involved in the Babygate mystery were born earlier in 2008 than has been publicly stated. As I am sure some of you have surmised, once you have opened your mind to the possibility that Ruffles is actually Tripp, and Tripp is approximately eight months older than publicly claimed, many Freudian slips from both The Johnstons and The Palins will fall a little more neatly into place. So do many baby pictures we have seen displayed during television interviews and in many other media sources. As with your opinion of Tina Fey, who once was just another funny SNL comedienne, you might find that your opinion of the mystery of Babygate has also shifted. What seemed so obvious two years ago looks like an illusion now, doesn't it?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The poll numbers concerning the whereabouts of Ruffles show little agreement. In fact, they are all over the map. Both my wife and I voted for deceased, with institutionalized as our second choice. From the 260 votes cast, 73 were for Living with Someone Else, 55 for Living with His Real Mom, 54 Deceased, 29 Living with Another Relative, 23 Stashed at the Compound, 18 Institutionalized, 5 Living with Bristol, and 3 Disguised as DS Trig.
Beginning at the bottom, obviously few of the PB readers think that Ruffles has reappeared as another Trig, either Round ear or with elfin ears. I think the general consensus has been from the start that if there had been any ear surgery or molding done on Ruffles, it would have been to create the elfin ears. Few people really think that Ruffles could have possibly been turned into Round Ear, which is the leading issue that has propelled the Two Babies theory in the first place. Ruffles is one baby and Round Ear is a second baby, regardless of the existence or not of a third child who has played the part of Trig. The general hypothesis I get from this tiny poll number is that support for the ear modified, third Trig theory is waning; however, the psychologist in me is going to have a pertinent comment or two about this concept after the all the results have been detailed.
Five people suggested that Ruffles is now living with Bristol. Unless you are also hypothesizing that Tripp or another Trig is the same child as Ruffles, I do not see how this theory can hold. It is, indeed, a choice that had to be included in the poll for thoroughness, but there are several problems with it in this case. First of all, the only photos of Bristol pushing a twin stroller show Trig and Tripp at some time well after 12/27/08. There have been absolutely no reports or sightings of two babies present except for the obvious combination of Trig and Tripp. There has been every indication that Bristol took Tripp when she moved into the condo, and then she returned to the compound with Tripp, with no indication of a second baby being involved.
I was surprised that only eighteen chose Institutionalized. My best guess is that this assumes that Ruffles has FAS, and that is still a fairly firm part of my own theory. If Ruffles was simply a little weak or premature, but otherwise a normal baby, then this depressing future for Ruffles is a decreased likelihood. I suspect that at least a few of the poll voters may have avoided this choice simply because it is depressing, and they had rather hold higher hopes for Ruffles. I would suppose that if Ruffles does not have FAS, then he could probably be adopted out to a nice home.
Is Ruffles still very much alive and stashed at the compound? Has he remained a closely guarded secret all this time? I was quite surprised that 23 people selected this choice. Whenever I have broached the subject of his being hidden away as a deep, dark secret in the past, there seemed to be little agreement on this theory. Now I am not sure what to think of these latest results. Maybe more people are now leaning in that direction?
If Ruffles was sent to live with another relative, then 29 voters got it right. There are certainly at least a handful of such relatives to choose from, but I still vote against this choice. I am not sure why, but something just does not add up. There seems to have been no mention lately of contact between Bristol and these other relatives, for one thing, however, that might not mean much. Are those who selected this choice thinking of Sarah's sister Molly or Aunt Heather? What about the relative who lives in Seattle?
Fifty-four of us voted that the child is deceased. If this depressing scenario turns out to be the truth, I have three suggestions for the cause, in decreasing order of likelihood. The first of course is that the baby was born very weak and premature and simply died of whatever complications might have ensued. The second is that he died as a result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The third is that he smothered in the sling that Sarah may have carried him in to her office or elsewhere. The information about the sling recall was in the news many months ago, long before I began this blog. I took note of the issue at that time, but I have been hesitant to mention this possibility due to its possible unfairness, as well as its incendiary nature. Please note that I have listed this only as the least likely possibility. When I chose deceased in the poll, I was distinctly basing that choice on the first two listed causes, or possibly even a combination of the two. The third choice is always possible, but highly unlikely.
Fifty-five voters think Ruffles has already been placed back in the home of his real mother, whomever that might be. I assume from this that a large number of you still think Sarah might have borrowed a baby. If the only evidence we had of Ruffles was the kitchen photo shoot, then I could allow this theory more credibility, however, this is not the case. We know that Ruffles appeared in two different photo shoots that same weekend, and most likely took part in two additional, official governor's business events, too! No way in hell is any mother, even a devoted friend and Palinbot, going to lend out her premature newborn to be carried into and around Anchorage and passed off as the governor's baby! Who was reported as seen holding that newborn at one of these events? Piper. Give me a break, people. This whole borrowed baby nonsense is officially off my radar screen until proven otherwise.
Could Ruffles simply be living with someone else? More of you agree on this premise than any other, and I cannot say that this choice is far off the mark. Although this would be my third choice, 73 of you voted for it, and you could certainly be right. If there was not a problem adopting out Ruffles, then why not? This would be the humane, wonderful solution we would all like to see. Not only would Ruffles have new loving parents, he would be spared the psychosis of growing up Palin! The fly in the ointment here is why would Bristol allow him to be adopted out if he was a normal, healthy child? Yes, I would love to think this scenario is the the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but I am skeptical nonetheless. I certainly give this choice higher credence than most of the others. I have a problem with the baby being borrowed or kept hidden within the family in some manner, but if he was born and then simply adopted out, he would be out of the public eye forever. The story could end right there for Ruffles. He would grow up to be a normal kid known only for his unusual ears, not his crazy celebrity family.
The psychologist has a few closing comments. The relentless manner in which modern Americans seem to leap from one conclusion to another, depending on whatever is most recently displayed in a blog post, or even a comment to a blog post, has become rather appalling in its short-sighted and immediate level of gratification. Some other bloggers and commenters I know have aroused suspicions over the birth of another child on 4/18/08, and now the innertubes are buzzing with delight. The opinions are flying furiously as to whether or not this birth announcement has any relevance to Babygate. I am not making a judgment call on this issue in either direction at this point, but I am attempting to direct your energies into a more generalized direction. There was a time a few months ago when the concept of a third Trig was all the rage. When Tipp's birth date was announced, yet no one saw him until two months later, even I was referring to him as The Invisible Baby. We have to be careful of some of this theory hopping according to whatever happens to be in our faces at the moment. The only thing we all agree upon is that Sarah Palin is the most despicable politician in American history and we want her out of our faces, off the national political stage, off our television sets, away from our innertubes, and preferably wearing orange and residing in a small cell with a large African-American lesbian named Maybelle!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Just when I thought the dust had settled a bit on the multiple Trig theories, up pops a batch of photos I had not seen before! The photo at right is a cropped version of the very large shot Gryphen just posted yesterday. This is another one of the poses shot for the OK Magazine cover at the 5/4/08 baby shower. I was just about to post a few side by side cropped shots for a discussion of whether or not the April-May '08 Trigs are the same baby or not when annes_123 posted a link to a new Flickr photostream that I think explodes all over the page! It is always possible that I am lost in the ozone again, and these pictures have all been seen before and I have just missed them, but I don't think so. I have been in contact with the creator of this array: all the photos originated from Team Sarah. You can go to Flickr to examine these surprising photos within their complete array with an assortment of photos of Sarah without Trig or you can click the slide show in the sidebar to see only the large shots of Batwing Trig that I have selected for the relevance of this post.
For the sake of all my new readers here at PB, I can only hope that I am not jumping up and down like a little girl, making a fool of myself over what I am only assuming at this point is a new discovery. The thing that shocks me the most are the shots that seem to show the reprisal of Batwing Trig to a degree that I had heretofore never seen! The first ones you will see are labeled (#) 5 and playing with socks on book tour, and #2 is a very clear shot of the batwing ear. There are more surprises scattered throughout the subsequent pages of the photo array, although a lot of these shots are already very familiar to most of us. I am not going to jump to any further conclusions until I learn more about the origins of these unfamiliar pictures. At this point in time, I am quite simply flabbergasted at this stunning new evidence of the existence of Batwing Trig!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Pardon me while I whip this out! This post has been a long time coming, and I may meander a bit in telling the story. Try to stay with me: this cat's tale is a convoluted one.
First of all, I want to thank all those who helped make July 10, 2010, what might turn out to be the ultimate high point of my blogging days. These include Bree Palin, Gryphen and Patrick, who apparently decided it was time to recognize Palin Babygate, the regular readers who commented and sent me direct messages, and of course, all the newbies who finally discovered that there might be something interesting to read over at PB. I can only hope that a significant percentage of you will continue to visit and comment.
That brings us all to an annoying little pebble in the mattress that I do not think we shall ever completely remove, the comment system at PB. After reading through many of your issues posted here and at IM yesterday, I spent considerable time further researching the problem. The short answer is that I do not think I can find a better solution than we already have. All those little known and even less utilized comment options have been deleted. You must now unequivocally set up a Google account to comment on this blog. I do not think this option is as scary or problematic as you might fear. You can provide as much or as little information as you choose, and you can change it at any later time, too. When someone clicks the link on your comment to learn more about you, all that must be listed is your screen name and how many times others have sought the same information. If sharing any information with Google privately that is not displayed scares you, I am afraid I do not have a better alternative. I have been using the Google system on all my blogs for years, and I have no complaints whatsoever, as either a blog author or commenter on other blogs.
To continue this discussion about comments, I must include the two big boys of our industry, PG and IM, two blogs that are as significantly different from PB as they are from each other. PG uses the Disqus system for comments and IM allows anonymous comments with moderation. Especially considering the subject matter and lack of anonymity, I am sure any of you would agree that I would have to be truly nuts to offer anonymous comments without moderation. I personally do not like moderation, from the standpoint of either a blogger or a commenter. If something changes in the future, I shall, of course, change with it, but for now, the Google system probably works best for me. Yes, I have often considered copying PG's Disqus system idea, but whenever I analyze the big picture, I decide against it. If that's what the gang over at PG wants, fine, that's their business, but the swirling circles of chit-chat that this sort of system encourages is just not my thing. Yes, I want to have a lot of influence over the mood and direction of our movement, but that does not necessarily include a large herd of regular commenters. I would much prefer a large herd of regular readers, some of whom have already conversed with me via direct e-mail on a regular basis. Gryphen has his thing, Patrick and Kathleen have theirs, and I have mine. I hope none of you are offended by this analogy because no offense is intended. I hope thousands of you flood my in-box with comments. I read every one of them. However, I want to read them as they come in and are posted at PB. I do not want you to have to wait for me to come home from an errand, sort through all the messages, and then release the appropriate ones to the blog. I also do not wish to return home to a relentless spam or Palinbot attack, either, courtesy of having the convenience of Anonymous comments.
For all of my newcomers, please allow me to indulge in the repetition of what you regulars most likely already know. I am not, nor have I ever been or ever had interest in becoming, a journalist, a rock star, a television or radio personality, or a scientific researcher (all right, that one I did at one time aspire to be, but that's another story). I have a lot more in common with Karl Rove than President Obama, aside from the political side of the fence Mr. Rove has wallowed in for decades! I am a behind the scenes sort of guy. I have never had the looks for television or the voice for radio. What I am is a writer. Bree mentioned in the interview how she always just threw her blog posts together quickly without thinking much about them, and that is indeed how most bloggers write, but not me. I have to be in a special imaginative, creative frame of mind. I have to have a catchy title, a hook like a Top Forty single, a purpose, and an emotional ending of some sort to tie it all together. Nearly everything I write has been mulled over in my mind beforehand, sometimes for months, never for merely moments. When I get my story together, I nail it down in the computer, along with all my previous inspirations. I do the majority of the editing in my head long before I begin to write, so there is usually little to be changed after the composition has been made. Everything is proofread because pesky errors will always find their way into even the best planned posts.
I have never written fiction. I have read some of it, but I prefer nonfiction of many different types. Every book I have written is a compilation of many such inspired short pieces as described above. Yes, I am planning another book. I have been planning it since 2002, but this particular story has already been delayed several times. This next book will not be an expose of the scams of Sarah Palin, although a large majority of many blog posts that I have made at PB and NIAFS in recent years will be edited into the content, along with other material that I began writing long before I had ever heard the witch's name. As I said, I am not a journalist. That is just not my thing. I am a psychosocial, political and economic, commentator. There is a little Bill Hicks, Bill Maher, Bill Engvall, George Carlin, Bill O'Reilly, Jean Shepherd, Lewis Black, Michael Moore, Al Franken, James Howard Kunstler, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, Robert Rimmer, Peter Egan, and Kurt Vonnegut in practically everything I write.
There is one key point that I wish to make about my position on Babygate. No book or politician is going to bring the bitch down. Books are written to tell you all the gory details of the story after the central scam has been exposed. Yes, Romney, Huckleberry, and others have plenty of reasons and ammunition to stop her, but they ain't gonna do it! Why? I don't know, but that is the story of the century, folks, and that is precisely why I started this blog. We have to scream it from the rooftops. The MSM is in on the scam, and the bigger the media entity or personality, the deeper they are in on it. She is not being brought down for lack of evidence, and I think this misguided concept is why Palingates bugs me. The evidence already produced has been overwhelming. One more picture or one more secret document is not going to do the trick. It is great that PG is assembling and publicizing all this stuff, but it ain't going to muzzle the pitbull. Live by the sword, die by the sword, and this screechy voice of hate is supported by the only media that can take her down. We have to convince them that the truth is about to escape and they have to grab onto the caboose of the gravy train.
In-depth interviews are one of my favorite things to read as well as write. I left Charlie Rose out of the list above so I could mention him here. I would love to repeat yesterday's performance over and over, but my tubes are tied. Like the cat above, I am ready to party, but I need someone to party with. I know many secrets and I am good at keeping them, but more key players need to come forward. One idea I think that would work concerns how so many have pleaded with Gryphen to just tell us all more of what he knows, even when it is only rumor and supposition. Why not let me send him one of my interview questionnaires and he can send copies to some of his anonymous sources? Then he could send the replies back to me and I could edit the result into one inclusive interview with several sources at once. All the interview subjects' identities would be known only by Gryphen. What's wrong with that idea? I would be happy to interview Audrey, Gryphen, Morgan, Patrick, Barb Dwyer, or any other of the famous names of Babygate, too. All they have to do is contact me and say yes.
Where is all this going? I don't have the foggiest notion. I have no more Aces or Jokers up my sleeve at this point. I am as wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as the cat in the picture. Where is my lap dance?
Friday, July 9, 2010
Back in the good old days of the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties, Playboy Magazine ran a long series of self-promotional ads with the title What Sort of Man Reads Playboy? This was a very clever ad campaign, mentioning one or more elements prevalent in the fantasized Playboy lifestyle, usually with an attractive lady in soft focus in the background. The stuff in the foreground ranged from classic cars, sports cars, and motorcycles to elegant tuxedos and exquisitely styled stereo gear, or hi-fi as it was called in those days. Now if we know nothing else, we know the fantasy baseball player pictured here is not what sort of person reads Palin Babygate! I call this photo Tiny Bat, Giant Batty. Can you think of a better caption for it?
Most of the PB readers probably are women, or ladies, to be more precise. Many of them are most likely real nerds, not hillbillies trying to impersonate librarians. I would expect the education level and the IQ of most PB readers to be quite high, far above the norm, at least far beyond that of any cadre of Palinbots. Do these ladies represent The Cultural Elite? I certainly hope so! I want my readers to be as informed and literate as possible. I am sure some of the readers are baseball fans and some are football fans, but I doubt that any of them would be caught dead wearing fancy makeup or sporting manicured nails or flashy jewelry on a fishing trip. This is not meant to exclude the male readership in any way; I just think the whole Babygate phenomenon attracts more women than men with its outlandish Wild Ride and The Guiding Light of Wasilla.
The average PB reader may have discovered this blog from a link that I may have placed elsewhere on the net, but the return visitors most likely arrived on their own power. Few other blogs display the link to Palin Babygate in their blog lists. The better known the anti-Palin blog, the less likely a link to PB can be found there. Of course the silver lining of this is that few of the Palinbots ever find this little cultural elite hideout, either, so we have few spammers to delete or trolls to ignore. It's all sociocultural theory and all civil discourse here at Palin Babygate. There are no ads, no pleading for donations, no mugs or t-shirts hawked, and most of all, no unnecessary promotional brainwashing. No story is ever exclusive; nothing is ever provocative; and there are no video clip reruns from YouTube or elsewhere to clog up your downloads or assault your ears with the screech of The Skinny Northern She-Owl. You can read it with your own eyes here: it's just all Babygate all the time.
Why do the readers come here where there is no breaking news nor pages of secret documents exposed? I think, and I hope, they come here for the quality of the material, the openness of thought, the unexpected avenues to explore and ponder. The women and men who read Palin Babygate are probably a cut above even those masses who read the more popular blogs. These are ladies and gentlemen who instinctively know without being told to leave their snark, if they had any in the first place, at the door when they enter PB. This is the blog where we have only one agenda, to stop the madness that has enveloped our once intelligent nation. We used to be proud of our intelligence. Now a tacky woman with a small bat and a big ball has fed America's particular brand of psychosis like the invasion of a MRSA bug. The smart people do not want to just knock her out of the political ballpark or make a double play by naming her promiscuous daughter as a double mom. We want to stop the whole diabolical system of preplanned insanity and clean out the infection once and for all. The readers of PB are the deeply progressive thinkers of our time. If more Americans were seriously intelligent thinkers like the readers of Palin Babygate, we would not all be trapped on this cruise to oblivion with Gopher trying to take the helm away from Captain Stubing!
A lot of people have been visiting this site lately, obviously looking for more information on four particularly rare boats built only in the 1993-98 era. The Jazz and Reflexx mini-jet boats were built by Bayliner during this period, and Four Winns produced the Unlimited speedboat in 17 and 19-foot lengths in 1996 and '97. All four of these models have always been some of my favorite boats, and you will not find any more extensive coverage of these rare models than in Ker-Splash 2: The High Performance Powerboat Book. In fact, they were singled out for attention simply because so little has ever been written about them.
Bayliner introduced its open-bow Jazz as a very simple, bare-bones sort of jet boat in 1993. The Jazz is the only one of these four boats that was produced during the entire period from '93 through '98. Its companion closed-bow model was built only in 1994 and '95. I assume that some Reflexxes were powered by the 120-horsepower four-cylinder in '95, but I have never seen one. The Jazz model began with the 90-hp Triple and the Four became standard in 1995, even as the Reflexx continued with the smaller engine. An all new hull and interior was introduced in the 1996 Jazz and the new V-6 became standard the following year.
For a brief period in the mid-Nineties, the same parent company owned both Four Winns and Donzi. The decision was made to offer a Four Winns version of the Donzi Classics. There were many similarities and differences between the Classics and the Four Winns Unlimiteds. None of the same hull sizes were duplicated, and the Classics were more expensive, while at the same time more traditionally dated in their styling and features, however all these models were very similarly shaped, designed, and powered speedboats. The Donzis have of course been continually produced for decades, but the Unlimiteds were built for only two precious years. Coincidental to the decision made by Ford to step out of the marine engine market after the 1996 model year, the first-year Unlimiteds were powered by Fords and the second year by Chevrolets. Since Four Winns employed Volvo Penta drives on all Unlimiteds, the models equipped with the Duo-prop option became particularly rare and interesting.
To read a lot more about the Unlimteds and the Bayliner jet models, as well as extensive details about all the brands and models of mini-jets built back in their exciting heyday of The Nineties, get a copy of Ker-Splash 2: The High Performance Powerboat Book. It is available at Amazon, B&N, and other online sources in both print and Kindle versions. The print version offers all the photos in their original sizes and print quality levels. The Kindle version has a few minor typos removed and a tiny number of informational changes made available in the short time frame between the release of the two versions.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Palin Babygate was created to keep us all reminded of The Big Picture. Here on this Independence Day 2010, following the post yesterday that I know many of you may have thought to be my last, I want to wrap up a few loose ends and reiterate a few basic concepts. All of us are interdependent on each other in ways we often forget. Yes, if certain events had not occurred yesterday, this might well have been my last post to Palin Babygate. Just as I had postulated earlier, without further information coming my way, there was very little else to say about The Fraud of the Millennium that had not already been repeatedly said. While the clouds dumped rain on the holiday weekend outside yesterday, the silver lining appeared inside.
The poll offered practically no surprises, even after Palinoscope's poll was factored into the results. The readers of this poll, and probably that one, too, are imagining two babies nicknamed Ruffles and Round Ear playing on the national stage as Trig Palin. Most of the time he has no speaking, or even moving, parts because he is most likely out to lunch on downers of some sort. I would even go so far as to say that the concept of a third actor playing Trig came about because Batwing Trig was seen at a stop on the book tour interacting with his fans at a level that had become unexpected for Round Ear. Whether or not it was even Batwing that was so interactive, whichever actor it was just happened to be off his meds at that time. In my opinion, there probably were few other factors involved in the inspiration for the launch of the Third Trig Theories. Now if the poll results had been different, with more emphasis on the concept of three Trigs, then I would still be offering substantial support to this theory. As it is, I am letting Batwing take a swan dive off my radar screen. As always, anyone is welcome to discuss the Third Trig Theory all they wish in the comments here, because we do not work to shut up or disparage other voices at Palin Babygate, but I am no longer holding my breath that three babies other than Tripp are involved in this greatest of all frauds.
There have been many questions and discussions concerning the possibility of Ruffles having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This theory will not so easily be banished from my concerns, not because I am an expert on the symptoms or causes of FAS, but because the analysis of motive is a key element of Palin Babygate. There are many other bloggers who are chasing photos and documents as if they are The Holy Grail, but that is not our purpose here at Palin Babygate. Our purpose is to analyze every sector of the fraud, including the years of background events that led up to this ultimate deception, as well as all possible motives, key players, and the powerful puppeteers hiding behind that heavy black curtain of warlike, conservative Christianity. If I remember correctly, I found photos online of the Palin brats and their pals swilling alcohol and smoking dope even before I heard about Babygate! Many of those still photos, bragging teenager blurbs, and video clips have long been banished from the internet, but even the National Enquirer carried a few of them as cover stories. If I had not been watching college kids on spring break and other news stories of the past few decades, I might find it difficult to believe what young drinkers are doing to their minds and bodies these days. Binge drinking is a real issue, even in Wasilla AK.
Imagine a place where it is just too damn cold to go outside much of the year. Imagine a place that is about an hour's drive to the nearest city, even if you are old enough to have a driver's license, or know somebody who does. There isn't much to do in this town when it's frozen like a popsicle. You know somebody who has some first class weed and somebody else with some of that legendary Wasilla meth. It's easy to talk that older pal into raiding the liquor store for you. Hell, let's party! Before you think this is a personal insult to Wasilla, remember that this scenario is being played out all over the USA, even in places on the West Coast, where the sun is shining and the beaches are not oily. Kids all over America are doing this and I do not know much that we can do to stop it. What I do know is that if you think babies are not being born with FAS all over the USA, you need to watch more news.
No, I am not saying that I think FAS is involved in Babygate because of any one factor. I am not even saying that I think it is definitively involved, but I am saying that FAS would be a motive I could believe. As far as the Two Babies Theory goes, it is probably my favorite. Some people are postulating twins and others dolls, but I think the possibility of FAS is far higher than those two. If the babies are unrelated, and FAS is not involved, then what was the motive? This is the major reason that I am keeping FAS on the table until it has been proven otherwise. You can show me all the documents and photos you wish, but that is not what I mean by proof. You can swear on a gaggle of flags that twins or dolls are involved, and that is not what I mean, either. If certain people tell me that they know unequivocally that FAS is not involved, then I shall remove it from my palette of possible scenarios. The key word here is certain people; who you are, not what papers and pictures you have analyzed on your computer. I mean no disrespect to anyone who is certain that twins or dolls are involved. You are always welcome to voice your opinion at Palin Babygate.
Interdependence is always present. It's like motives and opportunities, bribery and blackmail, FAS and Downs. Why, people, why? Why did an aggressive politician want to present herself as a new mother just as she stepped onto the national stage? We do not actually know whose idea the fake pregnancy was, do we? Of course the dingbat idea most likely sprouted from the dingbat's own brain, but we do not know this for a fact, do we? Exactly how far back do the strings of the puppeteers reach? Babygate in one way or another is just a continuation of the relationships with the witch doctor and Mark Chryson. It is an event that would be created decades after Curtis Menard, Jr., lived next door, and years after the Piper surprise. Babygate, for all time and all future seasons, will be the core value of Sarah Palin.
The cat picture above is one I have been waiting a year to use, because I think of the Wasilla Hillbillies every time I look at it. As I mentioned in the poll analysis, I really don't think any sort of despicable behavior commonly associated with hillbillies in the minds of many urban Americans is at the root of Babygate. I would love it if it is, but I am not holding my breath. You will not read any disparaging remarks about certain members of The Johnston Family here, either. They are just victims like the rest of us, only a lot closer to the sceechy sonic attack. Remember interdependence because there is a lot of it involved in Babygate. I try to keep the rocks out of my yard when I live in a glass house. Who else do you know in this Babygate Blogosphere who is without a speck of anonymity? Do you hear me, Sadie? Let's talk, curmudgeon grandfather to teenager.
Links to all the articles at Nonfiction in a Fictional Style (NIAFS) that are pertinent to Palin Babygate are now linked from this site in the left column. These were all published prior to the existence of Palin Babygate, in case you were wondering why they are at NIAFS instead of PB. If you visit one of these, just remember to hit the back button if you want to return to Palin Babygate; otherwise you will be roaming throughout the vast ozone of my main blog. By all means, feel free to browse while you're over there, just understand that the subject matter is quite a bit wider than it is here. The navigation down the left column works exactly the same as it does here at Palin Babygate.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. You want to know if this blog is going to continue past this post. After a few unexpected contacts made yesterday, yes it is. I still do not have a cache of decently interesting new information to share about the Babygate fraud, but hope has definitely appeared out of the overcast skies from a distant, delicately orange horizon. I was about to think the madness was all in my head and the new dawn was never going to come. I have hope now, and the more of you that contact me, the more hope I shall have. We are all interdependent.