Friday, December 18, 2009

Film Anniversaries for 2009

Most of this culled from Wikipedia. Wish the links worked, however, you can just do the usual and add the phrases you wish to search, remembering to separate each word (hyphenated words count as one word) with an underline character, as 1889 films 1899 films 1909 films  1919 films  1929 films  1939 films  1939 in film (major excerpts below)  1949 films  1959 films  1969 films  1979 films  1989 films  1999 films  2009 films

Strictly personal (=pretty much irresistible) picks follow: I'll be leaving out loads of big hits and critically exalted stuff, as well as highly significant births, deaths and film debuts (except super-year 1939):

1889: American inventor George Eastman's celluloid base roll photographic film becomes commercially available.

1919: February 5 - Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists.

Oscar Micheaux releases The Homesteader, starring pioneering African-American actress Evelyn Preer, becoming the first African-American to produce and direct a motion picture.

Harold Lloyd begins holding test screenings of his films and modifying them based on audience feedback, a technique which is still used today.

Tri-Ergon sound-on-film technology is developed by three German inventors, Josef Engl, Hans Vogt, and Joseph Massole; however, the era of sound films is over 6 years away.

Broken Blossoms


January 20 - The movie In Old Arizona was released. The film was the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors.

May 16 - The first Academy Awards, or Oscars, are distributed.

July 13, The first all color talkie (in Technicolor), On with the Show is released by Warner. Bros. who led the way in a new color revolution just as they had ushered in that of the talkies.

Hallelujah!, first Hollywood film to contain an entire black cast.

Atlantic (1929 film) is the first sound on film movie made in Germany. It is also the first Titanic movie with sound.

The Broadway Melody is released by MGM and becomes the first major musical film of the sound era, sparking a host of imitators as well as a series of Broadway Melody films that would run until 1940.

The Canary Murder Case   Bulldog Drummond   The Cocoanuts   Disraeli   Gold Diggers of Broadway   Rio Rita   The Virginian

1939: Events

'Movie historians and film buffs often look back on 1939 as "the greatest year in film history". Hollywood was at the height of its Golden Age, and this particular year saw the release of an unusually large number of exceptional movies, many of which have been honored as all-time classics, when multitudes of other films of the era have been largely forgotten.'

Films released in 1939

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, starring Mickey Rooney and Rex Ingram as Jim

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever, starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Fay Holden

Another Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery

Ask a Policeman, starring Will Hay, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott

At the Circus, starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx and Harpo Marx

Babes in Arms, Starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland

Bachelor Mother, starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven

Barricade starring Alice Faye and Warner Baxter

Beau Geste, starring Gary Cooper and Ray Milland

Boys' Reformatory, starring Frankie Darro and Grant Withers

Confessions of a Nazi Spy, starring Edward G. Robinson, Francis Lederer, George Sanders and Paul Lukas

Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis (favorite role), George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ronald Reagan (Academy Award Nominee)

Daughter of The Tong, starring Evelyn Brent and Grant Withers

Destry Rides Again, starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart

Dodge City, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland

Drums Along the Mohawk, directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert

Each Dawn I Die, starring James Cagney and George Raft

Everything Happens At Night, starring Sonja Henie and Ray Milland

The Four Feathers starring John Clements and Ralph Richardson

Five Came Back starring Lucille Ball and Chester Morris

Frontier Marshal, starring Randolph Scott, John Carradine and Lon Chaney, Jr.

Gone with the Wind, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh (Academy Award for Best Picture)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson (Academy Award Nominee)

The Gorilla, starring Jimmy Ritz, Harry Ritz and Al Ritz

Gulliver's Travels starring Jessica Dragonette and Lanny Ross

Gunga Din, starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Sam Jaffe

The Hardys Ride High, starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Fay Holden

Hollywood Cavalcade, starring Alice Faye, Don Ameche, J. Edward Bromberg and Alan Curtis

The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara

The Marines Fly High, starring Lucille Ball and Richard Dix

In Name Only, starring Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis

Idiot's Delight, starring Clark Gable and Norma Shearer

Intermezzo, starring Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard

Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Charles Laughton and Horace Hodges

Jesse James, starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott

Judge Hardy and Son starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Fay Holden

Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)

Let Us Live starring Maureen O'Sullivan and Henry Fonda

The Light that Failed, starring Ronald Colman

The Little Princess, starring Shirley Temple and Richard Greene

Love Affair, starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer (Academy Award Nominee)

Mexicali Rose, starring Gene Autry

Midnight, starring Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains (Academy Award Nominee)

Mr. Wong in Chinatown, starring Boris Karloff

The Mystery of Mr. Wong, starring Boris Karloff

The Oklahoma Kid, starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Donald Crisp

Of Mice and Men, starring Burgess Meredith, Betty Field and Lon Chaney Jr. (Academy Award Nominee)

The Old Maid, starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins

On Dress Parade, starring The Dead End Kids

Only Angels Have Wings, starring Cary Grant and Jean Arthur

On Your Toes, screenplay by the playwright Lawrence Riley et al. (film mentioned in article)

Ninotchka, starring Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire and Bela Lugosi (Academy Award Nominee)

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, starring Bette Davis and Errol Flynn

Q Planes, starring Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier

Range War, a Hopalong Cassidy western starring William Boyd

The Roaring Twenties, starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane and Humphrey Bogart

The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir

Seven Little Australians directed by Arthur Greville Collins

Son of Frankenstein, starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi

The Spy in Black, starring Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson

They Shall have Music, starring Jascha Heifetz, Joel McCrea, Andrea Leeds and Walter Brennan

Stagecoach, directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Berton Churchill and John Carradine (Academy Award Nominee)

Stanley and Livingstone, starring Spencer Tracy and Sir Cedric Hardwicke

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, a Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Susannah of the Mounties, starring Shirley Temple and Randolph Scott

The Three Musketeers, starring Don Ameche and The Ritz Brothers

Three Texas Steers, starring John Wayne, directed by George Sherman

Tower of London, starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price

The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley (Academy Award Nominee)

The Women, starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell

Union Pacific, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea and directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Wuthering Heights, starring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven and Flora Robson (Academy Award Nominee)

Wyoming Outlaw, starring John Wayne, directed by George Sherman

Young Mr. Lincoln, directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda and Alice Brady


January 10 - Sal Mineo, actor (+ 1976)

February 3 - Michael Cimino, director

February 6 - Mike Farrell, American actor

February 9 - Janet Suzman, actress

March 5 - Samantha Eggar, actress

April 7 - Francis Ford Coppola, director, producer, writer

April 12 - Alan Ayckbourn, writer

April 13 - Paul Sorvino, actor

May 13 - Harvey Keitel, actor

May 19 - Nancy Kwan, actress

May 25 - Ian McKellen, actor

May 30 - Michael J. Pollard, actor

July 30 - Peter Bogdanovich, director

July 31 - France Nuyen, actress

August 2 - Wes Craven, director, producer, writer

August 12 - George Hamilton, actor

August 25 - John Badham, director

August 29 - Joel Schumacher, director

August 30 - Elizabeth Ashley, actress

September 1 - Lily Tomlin, actress

September 18 - Frankie Avalon, actor, singer

September 29 - Larry Linville, American actor (d. April 10, 2000)

October 8 - Paul Hogan, actor

October 22 - Tony Roberts, actor

October 24 - F. Murray Abraham, actor

October 27 - John Cleese, actor

October 28 - Jane Alexander, actress

November 22 - Allen Garfield, actor

Film Debuts

Greer Garson

Maureen O'Hara

William Holden

Veronica Lake

Anne Gwynne


June 9 - Owen Moore, actor

August 23 - Sidney Howard, writer

September 24 - Carl Laemmle, producer

October 23 - Zane Grey, writer

October 28 - Alice Brady, actress

December 12 - Douglas Fairbanks, actor

1949: Pinky   She Wore a Yellow Ribbon   They Live by Night   White Heat

1959: Anatomy of a Murder   Ben-Hur   Black Orpheus   Donald in Mathmagic Land   Journey to the Center of the Earth   North by Northwest   The Nun's Story   Plan 9 from Outer Space   Porgy and Bess   Rio Bravo   Sleeping Beauty   Some Like It Hot

1969: Anne of the Thousand Days   The April Fools   The Assassination Bureau   Ring of Bright Water They Shoot Horses, Don't They?   True Grit   The Undefeated   Z

1979: Alien   Apocalypse Now   Being There   The Black Stallion   Breaking Away   The Muppet Movie Murder by Decree   Norma Rae   The Onion Field   The Rose

1989: Born on the Fourth of July   The 'Burbs   Casualties of War  Driving Miss Daisy   The Experts Farewell to the King   Field of Dreams   Fletch Lives   Glory   Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Sea of Love   Steel Magnolias

1999: The 13th Warrior   American Beauty   Magnolia   Three Kings

I thought Halloween & H20 were '79 & '99, respectively, but, no, they were '78 & '98. Oh.
P.S., R.I.P. Jennifer Jones, heroic and tragic life.  Her unique achievement in being fully adult, yet entirely believable as a child in The Portrait of Jenny and after Duel in the Sun remains astonishing; miraculous.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

1000 Years of Years Ending in 9, pt. 1

Cribbed from Wikipedia and memory, perhaps unreliable; stuff notable to me, not necessarily the most important.  Copied material in quotes, or hyperlinked (if they come through) bits, otherwise my phrasing and commentary.  Some years omitted through lack of interest!

1009 : First known mention of LITHUANIA in recorded history.

1059 : Big year for alleged heirs of allegedly holy Roman Imperial pontificates.

1069 : William the Conqueror does stuff to show he's just another brute-diabolical viking steaming pile and a total hypocrite by way of having rights by way of 'holy' kinships.

1079 : Omar Khayyam, now remembered mostly for his pretty Sufi poetry, did some really important math 'n' science calculations that make my head hurt just to read about in barest discription.

1089 : 'The Synod of Melfi under Pope Urban II imposes slavery on the wives of priests.' WTF?!

1099 : Horrible hypocritical conspiratorial Crusader crappe. But then, any '99s seem pretty bad (?).

1119 : " " " " " . And on it goes .

1139 : 'priestly celibacy is made mandatory in the Catholic Church'.

1159 : 'In the Roman Catholic Church, cardinals are given the right to elect the Pope. Prior to this, the pope was elected by the clergy and congregation of the church.'

1179 : Not content with the schisms and Crusade-fiascos of the past century, the 3rd Lateran Council makes great downward strides toward turning what started as the Church of the Savior of All into a paranoid, persecuting, central-hierarchy cabal.

1209 : The Albigense Crusade: Wha'd I tellya! --And in another 10 years, the Northern Crusades. Meanwhile, Genghis Khan is swallowing points-East.

1229 : Pragmatic egomaniac Frederick II pursues his grand career of ticking everybody off for the next decade and beyond, inspiring the heck out of Great Man Theory ambitious adherents.

1249 : 'Roger Bacon publishes a major scientific work, including writings of convex lens spectacles for treating long-sightedness and the first publication of the formula for gunpowder in the western world.' ...Ushering in the age of looking closely at triggering devices to blow up distant folks.

1259 : Neither brother-war nor gunpowder bombs stop the Mongols.

1269 : Almohad dynasty of alleged caliphs replaced by Berber Marinid dynasty in Moorish Empire. France lays heavy fines on Jews who don't wear 'Jewish i.d.' yellow badges.

1279 : Kublai Khan (~Yuan Dynasty) ends the Song Dynasty; takes all China. Mongol Empire at its peak. Kublai's 'diplomat' tries for Japan: Not rotsa ruck!

1289 : Franciscan friars begin missionary work in China. Promising start fizzles as usual on account of lack of Christianity among representative Christians--including the friars themselves, who put down the Nestorians, who had previously gained much more.

1299 : Assorted dynstic changes. Mongols finally been gettin' seriously butt-kicked.

1309 : Avignon becomes new comfy chair of papacy, which Clement V (of a line of popes with wildly ironic names) needed after secretly absolving the Templars but allowing a lot of the old catchables of them to be sadistically persecuted by Phil the (Outrageously Un-)fair.

1319 : Norway & Sweden unite.

1329 : Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland dies, replaced by David II.

1339 : Kashmir (which may have been previously Israelitish) is conquered by Muslims. All streets in the city of Florence are paved, making it the first European city to do so. This would no doubt help in the following centuries, so that great works of art could be moved without danger of going codpiece-deep in kaky mud. The Kremlin in Moscow is built.

1349 : The Black Plague blamed on Jews, who are burned en masse.

1359 : Lots of Muslim-world thrones reshuffled.

1369 : Damned Crusades in the hole (and embracing converso bloodlines of David & Mohammed), Western Europe goes back to fighting with each other. They could help against Turkics in the South and East, but NOoooooooo*. Throne changes in Southeast Asia, too.

1379 : *The Venetians and Ottomans invade Constantinople.

1389 : Overthrows throwing up all over.

1399 : Muslims, Christians & Tatars continue to fight amongst 'their own' and cross-ally.

1429 : Joan of Arc has a buncha victories, probably not envisioning that France will hardly have a decent native general after her, or Jacques Chirac will be scared of his Maltese (no, not a Knight of Malta, but a dog resembling a particularly cute dust bunny with the biting power of a chip bag clip).

1439: The Great Ordinance is adopted by the French Estates-General. This measure grants the king the exclusive right to raise troops, and establishes the taxation measure known as the taille in support of a standing army. They thought it seemed like a good idea at the time :( . Alleged and unlikely Miracle of the Moose; unfortunately an ouch for Alces. Let us pray for no more armies and only FUN moose miracles.

1459 : Bucharest first mentioned; Jodhpur founded.

1469: Ferdinand of Aragon marries Princess Isabella of Castile. This event will lead to a unified Spain in 1492. Niccolò Machiavelli, Manuel I of Portugal, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, & Vasco da Gama born. Now we're gettin' real quattrocento!

1479 : Lots of events leading to the Age of Exploration.

1499 : Bernardino de Sahagún and Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo are born. Already guys like these have led to the making of statements like this: 'Lake Maracaibo is discovered' --when the indigenes knew it was there all along.

1509 : Hard times in Italy and Istanbul, while Henry VIII looks good. Puts one in mind of what the Bible said about the King of Tyre.

1519 : Huge NEW WORLD year: Reformation & Counter-Reformation stars get goin' by way of activism or birth. Discoveries and conquests in the Western Henisphere lead to agonies, HOWEVER, the good thing: Cacao comes to Europe. Quattrocento superstars die.

1529 : Lots of important and interesting things happened, but Dude! Catch the pic of Suleiman's beanbag chair sized turban! What is it with warmongering megalomaniac tyrants and wildly impractical hats? It seems to have faded in recent decades, but ya hafta figure Saddam, Cheney, etc. got something like a papal tiara pimped out for a Las Vegas showgirl, with nuclear power.

1539 : More like the above, Mosaic horrors in Henan, and Guru Nanak dies.

1549 : 'In the Kingdom of England, it was known as 'The Year of the Many-Headed Monster', because of the unusually high number of rebellions which racked the country.' Including: The first Book of Common Prayer is published in England. The Prayer Book Rebellion breaks out in England.

1559 : Elizabeth I of England is crowned in Westminster Abbey. John Knox returns from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the beginning Scottish Reformation. Francis II becomes King of France following the death of his father, Henry II, in a jousting accident. Frankie would die the next year, widowing his teen bride, Mary, Queen of Scots, who would have a helluva time with Bess and Knox (among others), too.

1569 : Flat-out wars, both sides in the name of the Prince of Peace.

1579 : Birth-pangs of an independent Netherlands. 'Sir Francis Drake, during his circumnavigation of the world, lands in what is now California, which he claims for Queen Elizabeth I. With an English claim here and in Newfoundland, it becomes the basis for English colonial charters which will claim all land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from "sea to sea." Drake's claim is called "Nova Albion" (New England), and subsequent maps will show all lands north of New Spain and New Mexico under this name.'

1589 : Job is elected as the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Protestants have civilized and barbarous occasions.

1599 : Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex beats up on Ireland, as will Oliver Cromwell, born this year.

1609 : Major startup events in English North America. Spain cools down foreign hostilities with 'heretics', but expels homegrown moriscos.

I may not finish this project.  My original idea was just to point out the many notable by-decade MOVIE ANNIVERSARIES IN 2009...  Since they seem to have been woefully ignored.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ships' Cats

Darlin' article from Wikipedia:'s_cat.  Basic history, plus sweet and noble tales of real ships' cats, fictional usages, and loads of good links.

p.s. : I hope all you lovers of our furry friends know about the mystery-solving animals in the (series) works of Shirley Rousseau Murphy and the dynamic duo of Rita Mae Brown and Sneakie Pie Brown.  They're my top favorites, but web searching ("Cat mysteries" for instance) will lead you to many more, including those in which animals are significant but peripheral...But can be excellent, nonetheless, such as Blaze Clement's topnotch amazing combination of 'hardboiled' and heartfelt sentiment in her series starring Dixie Hemingway, Siesta Key's ex-deputy sherriff petsitter.

Friday, November 27, 2009


My ventures of late outside the Burrow continue to lead me into undesired but either morally necessary or just plain unavoidable encounters-unto-conflicts (expressed or a hair's breadth from being expressed) with raving flailing nutcases, scofflaw immigrants...And such (I'm trying to avoid Bad Words).  And tonight is the next-to-last episode of Monk --!!!!!!!!!  I'm seriously considering going to live with AMBROSE.

Monday, November 23, 2009

R.I.P. Uga / Deformed Breeds

 Uga (pronounced UH-geh) VII, The University of Georgia's beloved and hereditary mascot, has died at the hardly-mor'n-a-pup age of 4 years. By (capital B, no modifying adjective) Bulldog standards, he was gorgeous... But Bulldog standards are the problem. Note how extremeness is built into the show ideal. Callous human conceit from the showdog world deformed the original, functional bulldog into a collection of unhealthy, cartoonish exaggerations that have caused untold misery for the animals--and their sympathetic owners, the latter of whom, unless they were rescue-adopters, came to grievous lessons in the mistakenness of perpetuating signal deformity. At overlong last, responsible efforts are being made to correct these sources of affliction and grotesquery:

Several attempts have been made successfully, and continue to be made, of restoring the original, healthy bulldog type. Some can be found perusing breed links found here:

It's easy, seeing winsome pictures of dogs and cats with short legs and concaved noses, to understand some of the urge we humans have to DEFORM (that's what it truly IS) animals in ways that make them seem more endearing to us--like (breeding to perpetuate) achondroplastic dwarfism, which gives them a pseudo-babyish physiognomy, or other mutations that have served more functional purposes. Some of these selectively bred mutations are harmless, or even truly helpful to the domestic creature as well as to human wants. There are wild canids and felids and other carnivores with short legs. Whether the domesticated species ought to have them when their nearest wild relatives do not is at least questionable--though recognized histories of breed problems with such things should never be trivialized. There is also a kind of latent intelligent design that morphologically relates to selectively breeding wild species for a calm, friendly (thus domesticable) disposition:

But, when mutation and other breeding practices obviously have resulted in building ill health (including psychological ill health) INTO breeds, we should stop perpetuating those breeds, at least in the same unhealthy form.

The Ugas have been darlings, as have innumerable misshapen individuals, God bless 'em all. The Elephant Man was sweet and saintly, but arncha glad he didn't add to the gene pool! If his deformities were 'cute' but caused him as much affliction, the same principles should apply... And apply to animals, too.

We must stop breeding animals to have miserable lives (however nobly thy may bear them!) on account of our own conceits. I hope and pray that the University and the Sieler family will set a good example and choose the next Uga from one of the classically formed bulldog breeds. The Peachtree State even has its own breed: The Antebellum Bulldog!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Payin' for Pavin' Paradise...

Tony Barboza's story from the Los Angeles Times, Nov. 6th:
'Developer ordered to pay settlement for draining Huntington Beach Wetland',0,1471823.story

Lovely Garden 'Hood: The South Bronx

I can't get the URL below to go hyperlinky properly, but this is a great story of local stalwarts reclaiming the worst street of 'the worst slum in America', standing fast for what was right against 'expert' outsider notions, and making a charming, clean, safe suburb of individual family homes in what had been a burning Gehenna (Charlotte Street, the South Bronx).  A truly wonderful story.  Those who effected it ought to be given the Medal of Freedom.  Copy and paste this whole URL to your taskbar and click 'Go':|

R.I.P Edward Woodward

See him in Breaker Morant, The Wicker Man, and The Equalizer (among others).  No matter how complex or high in probity the characters he played, one always believed them to be true, full, high-and-wide lives.  Standing O's and deep bows from the audience.  Gloriously Ever-Living Peace be with you, noble Edward Woodward!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy 60th Anniversary to GOLDEN GUIDES

Favorite books and friends forever: !!! Hugs 'n wuv fum Mummy, Sweeties!

Roger Corman for President?

Pop-shlock filmmaker Roger Corman is getting an honorary Oscar this Saturday (Nov. 14, '09). It's probably because (1) he's '...Never Lost a Dime' (part of the title of his autobio), and (2) has otherwise been so influential: (a) as a mentor to others who make high-risk, wildly expensive, often arty and Oscar-winning epics, and (b) showing that the greatest profit$$$$ are usually made by aiming 'entertainment' at the limbic, the id, the lowest-common-denominator dipstick demographic.

Since the office of the PrezUS, and any other Major Power head-of-government is, de facto, an office in which willingness to be a MEGA-MASS-MURDERER is presumed and usually acted-upon, and that (war) continues to be immensely POPULAR with the cannon-fodder masses (especially when the powers-that-be in their countries save all the peaceful jobs for slavey foreigners), it makes a kind of sense that the office ought to go to someone who is unabashed, un-conflicted and un-hypocritical in enthusiasm for splatter, yet has a qualified, experienced and positively-tested engineer's ability to plan things ahead so precisely that we (as in, the Actual Teeming Masses Public, as opposed to the Plutocracy) Never Go Over a Small Budget and Always Make a Profit.

Now, I would rather we all, once and forever, would Try to Do What Jesus Said for Us to Do when He wasn't being wildly ironic ... Or at least would insist that prezzies would do, and we be the kind of benign ideal thing* ever churned out in big speeches, without it being (at least,subliminally) understood and effected as Orwellian Newspeak (*like 'we are a peace-loving nation which upholds equal rights and comforts the poor and downtrodden' [stress-induced deranged laughter ensues]). But, since there's much less chance of that than of Roger Corman becoming President-- well, then, imagine If Roger Corman Were President!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hymn to Him

This is a liturgical hymn of the Greek Orthodox Church.  Christians of different denominations may take exception to bits of it-- (I'm un-'organized', myself: Apostle's & Nicene Creeds okay without the fussy nitpicking that led to the filioque schizm and all; Pauline on the Law, believe Jesus takes all sins and affliction on Himself to reconcile/make ALL things like unto Himself; has been given ALL by the Father and loses none (and so, don't accept all the [almost identical] Athanasian Creed or Fundamentals); believe that trying to live intelligently by the Golden Rule is the most essentially important thing we can do in this life; insofar as politics, art, or being 'green': What is most benign to sentient beings trumps other considerations.) --but surely most will find it magnificently righteous, faithful and sublimely beautiful:

Michael Jackson and Mythology

An old (Feb. '03) post of mine to Google Groups:  alt.mythology.  Still food for myth-fans' thoughts:
The man* has made the theme of his post-'The Jacksons!' work--and, perhaps, life: TO BE BEYOND GRASP.

I am by no means assuming criminal behavior on his part...Or even 'multiple personalities' in the classic pathological sense of quite separated 'selves' in a single body which might be ignorant of each others' sensations, thoughts and actions. I think that MJ might hold his purpose in life to be an example of something else: Other choices, and of being caught, but not quite.

It is possible that he is a father via sperm donation, but may technically be a virgin. He may be a child molester, a 'Smooth Criminal', 'Bad', and metaphorically a zombie, a pardanthrope, a ghost, and a self-deifying demagogue-king--or he may be a relative innocent, defensively playing with appearances of being Things of Horror and Intimidation the way children, and basically harmless animals, and all of us betimes do, to gain power and space.

He may be living out the perpetually ignored implications of Jesus's words regarding little children:'...for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.' (He also said, 'The Kingdom of God is within.') Is he 'Black or White'?--yes and no!  His sexual persuasion may be that he doesn't have any. His name is extraordinarily common, yet when spoken, it is his image that almost always first and uniquely springs to mind.

His feeling toward 'the public' seems to be that of someone raised to be a perpetual sacrificial victim, giving and receiving a strange sort of love-mixed-with-horror, mutually devouring. --You could liken his to
practically every example in The Golden Bough in that respect, alone. Like the meriahs of the Khonds, or modern mythology about the 'Illuminati Families', Jackson seems torn between wanting to protect his children from those who want him to give over his and offspring's lives to them, and a feeling that their fate is inevitable...And the 'bargain' for the seasons of luxury and exaltation.

He could retire and make a truly private life for himself and his children--not the normalcy of the never-rich-&-famous, but he could change his appearance again, to something unrecognizable as 'Michael Jackson', and
nevermore present himself to the crowds--nor feel the need to mask his children. Perhaps that is among his future plans! Has he ever relaxed?

Hypothetically, he could--but he may be unable to escape the conviction that he must keep moving; keep ELUDING not to be consumed by his holocaustic childhood and predatory public.

Besides his resemblance to the figures of the Divine Child--or Changeling!--and the Sacrificial God-King, he is, of course, elvish (.........................PAUSE FOR LISA MARIE JOKES.........) and a Shape-Shifter. Then there is Orpheus...The Ratcatcher/Pied Piper...By his own words, Peter Pan (harking back to Pan, from The Wind in the Willows's glowing epiphany to TERROR ANTIQUUS, to Hallet & Pelle's far-out speculation in PYGMY KITABU). There is Victor Hugo's Gwynneplaine (sp.?)'THE MAN WHO LAUGHS'--being
affected more and more by the elective-surgery indecision...To be Diana Ross? No, Elizabeth Taylor? No, Tyrone Power? No, Vishnu? ...With the result threatening toward (the sanitized, Andrew Lloyd Webber version of) Erik the PHANTOM OF THE OPÉRA (or his 'French Wold Newton Universe' kin). Misunderstood Boo Radley of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD...And Darkman.

Add yours. Would Mr. Jackson embrace them all?

*Pop-Up Videos, perhaps mendaciously, said that London bookie odds ran 500-1 that Michael and LaToya were the same person. 8-o !

Saturday, November 7, 2009

TRUly wonderful: Mini Guide Horses for the Blind

This is not a joke; it's a revelation.  Amazingly adorable and animal-angelically useful:

Mega-atrocities in western New Guinea

My general intention is to stay out of politics here, except relatively mild commentary on 'green' issues. I also may do a lot of reprints from copyright-free stuff I like.  However~~~Just came across this mass of horror that seems to be ignored by the media and scarcely known to crusading celebrities (such of those who forced attention on Darfur).  It's REALLY bad: .

'Edit Posts' doesn't work for me

That's the message, basically, so my posts will likely continue to be crude, though I hope not in a nasty way.  When I went to the 'Edit Posts' page and summoned up my (till this is published, my first and only) post, as soon as I highlighted the portions I wanted to change, the page flipped back to the original Edit Posts list page...repeatedly. A Blogger article entitled 'How do I edit my own posts' apparently no longer exists, and scouting the various 'Help' options reminded me of US war policy of the last 60 years:  Stuck in Big Muddy and delving ever deeper.  Oh!  And trying this post on the 'Preview' window scares up something that looks different than what I wrote/am writing in 'New Posts', and won't change.    Fooey.  Fie. Gentle Reader, you have been warned.  God bless you.     

Friday, November 6, 2009

California: Nature by Wikipedia, # 1

This is my first post.   Chicken-try by way of copying an old saved-mail to myself from personally re-edited (which is to say, snipped and commented-on) Wikipedia stuff, which I understand is copyright-free.  I can't get the LINKS to work as such; everything is plain-text.  So...If you're interested, just do the all-purpose Wikipedia URL thing:   (--hey!  that just showed up colored and underlined like a hyperlink!  Is it really??  Someday I may figure out how to do this stuff right!  But don't hold your breathAnyway...)  and add/paste the things I've boldfaced, remembering to separate the words by underscores instead of the usual spacing, like this:  Category:Natural history of California (becomes) Category:Natural_history_of_California .

This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total. Endemic fauna of California (1) Flora of California (3) Geology of California (2) Natural disasters in California (4)
Ecology of the Sierra Nevada | List of mammals in California 
Categories: Natural history of the United States by state  |  Environment of California
 Flora of the San Francisco Bay Area | Plant communities of California | Trees of California | Ecology of the United States by state | Environment of CaliforniaThe ecology of California is diverse: It is considered to span six biogeographic provinces: "Coastal Chaparral Forest and Shrub","Dry Steppe","Coastal Steppe, Mixed Forest, and Redwood Forest","Sierran Steppe/Mixed Forest/Coniferous Forest","Coastal Range Open Woodland/Shrub/ Coniferous Forest/Meadow", and "American Semi-Desert and Desert".

Botanists generally consider the California chaparral and woodlands, Sierra Nevada forests, Central Valley grasslands, Northern California coastal forests, and Klamath-Siskiyou as a single California Floristic Province, which does not include the deserts of eastern California, which belong to other floristic provinces. Many Bioregionalists, including poet Gary Snyder, identify the central and northern Coast Ranges, Klamath-Siskiyou, the Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada as Alta California or the Shasta Bioregion.

Semi-desert and desert
California's high mountains block most moisture from reaching the eastern parts of the state, which are home to California's desert and xeric shrub ecoregions. The low desert of southeastern California is part of the Sonoran desert ecoregion, which extends into Arizona and parts of northern Mexico. Southern California's high deserts constitute the Mojave desert ecoregion, which has affinities to the Great Basin shrub steppe, which covers California's Owens Valley and Modoc Plateau, as well as most of neighboring Nevada.

Coastal chaparral
The southern and central Coast Ranges, including the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles region, comprise the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion, which extends across the Mexican border into northwestern Baja California. The California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion contains numerous plant communities, including oak savanna, oak woodland, conifer woodlands, chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and coastal grassland; these plant communities often occur as a mosaic, with patches of distinct plant communities situated in response to site conditions, including variations in sun exposure (north or south slopes), wind exposure, and soils, and variations in rainfall between wetter seaward slopes and the drier 'rain shadow' on the landward slopes.

Dry steppe
California's Central Valley was once a large temperate grassland, the California Central Valley grasslands ecoregion, which was formerly home to great herds of grazing pronghorn and elk; some writers have referred to it as "America's Serengeti". The Central Valley has been mostly converted to farms and rangeland; its once great seasonal wetlands have been drained and its perennial bunch grasses replaced by exotic annual grasses or farm fields, but patches of the native bunchgrasses still exist, as do some of the small seasonal wetlands known as vernal pools.

Temperate coniferous forests
The mountains of northern California have a cooler and wetter climate, and are home to temperate coniferous forests, including the Sierra Nevada forests, Northern California coastal forests, Klamath-Siskiyou forests, and Central and Southern Cascades forests. These forests are home to some of the world's largest trees, the Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) of the Northern California coastal forests, and the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), which lives in scattered groves in the Sierra Nevada forests. The highest peaks are home to tundra, fellfields (stony ground with patches of meadow), and krummholz (dwarf forests).