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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Night Sober Blog

Hello, Kiddies! Auburn won the Iron Bowl!

That said, to biz!

Lost In Space was "The Ghost Planet". A planet of robots summons the Jupiter 2 to land, and suborns the Robot to bring the Robinsons to be used as slave labor. Only Will and Doctor Smith are taken. Will the Robot return to his senses, and our heroes escape the Supreme Brain? And what about...Naomi?
Star Trek "Metamorphosis" is up tonight. A coruscating blob of energy shuttlejacks Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Hillary Clinton (or Commissioner Nancy Hedford...it's hard to tell them apart when she talks), and takes them to a small planetoid where they meet none other than Zefrem Cochran (the "discoverer of the space warp"), who was rescued a century and a half ago by the energy cloud, rejuvenated to youth, and sustained. "The Companion" as Cochran dubbed the cloud, has summoned our heroes to be company for Cochran. Bad news! Hillary caught the epizoodic and is going to die if they don't get to a Starfleet osteopath or somesuch. (Seriously, sickness aside, she is a thoroughly unpleasant woman, shrill and demanding. That seemed to be a standard type for the Trek writers - cf. "Stella").

For some reason the Companion cannot heal Hillary's illness, Sakuro's disease, which I suppose is caused by an overdose of Magical Girl anime. So the Companion, who turns out to be feminine, joins with Hillary before she dies, and together they offer to be Cochran's companion. Cochrane overcomes alien squeam in about 3.8 space mini time units, and chooses to stay and have hot sex with an alien-possessed Hillary.

The script writes itself!
Not being overly fond of Abbott and Costello mashups, I am forgoing the Svengoolie "Frankenstein" offering. Even I have standards.

I am also frying a turkey. We had Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of the Dread Dormomoo's brother, so no leftovers. So our new tradition is to fry a turkey a day or so later, make cornbread and sage dressing, and have fresh Thanksgiving leftovers. It is a good tradition. A twelve pound turkey, done in fifty space-minutes! My only complaint is that there is not a Jetson's ring in sight.

I'm a Whole Berry man!
Did I say Auburn won the Iron Bowl? This appears to be important to some.
I am prepping for a panel at Anime South, a rejuvenated con in the Florida Panhandle. Marc Yu is one of my favorite con putter-onners, and after taking a couple-three years off, has brought AS back!
He has a Christian faith, and wishes to share it AND his love for anime. There will be overtly Christian tracks at this con, so we shall see what happens. I will be doing a panel, and will examine Christian imagery in anime. The title is "Sometimes a Cross Is Just a Cross, (or) Why Nuns Can Become a Habit. The DD will be attending with me. Prayers and suggestions will certainly be welcomed. I will have fifty minutes to Inform, Entertain, and Influence. I have never used PowerPoint before, so....

The bird needeth to be carven. Perhaps more later!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

File:The First Thanksgiving cph.3g04961.jpg

I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah celebration.

We had a grand day not-at-the-shop. Tryptophane coma FTW!

The 'Varks are thankful for family, for friends, and for customers.

For a country with still a modicum of freedom, and for increasing numbers alarmed at encroachments upon that freedom.

For wise men who foresaw such encroachments and designed remedies, if we will but take the medicine.

For the fact that tomorrow I will no longer have to kvetch about Christmas ornaments being up too early, and what's with CBS showing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" before Thanksgiving?

Merry Christmas (or whatever your holiday of choice may be)!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lysander Spooner need not apply.

So, allow the Aardvark to suggest a third party, the Liberty Party (for them wot feels that "Liberty" sounds too close to "Libertarian", we'll go for the Freedom Party). The Freedom Party would stand for constitutional liberty, small government, large freedom and opportunity. The name is what it is all about. Constitutional limits on the government = freedom the Several States, and for the people.

"But there is a Constitution Party alREADY!"

Fine. It comes across like the High School Bible Club. Yes I am a Christian. No, I don't believe that Congress should be run like a Jr. High lock-in. "Ooooh, ooooh! I wanna watch "A Thief in the Night" again!!!" I do believe that righteousness exalts a nation, and should be sought after and practised, but that comes from the men whom we vote into office. THEY are the source of right-doing, based upon the Standard God has set. Were I a Congressman (no, don't even think about it) I would be bound to behave as my faith dictates, and as my constituents require, for the one-or-two terms which I would serve. We need to restore a milieu in which that vision is more readily realised. This requires Work, and Effort.

Think about it, will ya?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Every time a bell rings, a Vorlon gets his wings!


I have been watching Babylon 5 as I print shirts. I like where I work sometimes. I am well into season 4. I cannot help but feel really bad. Heretical, even.

To paraphrase Twain: "Trek ain't shucks to B5".

Babylon 5 is the story of an Earth Alliance space station used as a meeting-place for humans and aliens to engage in commerce, peace talks, and everyday life
The characters are finely drawn.
The story arcs are coherent and well-considered. J. Michael Straczynski wrote the entire thing, unlike the various Trek series, which are episodically piecemeal, even the ones that have overarching stories. Deep Space Nine is the story of a Federation space station used as a meeting-place for humans and aliens to engage in commerce, peace talks, and everyday life. It is the most coherent of the Trek franchises, yet it is more of a hodge-podge by different writers. B5 shows one man's vision, rather than humanitarian retconning.

The largely CG effects in B5 (1993 and on) hold up well. The alien makeup is superb. The characterisations are exceptional, cinematic. "Strac" is as good as Bellisario at creating characters that you care about, even when they are being loathsome. Londo Mollari (played by Peter Jurasic), the alien with the crest of hair, can be ...ethically challenged, yet he is ultimately not a bad sort. He wants the Centauri Republic to achieve it's former glories yet again, and chooses bad company to help. Thomas Wolfe comes to mind.

G'kar (Andreas Katsulas), the Narn ambassador is played to the hilt. He is a leader of his people, who were subjugated by the Centauri a century before. The other aliens are wonderfully cast and drawn. The enigmatic Vorlon ambassador Kosh (voiced by Ardwight Chamberlain) lives ever in his encounter suit, as it would be unsettling to other races to see him as he is.

I shan't go on about characters. That is what the internet is for. The thing which interests me is the point of view. Trek (especially DS9) is now-ward in outlook. It draws upon what's happening currently, or in the very recent past. The Bajoran religious/political tensions (particularly involving Louise Fletcher's "Kai Winn" character) reflect ham-handed attempts to demonise the Christian Right, a favorite target for Hollywood. All of the Trek series deal with current issues in the Twilight Zone "let's sneak a parable past 'em using science fiction" mode, but with far less panache. Kai Winn is a caricature from Hollywood's paranoia of Christian theocracy-building (a truly amusing myth), wrought from Christian political involvement (How dare they, the cheeky monkeys!).

Babylon 5 takes a more prophetic view. This SF series from the mid-'90s plays like current events in the Obama nation, especially the rise of "Earth First" and the "Night Watch" wing of the Ministry of Peace (MiniPax), and the spying of PsiCorp. The tension between B5 head of security Garibaldi and PsiCop Bester (Walter Koenig in perhaps his best role) takes an interesting turn here:

Watching B5 is, for me, like reading current newsfeeds. Straczynski knows writing, he apparently knows history, and Santayana. He does his homework. When he wrote for the "Real Ghostbusters" cartoon, he researched the occult, myth, and Things Ghostly. He did not make up scary stuff. Same with B5. He has a finger on the pulse of How It Works. Current events offer few surprises, if you follow the Babylon 5 roadmap.

I bet Alex Jones knows who the Shadows REALLY are!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday-night Sober Blog

Vitina Marcus. She's the green one  (c)20th Century Fox TV

Lost in Space has our intrepid heroes ultimately headed back to Earth, but the green-skinned Chick of the Green Mist, played by Vitina Marcus, is wooing Doctor Smith to get at the Jupiter 2's deutronium fuel , which she prizes as an apertif. Will they get home? Well, this is the second episode of the second season...figger it out!
My obligatory glass of port is hard at work as my favorite Trek villain goes through his paces: Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) in the episode "I Mudd". I proclaimed to my family " I could DO Harry Mudd!"

I then hurriedly amended that I would PERFORM Harry Mudd's role accurately. The Dread Dormomoo was palpably relieved. Srsly, I love the Mudd persona! Such a fun character!!
Our MeTV signal was spotty tonight. We have instead resorted to the Warner Archive channel on the Roku. "Battle Beneath the Earth" is our ersatz "Svengoolie" movie. Kerwin Matthews, and Ed Bishop (Commander Straker in "UFO") battle Chinese laser drillers beneath the Lower 48. The ChiComs are planning to  detonate nukes beneath key points in the US. I saw this movie as part of a drive-in triple feature when I was twelve. The other films were Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Killers", and "The Conqueror Worm", which was an Inquisition flick starring Vincent Price. Those were the days!!
Supper was my May-HEE-can cornbread, redolent with onion and jalapenos, with pinto beans cooked with country ham. AWEXOME!
Back is being evil, and the Dread Dormomoo has a cold. We may be in the rest of the weekend.

Everyone have a lovely Sunday!

Bad Wolff's Bilious Bleat

I enjoyed this by regular Michael Wolff, and thought it share-worthy.

Ordinarily being something of a phlegmatic sort I nonetheless occasionally meet some people who absolutely drive me to Perdition and back, and I want to somehow lash out at them
For example:
The More You Know: this is a group which puts chirpy little feel-good PSAs on television.  The PSAs offer all sorts of cheery Nanny State suggestions dealing with how best to fit in with the New Drone Society.  I keep wanting to send them an e-mail along the following lines: Hey!  I have a suggestion for a segment dealing with child raising.  Do you (the parent) want to raise healthy and happy kids?  Here's a tip.  Stop taking advice from self-declared television "celebrities" whose main goal in life is to insure that your child effortlessly becomes a cog for the Great Social Machine.  A happy little consumer who'll demand nothing but reality television.  Do something radical and try raising your own kids for a change.
Then there's . . .
Luminosity.com: on the surface this sounds like a worthwhile endeavor.  A site for online games and such designed to keep the mind busy and, as a result, exercised.  All well and good.  The problem is that the people in their commercials all look and sound as if they don't have two brain cells to rub together.  This is what Luminosity.com wants us to become?  Not only that, but the Internet already has more than enough sources for brain games and related puzzles if one only takes the time to search.  And then there's also . . . oh, I don't know . . . READ A BOOK?
Both these sites have something in common.  You can like them on Facebook and such, but you sure as hell can't contact them directly with a complaint.

Aardvark here...
I have one to add: the fitness PSA's that the Obama Administration has been backing. Momma keeps having daughter to run upstairs, out to the car, down in the basement, all to find Momma's car keys or summat, when Momma has them all along. Mommy Dearest lies to make Miss Chubbikins do laps. It ALL comes down to lies with these people!

Here you go!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

In Other News....

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

The 'Vark's spleen, she is vented.

This is an opinion piece. Please to note that no harm is wished upon anyone. It merely examines cultural change in my lifetime. It should be read in the context of my extant writing, opinions, and clear motivators, as well as in the setting of my life as you know me to be. That I see a need for this preamble is a more strident indictment of our society and culture than it is a flag about my stated opinions below.


Things fall apart. The center does not hold.

Nothing is the same anymore. Candy bars do not taste right. Baby Ruth tastes like Payday with chocolate and a soup├žon of industrial waste. Tattoos and piercings, formerly the decoration of the Lower Classes, have now become Chic and Trendy (although if Dear Leader continues his work, the Chic and Trendy will become the lower class). Love of country was de rigueur; now it is aberrant and atavistic. Aberration itself is the New Normal. Joe Haldeman's The Forever War deals with a soldier who goes on multiple missions to space wars on board vessels that travel at relativistic speeds. He doesn't age, but generations pass on earth, and with them, the cultural distinctives of those generations. Eventually he comes back to an Earth where homosexuality predominates, and his preference for women earns him the moniker "The Old Queer".

I know somewhat how he felt. I live in a culture that has given up sane standards of behavior, and has jettisoned consistency. I come from a time when there was the Correct, and there was the Aberrant. The Aberrant was viewed as alien, mistrusted, and often ridiculed. What a difference a couple of generations (
and PR.) makes. What was once villified as the Sin Not to be Named has become a Civic Virtue, and Normal. A decades-long public relations campaign has paid off. For as long as, the homosexual, the mincing, lisping fageler, has been a mainstay of funmaking. Practically every country ridicules homosexual activity and 'lifestyle.' Anime series often have a homosexual character displaying unrequited feelings for the main character for comic relief. We know 'what ain't quite right,' and humor reveals it. As to cultural inconsistency, our alleged science-mad society completely ignores the Darwinist and Gouldian evolutionary dogmas to accept homosexuality as anything other than what those very dogmas would maintain: that homosexual behavior is an evolutionary dead-end, and should be avoided for The Good of the Human Race.

What has brought us here? Only a massive and universal  PR campaign to render three-to-five percent of the population as fit for human society. Not merely fit, but lionized. What is a tiny minority of the body politic has become a great mouth, a whine machine demanding that all of Western culture be bent to the minority's will. This is ultimately where democracy fails: it is not the quantity, it is the decibels, and bruvvah, they have been loud. They have invented rights where none before existed, and in so doing diminished the rights of the majority. Where new "rights" are invented, new mechanisms must be developed to administer those rights, and the price tag for such instrumentality is borne by the majority through taxation. "What will equal marriage rights do? How will they affect you?"

In the bottom line.

Now let it not be assumed that I am some throwback crank with an 'anti' axe to grind. I've paid my dues. I've lived amongst them. My father was a homosexual (he pauses, waiting for the inevitable stupid comment like "Well, you're here....")  Let's say that I was the result of a foray into an alternative lifestyle. By living in such company, I harbor no illusions about homosexual behavior. I have seen the crudity and demeaning nature of "the lifestyle", and have been pawed as a teen by "friends" of my father. There is nothing better for your self-esteem than to see one's father's exploits on the high school bathroom wall. I have a good number of friends who are homosexual, and they tend to be the crudest people of my acquaintance. I say this not to point the bony finger of indignation, but to give the lie to the high pretensions of those who most loudly promote the homosexual agenda.

On the flip side, I must say that I am live-and-let-live. I do not enthrall all of my reader with tales of The Sensuous 'Vark. The Dread Dormomoo's and my connubial deliberations are off-limits. Please make your private practises Not My Business. I do not participate in Straight Pride Parades. I DO poke fun at "End The Silence" days, because, really, hasn't it been rabbited on about for decades, now? I recognise that the anti-bully message is largely "don't bully effeminate boys". But neither do I throw stones, or insult them, or militate against the marching minority. Please, just leave me alone. Keep your hands to yourself, especially, hands off my wallet.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Another Saturday night, and I ain't got....


I have done what I said I would never do. We have a TV in the bedroom. It has been there for years, as a monitor for my region-free DVD player. Watch stuff on it like Space Patrol (the Roberta Leigh one), Lavender Castle, other cult shows only available in PAL, Region 2. I just put in a digital to analog decoder, and I have the glories of local (digital) broadcast TV. The only thing missing is rabbit ears swathed in Reynolds Wrap. MeTV in my room. YAAAAY!

Star Trek: "The Apple". Plays like a third season, but is a second season episode. It DOES have some sexiful phaser scenes. The People of Vaal, serve a Godzilla head carven from solid rock. Their god provides a paradise for them, they provide fruits and veg for him. A god who prefers a high-fiber diet. Who'd-a thunk? How can Kirk and Co. figure out how to ruin Paradise? Of course, the natives have John Boehner tans, their face decorations look like the results of a sleepover of eleven-year-old girls, and all the people, male and female, wear girl's moccasins.  They may have Paradise, but they live in fashion hell. Or New Jersey.

Which Kirk and Co. rescue them from by destroying their ancient computer/provider "god".

Reminds me of atheist trolls on internet forums.
Svengoolie is showing the wonderfully weird original Universal "Frankenstein". The studio sent him a restored version, which includes the blasphemous utterance by Dr. Frankenstein:  “In the name of God, now I know what it feels like to be a God!”

After the monster is vivified, Dr. Waldman, Henry Frankenstein's old medical professor promises to destroy the rampaging victimized creature painlessly. Poor old Waldman forgot to actually kill the creature before he began dissecting him. It is his last mistake.

The technical work is beautiful. The "Strickfadens", the whirly, sparky electrical contrivances in the lab (so named for Kenneth Strickfaden, the effects man) branded themselves into the Frankenstein gestalt, so much so that they were used in all of the following Frankenstein movies involving creation of a monster, including "Bride of Frankenstein" and Mel Brook's comedy "Young Frankenstein". Apparently, Strickfaden secured a Tesla coil made by Nikola Tesla himself!

"It's ali-i-i-ivve!"
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is "The Left-Handed Man" S2, E6.

Nelson is told by a man claiming to be from Naval Intelligence that he must prevent George Penfield from becoming Secretary of the Navy. No Salad Bar Monsters. Here is a Salad Bar Monster:


Have a happy Sunday!