Monday, October 11, 2004


Candidates Bush and Kerry are on the stump, accusing each other of various actions done and un, allegedly, as the undecideds doodle despairingly in the margins of their voters’ manuals, awaiting the moment, the inevitable moment, when the candidates find them at last, one by one, in their lairs, and devour them.

A reason to like cell phones?
There is no way for pollsters to poll cell phone users, so they don’t.

Blogs agog
I’ve been following these little trails much closer than is healthy. There are blogs that expose CBS documents as frauds, blogs that show Cheney did too meet Edwards before, blogs that wonder if Bush was wearing a wire in the first debate…. I just read that over two million Americans have blogs now. I don’t know if I’m frightened or proud to be part of them. I guess I will consider my blog a diary, with eavesdroppers.

It’s alive!
I just read in WIRED NEWS that scientists at Imperial College London have published a paper in Nature Biotechnology, describing how microbes interact with the human body. “More than 500 different species of bacteria exist in our bodies, making up more than 100 trillion cells.” We are, in effect, super-organisms, more than human.

Sez WIRED NEWS: “The Imperial College research demonstrates what many -- from X Files stalwarts to UFO fanatics -- have long claimed: We are not alone. Specifically, the human genome does not carry enough information on its own to determine key elements of our own biology.”

Warning: obligatory Botox joke.
From the Associated Press: “Jurors on Friday rejected the claims of a Hollywood producer's wife who said Botox treatments caused breathing problems, fever, fatigue and severe muscle pain.”

The woman acknowledged the verdict expressionlessly.

Get it?

Espressionlessly! Because she was on the Botox!

Something I’m Working On...

Television Shows That Only I Know About

Sylvia Plath Living

This first aired in September, sometime, a Saturday afternoon anyway, 1954, as an eerie precursor to the modern cooking show. Ms. Plath had just finished or was about to begin her stint as an intern at Mademoiselle, and I guess producers saw that a young woman of charm and poise might just have something to offer the housewives of America. I don’t know why I was watching it. Nothing else on, I suppose. We only got one channel back then.

She made a casserole of some kind, and then some kind of green Jell-o with something suspended in it.

Then she got this fixed smile on her face, and got down on her hands and knees and began scrubbing the floor. And she wouldn’t stop! She just kept scrubbing and scrubbing. I went into the kitchen to see if my mother thought it was as weird as I did, but she was out in the back yard hanging up the laundry. When I got back to the television, there was nothing on but a test pattern.

Meet the Mansons!
I could sort of see the logic behind this - recapture THE MONKEES magic with a bunch of crazy hippies in the desert. It may have been the first “reality” show.

But when the crew showed up at the ranch, the Manson gang was nowhere to be seen. Then suddenly, they emerged from their places of hiding and approached the camera slowly, fixed smiles on their faces, until…
again, test pattern.

I may have been stoned at the time, but I swear it was a replacement series in the summer of 1969.

Starsky and Hulk
The famous buddy cop show in the 70’s originally had an entirely different premise. Starsky was still the streetwise cop, but his first partner was a green humanoid with anger issues. I don’t remember much of the pilot episode, but there was a moment when Hulk and Starsky are getting to know each other over a cold one, and Hulk asks him if he can go undercover as a hooker, because “Hulk love that.”

Later, as he is trying to fit into Starsky’s Gran Torino, Starsky quips, “Careful with the striped tomato,” and Hulk eats the car. It takes him an entire segment. “Hulk love tomatoes!’

Well, that was the end of that. Somebody call David Soul, pronto! Those cars are expensive!

I was really strung out on coke in those days, but I remember that episode vividly.

Clark Kent, Embedded Reporter
In the pilot episode, which I saw last week, Clark is stripped of his powers when he stumbles across some red kryptonite in a bunker. He spends the rest of the episode avoiding sniper fire, car bombs, and commercials for LexCorp, which has been charged with the task of rebuilding the fictitious country in which Clark has been embedded. It was easily the most depressing thing I have ever seen, and am glad I no longer own a television.

In Other News...
Bill Allard is coming over tomorrow sometime to shoot something for the DVD, which nears completion. We've got clearance for a bunch of great archival footage, including some from Dean Jones, who made a short film with us early in our careers.

And I rented three DVDs, from wonderful Le Video, here in San Francisco's lovely Sunset District.

Alex (REPO MAN) Cox directs THE REVENGERS TRAGEDY, the great Jacobean chestnut, with Eddie Izzard, Christopher Eccleston, and Derek Jacobi. I have never heard of it. Sounds wonderful.

MR. SHOW, FOURTH SEASON. Because one can never get enough of MR. SHOW.

Amd Damon Packwood's REFLECTIONS OF EVIL, which I have read about. It led to Mr. Packwood being banned from the premises of Universal City Theme Park. That alone makes it rentable.

I have a story, by the way, about Leon Martell having his face squeezed by a guy in a Frankenstein suit at Universal City. Did I just tell it? I dunno. I'm on the Botox.


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