Were the 1950s All Malt Shops, Apple Pie, and Two-Part Harmonies?

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Music

I`ve often wondered whether the 1950s were really as sterile as they have been portrayed in the chronicles of our times? It`s as if people were robots, just walking around being wholesome, eating apple pie and being zealously patriotic. Yea, fighting the Communist threat at all costs. Perhaps this view of the `50s is fallacious? There`s no way things could have been that rote. Beaver Cleaver families gathered with bountiful picnic-baskets in the dreamy parks of America. No way!

Naturally enough, these 1950 robots were listening to The Everly Brothers. Today marks one day that their song All I Have To Do Is Dream was # one on the charts- in 1958, mind you. The harmonious pop tune was recorded on March 6, 1958, then released in April. That`s Chet Atkins on guitar.

For me this song exudes the kind of innocence, the aura, the ambience of a most sterile 1950s society. Or maybe it captures the myth of those times? There`s no tension or apprehension in the tune. Rather, you succumb to its beauty and daydream idly like Huck Finn fishing on a still Mississippi.

I wonder if I`ll ever be able to get a realistic grip on the 50s? I doubt it. Prefer the myth.

Canadien Cops Track Down Stolen Tiger And Camels

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“Canadian police tracked down a tiger and two camels stolen last week while en route to a zoo in Ontario province, an official told AFP Tuesday.

 
The animals were found overnight after thieves snatched them from a motel parking lot in rural Quebec Friday where their handlers had stopped to rest.
 
The owners speculated the thieves were really after the trailer used to transport the exotic creatures, which is made of aluminum — a valuable scrap metal — and feared they would find their animals abandoned and dehydrated.”
 
AFP
 
I can imagine how surprised the thieves were when they discovered that the trailer they stole contained a tiger and two camels. It might be a little bit difficult to sell a tiger at a flea market or to pawn a couple of camels.
 
The animals were in very good condition, apparently the thieves took good care of them. I hope that the judge takes that into consideration when the bad guys are eventually caught.
 
The animals have been checked by a vet, and they are on their way back to the Ontario zoo.
 
This story has a happy ending, the wild animals are back home, and the kind-hearted thieves haven’t been caught.
 
 

Kitty Who Survived 75-Mile Trip In Engine Of Truck Doing OK

June 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“A kitten in Florida that survived a 75-mile journey in the engine compartment of a truck been adopted, its rescuer says.

 
The truck left Fort Lauderdale last week, and the small red tiger kitten was discovered under the hood in Stuart, 75 miles to the north, TCPalm.com reported.
 
Rescuer Christy Jenkins and Wendy, the kitten named for the fast food restaurant where it was discovered, were the subjects of a news story which included an e-mail address for anyone interested in adoption.”
 
UPI
 
I’m not surprised that the kitten found refuge in the engine compartment of a truck, felines love to snuggle where it’s warm. My cats love to sleep on my lap, but if I turn on the TV they will abandon me and jump on top of the much warmer TV.
 
The kitty has already used up eight lives during  his 75-mile ordeal, let’s hope that his remaining life is spent very happily with his new owner.
 
Over 30 cat lovers emailed Jenkins enquiring about adopting the brave kitten, there’s many kittens like Wendy in animal shelters who are still waiting to be adopted. Visit an animal shelter, and you may go home with a kitten or puppy who will love you to death.
 
Wendy, who is a boy, is doing just fine in his new home.
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes

1974 film “The Night Porter” is still controversial to us today

June 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Movies/TV, Music

That`s Maximilian Theo Aldorfer (Dirk Bogarde) and Lucia Atherton (Charlotte Rampling) on the right in the 1974 film The Night Porter, directed by Liliana Cavani. As disturbing as this picture is, this is truly a great film. As such, you would never know it if you were to read a Roger Ebert review, published in the Chicago Sun Times on February 10, 1975.

Roger sees it as mere exploitation of the subject matter of ‘kinkiness’ in a post WWII Germany. I find it be a sensitive treatment of this wretched aftermath of Nazi exploitation of concentration camp prisoners. The thing is, even though the war had been over for thirteen years, the character flaws of the parties involved linger on like a cancer.

The soundtrack is quite beautiful too. The theme, composed by Daniele Paris, comes in at all the right times. Please watch the film several times, then read Roger Ebert`s review to see what you think. Cavani gives a sensitive treatment to the dodgy theme of the Stockholm Syndrome. Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling bring in top flight performances. Get back with me…

Pants On The Ground Drama On City Bus

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

 

“Police in the Wisconsin capital said they arrested a Metro bus passenger who allegedly got into a shouting match with the driver over his saggy pants.
 
Madison police said Larry Wilks, 20, boarded the bus June 11 on Tokay Boulevard and the 45-year-old driver, who was not named, asked him to pull up his pants because his underwear and buttocks were visible to other passengers, including several senior citizens, The (Madison) Capital Times reported Friday.”
 
UPI
 
You won’t see young men in Brooks Brothers suit riding the bus, but there will be plenty of elderly folks in dingy attire and young kids with saggy pants.
 
Kids riding the bus will already be pissed off because they don’t’ have their own set of wheels, an intemperate comment by a bus driver can quickly escalate to violence.
 
If a kid is oblivious to the fact that he looks like a damn fool with his pants down to his knees, it’s a sure bet that he’s going to act like an idiot when he’s admonished for looking like a sub-human piece of trash.
 
The bus driver should have kept his mouth shut, and concentrated on the road ahead of him. Of course, Wilks and several other young punks verbally abused the bus driver.
 
The terrified driver called the police when the verbal attacks did not cease, and the cops arrested Wilks on suspicion of disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property and resisting arrest.
 
All this drama over a kid wearing baggy pants, it’ sure never have got this far. The fashion police should have intervened, but this incident shouldn’t have escalated to the point where the cops were called.
 
 
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Easy Rider still talks to us today-“Just Gettin` My Thing Together”!

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Movies/TV, Music

I have a day off today, so what better enterprise to engage in than view Easy Rider for a one-millionth time. There`s so much going on in this film that the Padres at Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas use to teach its lessons to us for theology class. The tripping scene in a New Orleans` graveyard, you might remember, confronts the issue of the existence of God. On this viewing I focused on the superb soundtrack that is so carefully matched with images of a naked American landscape.

The first song heard is The Pusher by Steppenwolf. This is a perfect fit, since Billy and Wyatt are pulling off a huge drug deal down in Mexico. By the time the opening credits roll, we see the two comic heroes racing down the road on their Harleys to the tune of Born To Be Wild.  Another perfect fit. The two-sided issue of Freedom is a central one in this Biker Road Flick.

The best fit, however, is a Byrds` tune, Wasn`t Born To Follow, a Carole King/Gerry Goffin composition. This mellow, wistful tune helps to ease the tension of the audience for future scenes, which are oh so lacking in mellowness, like the café scene where Jack, Peter and Dennis are harassed by a cache of ornery Rednecks.

Okay, I won`t leave out the pot smoking scene where Don`t Bogart Me plays against the live action of pot-toking, counter-culture movie stars. The band was Fraternity of Men; not that anyone ever paid much attention to these dudes, but they are on the map permanently now because of Easy Rider. “Don`t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me.” I don`t recall how Our Father worked this scene into our theology discussion?

For the themes of the movie I will send you a wonderful link, written by Tim Dirks. This is thorough in its discussion of this film`s impact, really an impact felt for American History. One of the scholastics at Jesuit (I can not remember his name anymore?) went to it about 100 times. He saw layers and layers of meaning in this film. As a result of his enthusiasm, I started reading my own wild profundities into it.

When Captain America gets his chopper blown to pieces by the shotgun of a Redneck, doesn`t this spell the end of the Youth Culture? These kinds of Faith Leaps were being bandied about like bubblegum at our little Catholic Prep. School, so many years ago.

Aussie Sisters Set Record For Continuous TV-Watching

June 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“Two Australian sisters have set an unofficial world record for continuous TV-watching after sitting through 87 hours of uninterrupted World Cup and football coverage.
 
Football-mad Joanne and Alanah Argyrou, 22 and 24, outlasted two other contenders as they sat for some three-and-a-half days at Sydney’s Star City Casino, beating Dutchman Efraim van Oeveren’s 86 hours.
 
 
AFP
 
The world may be mad for the World Cup, but most Americans find soccer as exciting as watching grass grow. I couldn’t watch soccer for more than two continuous hours without going mad.
 
The sisters weren’t allowed to look away from the screen for more than five seconds. I might be able to watch porn for an hour without looking away from the screen from  ore than five seconds, but soccer is way too boring.
 
In between World cup matches, the sisters watched football documentaries. Watching a live soccer match is bad enough, but watching soccer documentaries is cruel and unusual punishment.
 
The sisters may have set a world record, but they really need to get a life.
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes

“Papa Was A Rolling Stone”-The Amazing Career of The Temptations

June 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Music

Recently, my sister gave me her old VCR player. My other one died a horrible death, and I wasn`t able to play VHS tapes for about eight months. Anyway, I found a cool tape that I had recorded on November 1st and 2nd, 1998. It`s the NBC television production, The Temptations. This is a rare gem to have, since I don`t believe that it`s available anymore.

It does seem to be an accurate portrayal of their multi-faceted career. The Temptations had some incredible hits, but the up and down dynamics of the Classic Five is mind boggling. When My Girl made # 1 in 1965 that lineup was: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Otis Williams and Eddie Kendricks.

In the late 1970s I would frequent a Dallas hangout, The Knox Street Pub, which had the greatest jukebox ever seen. I must have heard My Girl, Just My Imagination and Papa Was A Rolling Stone more than a million times each. I get the impression from the NBC movie that Papa was a tribute to Paul Williams who suffered from alcoholism and committed suicide on August 17, 1973. *(wrong-was recorded before his death, but lyrics mirror his story.)

David Ruffin`s story is especially interesting; his ego seemed to expand out of control with fame and he was plagued with substance abuse. Fantastic voice though. So take a look back at the amazing career of The Temptations, with both the high points and low points. What`s your favorite Temps song?

Boy’s Bottled Message Found By Scientists Working In Uninhabited Island

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“An Arizona boy who dropped a message in a bottle into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico said the bottle was found a year later by a science team.

 
Jack Johnson, 12, of Scottsdale, said he dropped the bottle containing a note with his name, phone number and address into the ocean near Puerto Vallarta.”
 
UPI
 
I’m surprised that in this day of high-tech forms of communications like texting and emails that a young kid would be familiar with the old school method of sending a message in a bottle.
 
I hope Jack was scolded by his parents for giving away his name, phone number and address. It’s crazy to give away private information online or in bottle.
 
I’m glad this story has a happy ending, it’s a miracle that the bottle was found by scientists on an uninhabited island. What are the odds?
 Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes

Cookie Bandit Breaks Into Dollar Store To Steal Oreo Cakesters Cookies

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“Looks like someone had a sweet tooth.  A guy broke into a Dollar General store in Ocala and stole a box of Oreo Cakesters cookies.
 
The total value of this heist was $2.50.”

 
This clown caused thousands of dollars in damage breaking into a Dollar General store to steal a couple of bucks worth of Oreo snacks.
 
I feel sorry for this idiot when he’s apprehended, and thrown in jail his fellow inmates will give him hell for getting busted for such a minor crime.
 
Oreo Cakesters are yummy, but I wouldn’t risk a stint in jail for the satisfaction of eating one of the delicious treats. But I would risk the humiliation of walking into a dollar store to buy some, if I couldn’t find them anywhere else.
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes

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