Archive for June, 2010

The Brazilian Bombshell

Starting today and continuing for the next 364 days, in addition to chronicling the adventures of The “Writer”, I will be including a sketch and brief description of my favorite human beings. Spanning the globe, the arts, sciences, politics and other fields of human endeavor, my choices may be some of your own heroes and heroines or more of the local homegrown variety. My aim is to provide entertainment and edification, recognition to folks who deserve it, and hopefully, more readership for my blog.

The LSL* thinks I am biting off more than I can chew with this project. I am aware that there will be days when sickness, family drama, travel, computer problems and such, will make continuity difficult. But if I knock out more than one a day on the days when I’m feelin’ it a little more than usual, I should be OK for those problematic times. We’ll just have to see, won’t we?

Why am I doing this? Because like the little engine, I think I can. Also because I am making another desperate attempt to get more folks interested in my little corner of the Blogosphere. Hopefully you’ll want to check in from time to time just to see who the Hero Du Jour will be. Please feel free to comment on my choices or suggest future ones.

You may think the first choice is a strange one, but it’s mostly a matter of convenience, since I already had it finished before I even got the idea for this effort. Carmen Miranda, the Brazilian Bombshell (actually born in Portugal), surged to popularity during the 40’s when Hollywood was developing an infatuation for things and people from South of the Border, to become one of the highest earning box office attractions of the era. Her flamboyant, fruity attire brought her iconic recognition and established her as a frequent choice for Halloween costumes to this day. I would include a photo of the LSL as Carmen Miranda at an 80’s Halloween party, but I’m so sure she would forbid it that I’m not even going to ask. You’ll just have to take my word when I assure you that she was much prettier and sexier than CM ever thought of being.

*LSL- Long-Suffering Lovely, My Wife.

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Unfinished sketch recovered from the ruins of the "Writer's" mobile mansion depicting the secret command center where most of his reality-crafting went on.

It is hoped that the inclusion of the following historical documents released by the “Writer’s” family for use in this blog, will give the reader some needed background to flesh out a picture of the personality and motivations that drive this enigmatic superhero.

I read a lot these days, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, biographies. I’ve noticed that many of the better writers can recall vivid details from the most mundane events to add depth and authenticity to their work. I am at a distinct disadvantage here because there are many long periods in my life when I must not have been paying attention . Maybe my childhood was just too normal to hold my interest. I have a pretty good idea why most of the sixties through mid eighties are hazy. Yet I still burn with the need to entertain and be entertained.

I grew up in the proud to be normal, post war Eisenhower years, a little too old to be a bona fide boomer. I picked up on the program early, learned the rules for success and followed them, at least along the path of least resistance that I had chosen. I did not then have the confidence in my “weirdness” (the word I use to describe my mutant entertainment gene and its manifestations as natural talent and in some extreme cases, super powers) to consider it as a focal point to develop a career.

But I saw a fllash of what could be done when I harnessed both my innate “Secret ©” powers. Trickster tendencies, and those abilities I naturally possess by way of my E-gene. And, believe me, it wasn’t pretty.

When I was a senior in high school some of my friends and I were joking around in our usual cynical derisive fashion about the straight-laced, doctrinaire nature of the candidates who had declared for the office of senior class president. Someone suggested that I run as a joke candidate, since the position itself was pretty much a joke.

To this day I wonder why I did it. I hated politics then and only grudgingly went to meetings of any kind. But I did enjoy drawing and lettering, so I whipped up a bunch of comic posters with catchy slogans, funny pictures, and of course, my name in big fat letters. I did not have much experience with public speaking but comedy and acting were fun for me, so my campaign speeches were comic monologues/ stand-up routines. And, to my amazement, people ate it up. It was embarrassingly easy. I was elected over three classmates all of whom were more intelligent, more qualified and more emotionally suited for the job.

Afterward, the full impact of what I had done sent me from initial elation to a terrifying realization. I was much too powerful. I had to stop or be stopped . If I continued in this vein I could very easily find myself on some tropical island exhorting the members of my cult to drink the purple kool-aid and fugitaboutit. Or a Wall Street Baron, running away with a $17.5 billion bonus after voiding the pension plans of thousands of devoted employees. Yes, in a weak moment I might become another Hitler!

Understandably I threw my weirdness under a basket for a while. In the ensuing years it would only appear at times of extreme jubilation, characteristically accompanied by the ingestion of mind-altering substances and followed by a hangover with a nasty guilt after-taste.

 

Will T. Friedman, AKA W.T.F., or The “Writer, should have been pleased by the way things were going. During the last week he had fended off an Illuminati attack by trumping their threat of tenor terrorism with a peaceful alternate entertainment reality of his own design; he had seen the rapid recuperation of The Cat With No Name; and he had only just witnessed the return of The Humminator. It was good to see that blazing red-headed avenger dancing around the feeder again, by golly.
A quick walk around Guerneville revealed that “World Beat Expo and Planetary Benefit Bake Sale” posters had replaced the Bohos Tenor Abomination. As he walked the aisles of Safeway, stalking the elusive bargain and exhibiting the acumen that has marked his ascension to legendary status in this small consumer community, he could not help but overhear on more than one occasion, snatches of conversations about one or the other of the artists on the program, the historic public opening of The Grove, or of the mysterious new largesse demonstrated by that lovable bunch of billionaires we love to revile. He almost began to chastise himself for, in effect, profiling Bohemian Club/ Illuminati Members as self-centered, greedy assholes bent on perpetuating a lavish lifestyle for them and a slavish life for everyone else. Maybe there is some reason for hope.
Also gratifying was the accomplishment of a goal he’d set for himself months ago while still in Baja, when the sight of an e-article in the Press Democrat announcing the opening of a new restaurant in Sebastopol, The P30, mentioned that they would be featuring chicken and waffles. This extraordinary soul food concoction evidently sprung from recipes south of the Mason-Dixon to Harlem, and the rest is mythical. It instantly moved to the top of the MUST DO list.
 

 

the grail?

It had taken more than three months for just the right time to arrive, but the coming of Father’s Day had provided the window of opportunity he needed. This past weekend he’d occupied the seat of honor at the end of the table , and enjoyed the company of a very select group of people including The LSL*, his children, his grandchildren, his brother-in-law and his son, and Tojira-in-a-box. His only criticism had been that he lacked sufficient funds to buy more food. The chicken was moist and succulent like good breasts should be, the waffles were melt in your mouth yummy as was the jam (which he asked, only half  in jest, to take home in a doggy bag).

But all the while his thoughts would stumble back to the task ahead of him. He had to write up the reality for this week’s World Beat Expo and bring this episode of his continuing conflict with the Ills to a satisfactory conclusion. He resisted the temptation to gloat over his apparent victory . He had seen far too many celebratory dances done before actually crossing the end zone result in embarrassment and injury to think that there couldn’t be one more pitfall.

And what about The Hallucination of the Phantom Editor, or whatever that was? And wasn’t there supposed to be another Mentor (numero quatro) with his training program? Had his Mentor benefits been automatically cancelled when he went rogue? This was the kind of retirement that was quickly making The “Writer” long for the drudgery of the workplace. Not..

*LSL, Long-suffering Lovely, AKA Lucy, the “Writers” wife.

"The Critic"

Many are the distractions of the mildly retired superhero. Just when the gauntlet has been thrown and the true nature of the Illuminati challenge is revealed, the “Writer”, still desperately reeling from his week-long withdrawal from the grid/internet/blog world, sought and found the deal which would not only return him to his worried internet fans but answer his phone and TV needs as well.. That’s right, the “Writer had two “bundles” of joy delivered to his doorstep. They took the form of (a) a brand new modem and (b) a little black Pandora’s Box full of movies, sports, nature documentaries, animation and news, much of it in HD (Hypnotic Distraction).

In one week the “Writer” and his family gained HD programming, their first real cell phone (ending more than a decade hold-out) , and a new modem. From famine to feasting on generous dollops of media, more than a mouthful, for sure.

It was only after watching two complete Giants games, eight feature films, a dozen or more episodes from his favorite sci-fi and anime shows, several compelling documentaries and lots of local news, in only two day’s time, that the “Writer” began to suspect the possibility of secret Illuminati intercession with the dish company that offered his incredible “bundle”. He had to admit $11.95 per month for high speed internet, phone service, and 250 channels, plus Showtime, The Movie Channel, and Starz, was a pretty darn good deal. After canvassing his ‘hood, he found that his deal was, on average, about eighty dollars cheaper per month than those with similar “bundles”.

The penciled version of the poster he was preparing which would alter the reality of the BoHo Show (scheduled two weeks hence) languished in a stack of unfinished blog work. Wrenching himself from the 80’s world depicted in TV’s “The Mantis”(one of a short list of differently-abled superheroes that began with Billy Batson) to focus on the task of finalizing the poster lineup for his version of the BoHo Show reality, took every ounce of will power and Kuban Koffee Koncentrate© he could muster.

But I am glad to report that he has taken pen in hand again and plans to reveal his exciting alternative entertainment reality to the public before the weekend, a good week before the event.

Expect the phenomenal!

Signed enthusiastically,

Vlad The Promoter

MoFo BoHo Show

Right bird, wrong feeder.

In spite of the fact that a warm sun had opened the orange and yellow poppies earlier than usual this late Spring day, and that the Giants were up two to zero in an early East Coast game vs the Reds, The “Writer” was feeling a trifle uneasy. He tried in vain to quell the anxiety that bubbled to the surface, stronger with each incident attributable to Illuminati machinations.

There was just too much going on to mark it all up to a succession of coincidences. First, his modem suddenly stopped functioning, leaving him isolated and vulnerable, without one of his most important weapons in his creative assault against the malignant might of the Ills. Then there was the worrying disappearance of “The Humminator. And today he noticed a nasty open wound on the right hind leg of “The Cat With No Name”. If this attrition of his forces continued he might soon be obliged to submit to the will of the Ills, renounce his title, surrender his superpowers and embrace the oblivion of advancing dementia. He simply couldn’t sit by and watch his devoted team of “Animal Crackers” be decimated because of his ambitions. And there was his family to think of.

Or he could stockpile more creative ammo: text, drawings and photos, for the return of his online connection. That could occur with the UPS delivery of his new modem, as early as today. The fact remained that he had to respond to the BoHo Show Challenge or endure the terror of The Three Irish Tenors at peak volume, virtually in his front yard!

Gojira poses with garment previously worn by Moloch minion.

The “Writer” continued to be dumbfounded by the implications of the comic book relic his sister had mailed him. The cover seemed to depict a vintage The “Writer” with a face that resembled old photos of his dad. Evident were the pencil thin mustache and chiseled features that reminded his father’s friends of tough guy leading man, Brian Donlevy. And with a team of “Animal Crackers” identical in every way to his own. On a document dated, June 7th, 1944. The same year that Gojira mentioned in his fabulous conception story. (see “Dog Demands Day) And also the year of The “Writer’s” birth.

It was in this state of preoccupation with the ramifications of his strange past and recently revealed Destiny that he stumbled down the stepping stones toward Ballena Azul, his trusty ’91 Previa van. Feeling the need to immerse himself in a calming routine, he was headed to Guerneville Safeway for the bi-weekly foraging he usually enjoyed. He almost ignored the graphically drab poster for The Bohemian Club Variety Show that had been tacked to the power pole next to his van. But was that a photo of Irish “Boy” Tenor, Dennis Day? And was that a rendering of an atrophied Art Linklater? What the hell? Tenor Terrorists? THX Sound? Midnight drum solo?

He could regard this as nothing more or less than a full-on, personal assault, deep into his comfort zone by that Krazy Kabal of Moloch Worshippers who seemed to dog him ever more relentlessly since he broke ranks. “So this is what happens to the rebellious superhero who refuses to honor the gods for their gifts, eh? Well I might just take an even bigger bite of the hand that feeds”, he muttered, even then formulating his counter-thrust to this flagrant act of agression disguised as a “family entertainment fundraiser”. (To more fully understand The “Writer’s ” agitation, the reader is advised to read the blog entitled “Ritualized Burning of Care and Other Bohemian Amusements.)

While driving his van to Guerneville he began to calm down but he  still had difficulty recalling the last few moments in any detail. There had been a period of red rage, followed by a “flight and fight” reaction. “Flight” to remove himself from the site of that poster abomination (which clearly revealed the next move in the Illuminati offensive). The “fight” would be on as soon as he did his grocery shopping and made a little side trip to the Five and Dime for art supplies. Then it would be back to the mobile mansion to craft his version of reality. In any event, this would be a BoHo Show to remember.

Below you will find the only surviving copy of what has been called by historians “The BoHo Show Challenge”; its importance, of course, is its provocation of The “Writer’s” first use of his powers to alter a reality in which human beings were directly affected.

Neighbor, Dane Sturtevantsonshire, remembers:
“I would only see the old gent from time to time, checkin’ the mail, you know, or lookin’ up at the birds. Usually chucklin’ to himself about one thing or another; seemed like a nice enough old dude; never did anything to bother us. But this one day I heard him yellin’ even over the leaf blower I was usin’. I looked down the street and he was tearin’ down a flyer or some ad that had been tacked on to the power pole front of his house. He was wavin’ his arms and cussin’ to beat the band. Ripped that sucker off the pole, rolled it up in a ball and kicked it out into the street. Then he jumped in his van and drove off, grindin’ his gears even worse than usual. I was kinda curious about what that ad was all about, so I went down to, you know, pick up the trash. I walked back to my garage, unrumpled the paper and, for some reason, tacked it to the wall over my tool bench. Lucky for me huh?”

No other copies of this document have ever come to light. Mr. Sturtevantsonshire was recently offered $13,000,000 for the “BoHo Show Challenge” by the Emirate of Bahrain, and refused to accept. Why? Mysteries continue to surround his decision and the possible whereabouts of the missing flyers.

Plese don't sue me. It's all in fun.