Archive for November, 2010

"The Lawrence Olivier of spoofs."-R. Ebert


Feeding The Hungry

My channel surfing to find a likely candidate for #148 sent me to CNN of all places, where I happened upon a celebration of their blue ribbon panel’s selection of the ten most Amazing Humans in all the world. From those ten finalists they picked one to become THE most Amazing. But today we’ll be considering my personal choice, since it differs from CNN’s, Mr. Narayanan Krishnan. I pilfered this write-up on Mr. Krishnan from Indians In, and if you want the link, here it is:

Narayanan Krishnan brings hot meals and dignity to India’s homeless and destitute – 365 days a year – through his nonprofit Akshaya Trust. Since 2002, he has served more than 1.2 million meals.

Narayanan Krishnan, a gifted young chef from Madurai, India, was working for an exclusive hotel group preparing haute cuisine for the ultra-rich. But when he went home to visit his family, something he saw shocked him to his core.

“I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food,” he told CNN.

Krishnan knew he couldn’t go back to the gourmet restaurants he’d been working in when his own countrymen were starving to death. So he decided to stay in India and begin fixing meals for that man, and for the countless others who could not care for themselves.

The following year, he founded the nonprofit group Akshaya Trust. The organization is named for the “Akshaya bowl” from Hindu mythology, a bottomless bowl that can feed the hungry forever—just as Krishnan hopes his group will do. Each morning, Krishnan and his team rise at 4 AM, and seek out the homeless throughout a 123-mile radius, armed with packets of hot vegetarian meals that Krishnan has prepared by hand. He brings the meals to a crowd of about 400 regulars, and gives them free haircuts and beard trims when they need it. In the years since starting the nonprofit, he’s served over 1.2 million meals. His recipients are nearly all mentally ill, and do not have the capacity to thank him.

Lots of firsts.

I’m proud to say I voted for Kamala Harris for District Attorney for the State of California.  She fits in nicely with my ABWP (Anyone But White People) movement philosophy. We believe that white folks have constituted the majority, when it comes to positions of wealth and power, since Columbus invaded America. We believe that they must acknowledge their primary responsibility for the sorry state of our democracy and our declining status as moral leaders globally. We believe it is time for people of color to assume the mantle of leadership, having paid their dues as the object of white prejudice, oppression, cruelty, and in extreme examples, genocide, for far too long. We do not believe in any kind of racial “purity”, rather insisting that any candidate for public office prove blood connection to at least one other non-white ethnic group.

As a thoroughly white person it was difficult for me to look at the facts and take this unpopular stand. Someone must step forward to answer the greed-spawned, wrong-headed propoganda of the U NO HOO Party and their thinly-veiled racist agenda. We (ABWP) believe it is us. Currently I am the only member of the movement. Since I am utterly white I can never have full Golden Membership status, but I am willing to devote myself to the movement. I obviously need lots of help. Won’t you join me?

Seriously, Kamala has acheived lots of firsts after a difficult election process finally concluded recently, placing her in the position of California Attorney General. She is the first woman, African-American, Asian-American (and Uber Babe) to attain this office. I like what she stands for on most issues, so I couldn’t be happier for her and the state.

Together we must fight against the WFDTPBAU (White Folks Dedicated To Perpetuating Business As Usual) and its many sub-groups. If you are  interested in starting an ABWP chapter in your neighborhood you’d better get busy. I am busy already, so I’m afraid you are on your own. Good luck.

For more pertinent info on Kamala Harris there’s always Wikipedia. If I was a rich person I would donate lots of money to Wikipedia and ABWP.

Cthulhu 4 U.

I’m beginning to think I am somehow altering reality with my choice of TAH subjects. Last night as I attempted to catch up with my blog load after the Holiday, I took a random leap and came up with H.P. Lovecraft. I’ve always enjoyed Lovecraft and I frequently return to his twisted territory for something new or to reread a favorite. My alltime favorite is the novelette, “At The Mountains of Madness”. Somewhere in a trunk I still have a “Miskatonic University” T-shirt stowed away, even though it has holes in the armpits. That’s how big a fan I am.

Imagine the putrescent yellowish glow I took on when I let my tentacles do the googling and found out from a fellowfanboy that none other than Benicio del Toro will direct the filmization of “At the Mountains of Madness”, with the 3D technical assistance of none other than James Cameron. Shooting could begin as early as next Summer, but you know how s**t happens in the entertainment biz, so don’t hold your breath. There have been many screen adaptations of Lovecraft’s work. This could be the first really good one.

To the non-fan, Lovecraft is the Godfather of Modern Horror.

Jah Willie

Rye guy on fright nights.

When I first came to California in 1971 I settled in San Jose. I was a small town boy in an authentic urban environment, complete with major pollution, winos, addicts, and aggressive panhandlers. I felt lost until I met Bob Wilkins coming through the airwaves from Sacramento. He became my new imaginary friend and host to the realm where things could always be worse, the realm of bad cinema. Since I was a tyke I’d had a horror host of one kind or another, when in Florida it had been M.T.Graves, a ghoul out of Miami. And here, it was to be Bob Wilkins. Routine horrors like unemployment and root canals pale by comparison to being attacked by a praying mantis the size of an SST (Deadly Mantis, 1957). Bob’s weekend offerings helped me keep things in perspective.

A couple of years before his death in 2007, I had the good fortune to attend a Halloween Extravaganza in an Oakland theater. Besides a double-bill of fright features, the event was distinguished by the live appearances of Bob Wilkins and his Creature Features successor, John Stanley. I had a great time with friends Jeff and Lisa. We all went in costume. My costume was that of a Spanish Fly, lab coat, sombrero, fly head and claw, with a sighn that spelled out “ayude me!” in tiny plastic flies.  None of us expected that alzheimers was working its evil magic on friend Bob, even then.
“The Daniel Ellsberg of the health insurance industry.”

When film maker Michael Moore was on the verge of releasing “Sicko”, his documentary which was to display some inconvenient truths about America’s health insurance industry, it was Wendell Potter’s job as communications director for CIGNA, one of the largest health insurance corporations, to attack Michael Moore and the film with a negative “public relations” tsunami. They were afraid that the film might provoke a populist revolt against them when the true nature of their profit-motivated policies was revealed.

But Wendell Potter had a conscience, left the company in ’08, and for the last year or so he has become a whistle blower to call attention to the very policies he was defending as a CIGNA executive. He made news recently with a public apology to Michael Moore.
Folks who speak out against Obama’s attempts to straighten out the problems of our nation’s health care system, would do well to listen to what this gentleman has to say. Alas most of these protestors are perfectly happy to get their information from Fox News, who have partnered up with corporate insurance interests to discredit Michael Moore, and will now assuredly do the same to Wendell Potter.
For your edification “Democracy Now” has an interview with Moore and Potter in their archives.
Help fight our common enemy, GREED, by staying informed and keeping an open mind.