Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Children of the Speckled Corn

I hope everyone's having a pleasant day, untroubled by work, racist relatives, or an uncomfortable proximity to turban squash. Mary is making her traditional Thanksgiving feast -- turkey, mashed potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, I believe -- while I am practicing the custom of my ancestors, staying-the-hell-out-of-the-kitchen, because it's roughly the depth and breadth of a coffin, and my presence tends to test the limits of patience and the bonds of matrimony, while increasing the likelihood that the kitchen itself will transition from a tiny food preparation area to an actual casket, in that it will suddenly contain a dead body.

I mean besides the turkey.  (And spare me the turkey jokes -- I'm looking at you, Actor212 -- because you really need to be a Seventies icon of Earl Holliman, or Ben Murphy quality to pull off that kind of insult with any degree of panache.)

So I'll be in the recliner, with my coffee, my lower back pain medication, and a lapful of cats, watching the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon on ShoutFactoryTV, or YouTube, or whatever damn streaming service I can coax into compliance.

What are you guys up to this year? Please let me know in the comments, because while I don't live well, I do live vicariously.

Mmm, boy! That's good flesh!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Slumgullion: Episode 41


Scott and Jeff discuss Opie Taylor's new Star Wars movie, Han Solo: Why?, then make Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville square off and fight like Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots. Afterwards, the New Movie Crew considers Justice League. Did we like it? Even we don't know at first, as we get sidetracked about The Flash taking a stealth poop and why Batman is so confused about Miller Time.

Also, Jeff gets suddenly sucked away by a storm like Dorothy Gale.  Please enjoy...


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How It (Probably) Happened One Christmas

By Bill S.

The year: 1977

The place: The office of some network tv executive who greenlights bad ideas. A brainstorming session for a new Christmas special is taking place. Let's listen in, shall we?

"Hey, I've got a great idea. Let's remake It's A Wonderful Life!"

"Are you nuts? That's a movie classic."

"We're doing it with a twist: we're making the George Bailey character a woman."

"Oh, so it'll be a modernized version with some feminist take. That'll be interesting."

"Um, no, we're setting in in 1944."

"Well, that could still be interesting, since a woman's options in the 40's were very different from a man's. It'll change the story in big ways."

"Um, no, we're keeping the exact same story, even a lot of the same dialogue."

"But...that's preposterous. Why bother setting the story in the 40's if you're just gonna pretend gender equality already happened?"

"Costumes!"

"Oh, well, maybe it could still work, if you get a female lead who's of the same caliber as Jimmy Stewart. Who do you have? Anne Bancroft? Shirley MacLaine? Jane Fonda? Diane Keaton? Marsha Mason?"

"Are you kidding? This is TV, we could never get one of them."

"So...Mary Tyler Moore maybe?"

"Marlo Thomas."

"Oh, the decaf version of Mary Tyler Moore."

"She's co-producing."

"Then I guess we're stuck with..um, what about the male Donna Reed?"

"Huh?"

"If you're making George Bailey into a woman, I assume you're making Mary into a man. Unless this is a lesbian--"

"NO!"

"Damn, I knew that was too much to hope for. In any case, a big part of the original film's appeal was that romance between George and Mary. Donna Reed was like, the perfect woman. If George could be married to her, and still contemplate suicide, you know he's in big trouble and needs divine intervention. So, who's the guy you found to fill that role?"

"Wayne Rogers."

"Trapper John? Shit, you couldn't even get Alan Alda? Oh well, maybe the supporting cast can salvage it. The original had a great one--Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Thomas Mitchell, Beaulah Bondi, Gloria Grahame--"

"We've got Cloris Leachman in the Clarence role."

"Ah, Oscar and Emmy winning Cloris Leachman. That should give this thing a shot in the arm."

"Speaking in a silly Cockney accent."

"What the fuck? Why? Wait, is this a parody? Is Mel Brooks writing it?"

"No."

"Damn, I knew that was too much to hope for. Okay, who else?"

"Barney Martin, Doris Roberts, Christopher Guest, Archie Hahn--"

"You're sure this isn't a comedy?"

"We've got Orson Welles as Mr. Potter."

"Finally some casting that makes sense. Um, he isn't, by any chance, direct--"

"No."

"Damn, I knew that was too much to hope for. Is there anything that might sell this remake to an audience?"

"It's in color."

"Who gives a shit?"

"We think it would make a great companion piece to that remake of Miracle On 34th Street with Sebastian Cabot."

"Yes, I suppose it would."

"In fact, we were thinking of releasing them on videocassette next year. In a box set. The Beta format, of course."

"Beta? But that's...you know, actually, releasing those two together on Beta is the perfect way to preserve them. The only way, in fact."


The Hallmark holiday movie season is upon us. Beware.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Doc Armstrong Versus Thor!


It's another new Slumgullion, and this episode we're joined by Writer-Director-Actor-Author-Human-Hyphen Larry Blamire (Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Dark and Stormy Night) to talk about his two-fisted pulp novel, Doc Armstrong: Suburb on the Edge of Never, which has recently been awarded a coveted Third Fist by the National Association of Pulp Manufacturers' Sub-Committee on Fist Metrics.


We also chat about Larry's graphic novel series, Steam Wars, his book of Western horror stories, Tales of the Callamo Mountains, and its upcoming sequel, and his three alternate universe dictionaries, Larry Blamire's Blammary: Terms You May Not Know: With Unrelated Illustrations #1, #2, and #3.

Also, a whole lot of goofy stuff, and even a few tough, probing, thoughtful questions, but the answers are hard to understand, because everybody's eating scones.


Then we make a seamless transition to the Unknown Movie Challenge, as the New Movie Crew has its legally binding say on Thor: Ragnarok. Oh, and we murder Tinkerbell. Sorry about that.


Also available on Stitcher and iTunes

Sunday, November 12, 2017

World O' Crap Remembers Roy

While Time's Arrow flies in but one direction, History is a circle, as Sheri reminded me today with this post from August, 2011.  We were celebrating the eighth anniversary of World O' Crap by rooting through the first week's postings, which were mostly concerned with helping then-Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for proving that he's dumb as a rock. I mean, a literal rock. Like, two tons of granite worth of dumb.

So I thought I'd repost this, for the benefit of newbies who only think of Roy as a hebephile:
====================================================================

Just two days after the publication of her founding manifesto, s.z. took on the Judge Roy Moore-Big Rock Candy Commandments Controversy, which was just then coming to a head.  For those who may not recall the details, Moore was the newly elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who felt the wooden Ten Commandments plaque that hung in the Courthouse wasn't ostentatious enough.  So he commissioned a 2½-ton granite monument carved with a graven image of the Decalogue, and had it delivered to the Rotunda after business hours.  Chief Justice Moore seems to have anticipated that his actions might be regarded as irregular, if not downright illegal by the Federal judiciary, since, according to Wikipedia:
The installation was filmed, and videotapes of the event were sold by Coral Ridge Ministries, an evangelical media outlet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which later used proceeds from the film's sales to pay Moore's ensuing legal expenses. Coral Ridge was the operation of the late Reverend D. James Kennedy, a staunch Moore supporter.
Moore also had a Copyright notice chiseled into the monument, presumably so he could help fund his extra-Constitutional activities by selling paperweight reproductions in the Supreme Court Gift Shop. 
The next morning, Moore held a press conference in the central rotunda to officially unveil the monument [and] declared, "Today a cry has gone out across our land for the acknowledgment of that God upon whom this nation and our laws were founded....May this day mark the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and the return to the knowledge of God in our land."
 While most bloggers discussed the First Amendment implications of Moore's actions, s.z. decided to go directly to the top:

God Comments On Alabama Ten Commandments Rock 

It seems that this guy Rob Moore is just not going to get his rock out of the rotunda -- at least, not until the media stops covering this story.

And while there have been a lot of people interviewed about the situation (Rob, his supporters, the Alabama State Attorney General, the ACLU, Jerry Falwell, etc.), it seems that nobody has talked to perhaps the key player in all of this: God.

So, I got in touch with God's press secretary and managed to set up a short lunch meeting. Here's a transcript of our conversation:

========================

Me: Thanks for agreeing to talk with me.

God: No problem. I meet so few reporters these days that I felt it was my duty.

Me: Hey, was that a slam?!? But let's move on. As you know . . .

God: Yes. I'm omniscient.

Me: . . .Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has said "he would be guilty of treason" if he didn't fight to keep a monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the state judicial building. Do you agree?

God: Yes. But since Ann Coulter branded everybody she doesn't like (Democrats, liberals, women, airport baggage screeners, all the kids who made fun of her girlish crush on Joe McCarthy, etc.) as traitors, treason is now cool and hip.

Me: Moore has also said that he needs to keep the monument in the rotunda "to fulfill the campaign promise that he made to the citizens of Alabama to restore the moral foundation of law." What do you think he means by this?

God: That he wants to do Law & Order, Old Testement-style. You know, stoning homosexuals. Stoning adulteresses. Stoning kids who sass their parents. Stuff like that.

Me: And do you agree with him on this?

God: Hell, no! I sent you people my son and licensed representative to give you Commandments Version 2.0, which has a root code of "Love thy neighbor as thyself." I don't see anybody putting a two-ton granite block of THAT in any state buildings!

Me: So, what do you think of Reverend Falwell's comparison of Moore "with slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who defied segregation laws in the white-dominated U.S. South in the 1950s and 1960s"?

God: Well, I hardly need Moore or Falwell to fight for MY desegregation. I AM omnipresent, you know.

Me: I think Falwell meant that it's okay to break "man's law when needed to preserve God's law."

God: I knew that. (Might I remind you of that omniscience thing?) I just thought it was a stupid analogy. And by the way, my law was never "Put a big granite monument of the Ten Commandments in a public place." My law was "Obey the damn commandments, and even more than that, love your enemies. Oh, and don't make a public spectacle of yourself by trumpeting your good deeds in the street or praying to be seen of men. And no worshipping of graven images!" But I guess it's my fault that I didn't package this stuff as "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Commandments."

Me: And what do you think of Alan Keyes urging of Moore's supporters to "take back America from the unruly courts"?

God: I think that Keyes and Moore should first work on taking back daytime television from those unruly court TV shows! They are annoying, irresponsible, and demeaning to all involved. Plus, they take up valuable air time that could be used for reruns of "Highway to Heaven" and "Touched by an Angel." And "Perry Mason"--I've always liked that one. Oh, and speaking of sedition, don't you think that what Keyes is advocating comes close?

Me: Um, I really couldn't comment--except that if being a traitor is now cool, I don't think Keyes is one. One last question: what do you think of Moore's vow to file a formal appeal with the high court “to defend our constitutional right to acknowledge God"?

God: Being omniscient and all, I'm pretty sure that the constitution doesn't say that one has the right to acknowledge ANYTHING by sneaking 5,300-pound slabs of granite into public buildings in the dead of night. Unless perhaps Moore is speaking of the "Pranksters, Hazers, and Practical Jokesters Constitution."  

As for acknowledging ME, I would prefer it if people would, you know, visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and keep themselves unspotted from the world. Sure, it's easier to lug around big rocks, but it's not really the way I want to be worshipped. The big chunk o' granite thing just makes me look stupid in front of my friends.

Me: I'll pass that along. Well, thanks for your time. And best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

God. Same to you. See you at the second coming. Um, wear something nonflammable! 

=================
There you have it. I hope this ends this little contretemps, and we don't have to read anymore about it ever again. Because it only encourages Moore and rewards him for acting out, and we don't want that. Or the next time he's up for reelection he'll lug the Dome of the Rock into the court house parking lot and refuse to move it, even though it's in a handicapped space, as a way of showing his constituents that he's a moron.
And then a week or so later, s.z. very kindly tossed me the keys and let me take her blog for a spin:

DON’T KNOCK THE ROCK! 
Roy Moore Draws Support of Rock-Worshipping Cults
By World O'Crap Special Correspondent Scott C.

The recent debate over Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s monument to the Ten Commandments has exposed and to some degree exacerbated the tensions that exist between mainstream and fundamentalist Christianity. At the same time, however, the 5,300 pound cause celebre has also served to unite several previously hostile religious movements.

"Initially, church elders declined to take a position on this controversy," said Ronald Zietlow, Chief Mameluke of the Igneous Brotherhood. "We mistakenly believed that Chief Justice Moore and his followers worshipped an omniscient, omnipresent, but non-corporeal diety, and that the granite monument was merely symbolic. 

"Naturally, that sort of abstract cosmotheism doesn’t interest us, since we worship the sturdy and tangible Three Stones of Fintoozler. But once we heard the protesters screaming, 'Get your hands off our god, god-haters!' (Protesters React Angrily to Monument Removal ) we realized that the granite carving was in fact their diety. Naturally, we felt obliged to offer our support in the spirit of stone-worshipping ecumenism. Plus, we admired their forethought in placing a copyright notice on their god. Many’s the time I wish that the High Prophet had taken a moment to visit the Trademark Office, since we’re losing quite a bit of potential merchandising revenue at the Three Stones. Particularly sales of T-shirts and those foam drink sleeves."

This sentiment was echoed by Timothy DeLongpre, a deacon at Our Lady of Feldspar in Sterling, Virginia. "As a minority faith which reveres consecrated sandstone, we are firm believers in defending the right to practice one’s religion, free of interference by Federal bureaucrats. We are also staunch supporters of anything which strengthens the ecumenical bonds of friendship and respect among the world’s leading rock-worshipping cults, because, frankly, some of them practice human sacrifice and they scare the crap out of me." DeLongpre added that many in his congregation have admired the way Chief Justice Moore championed his faith by hiring workmen to sneak his god onto public property in the middle of the night, and the way he boldly secured a copyright on his own Maker. "In our own parish, the poor often go hungry because our product line has been diluted by the unlicensed theme mugs of third party heretics."

Father Rodolfo, pastor of the First Church of Mexican Wrestlers Who Worship Rock Men From the Moon has closely followed the contretemps in Alabama, and believes that whether Moore’s effort succeeds or fails, he will long be honored as a peacemaker.
"Ours is a very inclusive church," said the priest as he took a break from calling Bingo on a recent Wednesday night. "And we are saddened by all this factionalism: Shale versus gypsum, sedimentary versus metamorphic. These doctrinal squabbles threaten to overwhelm our faith and blind us to the one thing we should never lose sight of: that despite our different beliefs and customs, we are all children of a big rock."

Rawiri Gaia, priestess of Rapa Nui agrees. "I believe that Moore’s crusade can already be counted a success, for it has helped to heal the theological divisions within my own faith." She gestured eloquently toward a towering head carved from the native rock.


"For countless generations we have venerated these enormous graven images of Richard Kiel. Or possibly Ted Cassidy. That’s another doctrinal sore point. But the fact is, in recent years we’ve seen a graying of our congregations. We needed to modernize our services, do something to appeal to the younger set, so we began outfitting our monoliths with gigantic Devo hats from the ‘Whip It!’ video.

"Some of our more traditional members threatened a schism, but fortunately Judge Moore’s timely stand on behalf of boulder fetishists everywhere reminded us that when it comes to eternal salvation, it doesn’t really matter what accessories your god is wearing. Only that he was carved with loving care, and legally trademarked."

Not all devotees of stone deities welcome the attention brought by the Ten Commandments imbroglio. Dave Bradley of Appleton, Wisconsin, who worships marble ("I like a smooth god," he says) claims that all the publicity has brought "kooks and whackos" flooding to his faith.
 "None Dare Call It Necrophilia"

Still, whether Moore’s Take Your God to Work Day program is successful may prove less important in the end than the comfort and inspiration it has provided to hundreds of pagan Alabamians. "It’s like the Stonewall Riot," said protester Cyrus Fletcher of Mobile. "Except with a big rock. And fewer drag queens."
So there you have it.  On November 13, 2003, less than three months after World O' Crap published a series of whimsical japes on the Ten Commandments Controversy, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary voted unanimously to defrock Chief Justice Moore.  The connection is inescapable.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Beast Blogging: The "Take the Long Way Home" Edition

Well I missed International Cat Day, but what the hell; that just means all the seasonal cards and catnip candies are half off. Anyway, I thought we'd take a look back at our two feline inmates:

Moondoggie -- 2007

Moondoggie 2017

Shadow - 2015

Shadow - 2017

Speaking of looking back...If you haven't consumed our latest multimedia offerings, please check them out and let us know what you think They're both short, but amusing; much like Nancy Walker.


Click here for a Better Living Through Bad Movies audio special: Exorcist II: The Heretic!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween (1978): Now, Improved By Polka!

You know how it goes on The Slumgullion. What started off as a respectful, even adulatory discussion of John Carpenter's music career turned into something weird -- as our conversations tend to do -- and before you know it, words were exchanged, a challenge was laid down, and now, well...

I had no choice. I had to do it...!