Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sure Is Hard To Figure Out Who To Vote For!

Sorry I've been gone so long. I've been trying to decide which candidate to vote for. At first, I was going to vote for John McCain. I mean: WAR HERO! Then, I rented "The Manchurian Candidate" and I got nervous. I'm sure NOTHING'S WRONG with Mr. McCain...I just got nervous.

But then, McCain got this super-hot hockey mom as a VP running mate. I mean: slight schwing, with mitigating factors. Sure, she might not date me because "Don't you guys all have horns?", but I bet she smells good! Quickly, 'though, I remembered that my favorite political beauty queen of all time is, in fact, Miss Democrat--who smells like apple pie, Love's Baby Soft, teen spirit, and that delicious stuff they put in the air vents in Vegas to keep everybody awake. Here, enjoy this photo of a determinedly cheery Miss Democrat being sold to a hyenalike creepy old guy by a smiley, yet demonic, stewardess.
Wait, no. This is a better picture--in this one, she's had time to get her legs in "Pageant Position." Yeah, I'm not sure what George Clooney is doing here, either:So, there goes the lock on the McCain/Palin ticket for this guy. Still unsure who to vote for, I turn to the oracle known as ELECTION PINBACK BUTTONS. When in doubt, let the ELECTION PINBACK BUTTONS be your guide. Fasten your seatbelt. We're going in.

First thing I find out, is that WOMEN are for McCain! If I'd known that, I'd be wearing a McCain costume to that Swingers Halloween Party I'm going to, and...oh, wait..., I guess that one's a draw.
But hey, looky here! Uncle SAM is for Obama and Biden! Awesome! That's a lock, then, that's just a lock, right? Oh, crap...
It's another tie. But, in this tie, I'm leaning toward Obama because Uncle Sam just looks really creepy as he prepares to feed the presidency to a very scary "I want, gimme, I want" baby John McCain.

Hold on. I think everything is going to be okay. Your SANTA has come out for McCain. That clears everything up--sure, I technically don't believe in Santa, but...
Curse your armies of department store jolly old elfs! How the heck am I supposed to make up my mind NOW?

Sorry. Had to walk away and do my deep breathing exercises. I'm back, and this pinback is reminding me that I forgot about an important bunch of folks to pay attention to. Yessir, were I a billionaire--unless I were one of those bearded, sandal-wearing "give-y" Internet billionaires--I would solidly be in the McCain camp. So, ya know, why not...maybe I'll become a billionaire after McCain gets elected, and...ooooh, what have we here...On the back of this pinback, it says, "For more information, contact Ms. Bambi and Ms. Starla, Happy Valley Pleasant Forest Camp..." If you ask me, it was a big mistake not to put Ms. Bambi and Ms. Starla on this pinback. Yet, this gets my attention, and as a voter, I think I might need to leave right now and "caucus" with Bambi and Starla, and...I'll be back in awhile.

Okay. Back. WHY was I not informed how COOL John McCain is...LOOK at THIS PINBACK! This is the most awesome thing ever, he's getting my vote now, and...
It's another freakin' tie. Searching hard, a mug of hot coffee clasped in each sweaty fist, I know I MUST find some key differences between the candidates. There HAVE to be pinbacks out there to help me. The two parties MUST have some strong, decisive images to help me decide. ...or not. And, looking at these make my head ache. Is it fun to have donkeys and elephants pound on your gourd? No, I don't think this is fun. All right, let's just cut the chit-chat and go through the rest of these.


AND, OH, WOW!!! STRONG MEN ARE FOR MCCAIN! (um, except this guy makes me kinda nervous...don't know why...I think that might be a fake 'stache on a Hitler youth? Or, an early photo of G. Gordon Liddy? Can't put my finger on it. It's disquieting.)
Okay, OKAY. Now I'm starting to figure this out. BEAGLES ARE FOR OBAMA.
AND, "ILLEGALS" ARE FOR MCCAIN? This seems like a lock. Back in college, I have to admit that I did a thing or two that could be called "illegal"--although, between consenting adults, I don't know why...Still, I guess that I've GOTTA be for McCain? In the bigger picture, 'though, these two pinbacks probably don't help much. I mean, can beagles vote?
Hold on. Game over. Coffee cups down. Let's slide all of the pinbacks carefully into the drawer--watch your fingers, they PRICK. I almost got lockjaw from a Dead Kennedys button back in '83.

Here we go.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Who Owned All of The Gay Nightclubs in NYC?

A. Ray Kroc
B. Liberace
C. Colonel Sanders
D. J. Edgar "I Am The FBI" Hoover
E. The mafia
F. All of the above
G. Who cares?
Click here for the answer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How To Feast Like A King In NYC...For Pennies!

Step 1: Acquire time machine.
Step 2: Enter time machine.
Step 3. Fasten time machine safety belt. There are laws about this.
Step 4. Put on goggles.
Step 5. Carefully set controls of time machine. You do not want to go back to the time of dinosaurs or ahead to a post-apocalyptic future full of sentient machines and garbage piles. While the dining options in these eras will likely be inexpensive, they will also be of dubious pleasure.
Step 6. Activate time machine. Head for Delmonico's, NYC.
Step 7. Enjoy dinner.
Step 8. Be sure to tip your waitress and bartender.
Feastily yours, Lamont "Epicures 'r Us" Cranston

Delmonico'sDelmonico's Menu: What are you gonna have?Here's Where Our Entree Comes From! (Yes, that might be Joey "Smart Mouth" Clowniantonio hanging on the hook in the corner.)Here's the Fun Part: Even When the Prices Are This Low, We Can Complain!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Following is an Unpaid Commercial Announcement

"A running Jeremiad on the vestiges of Old New York as they are steamrolled under or threatened by the currently ruthless real estate market and the City Fathers' disregard for Gotham's historical and cultural fabric. Est. January 2006."
Lost City Blog Owner Brooks of Sheffield is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. Go, Brooks, go! "McHale's closed. That's why I've decided to create this blog, something thought I'd never do, mainly because I have a visceral dislike of the word 'blog,' surely one of the most graceless syllables in the English language. (Leave it to the wordsmiths of the 21st century.) But something has to be written about the disappearance of McHale's. And Howard Johnson's. And Le Cirque, Lutece, the Second Avenue Deli, CBGBs (soon), the Rainbow Room (as it was), Lattacini Barese, Frank's Department Store, Gage and Tollner and countless other classic stores, restaurants, bars, landmarks, merchants that have been steamrolled under the current, ruthless, soulless real estate market (all hail!) and our mayor's love of development, "progress," big box stores, unfriendly competition, faceless high rises and the high cost of living he's become accustomed to..."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Propaganda Bonanza!

Lorne "Alpo Ben Cartwright Commander Adama" Greene: Actor!

1) Canadian. Member of the Tribe. Born Lyon Chaim Green.
2) Was called "The Voice of Canada" during World War II.
3) Invented a stopwatch that ran backwards.
4) Founder of the Toronto Academy of Radio Arts (aka Lorne Greene School of Broadcasting). Leslie "You Didn't Realize How Funny I Was, Did You?" Nielsen went there.
5) Co-owner of a steak house chain.
6) Narrator of many propaganda and documentary films, including war-related films.
7) Co-inventor of the board game "Propaganda."
The kit consists of a plastic box, one rule book, four technique cards, one scoring table, and forty example cards. The objective of the game is to determine clear thinking. Players are placed in groups of threes and fours. Examples Of Propaganda are cited; players attempt to determine propaganda techniques. Scoring is charted on a special table.

For Lorne, here are excerpts from his game...What are some of the manipulation tools that are used in or played with in propaganda of all kinds?

Techniques of Exploitation: Appeal to Pity, Appeal to Flattery, Appeal to Ridicule, Appeal to Prestige, Appeal to Prejudice, Bargain Appeal, Folksy Appeal, Join the Bandwagon Appeal, Appeal to Practical Consequences, Passing from the Acceptable to the Dubious

Techniques of Self-Deception: Prejudice, Academic Detachment, Drawing the Line, Not Drawing the Line, Conservatism, Radicalism, Moderatism, Rationalization, Wishful Thinking, Tabloid Thinking, Causal Oversimplification, Inconceivability

Techniques of Language: Emotional Terms, Metaphor & Simile, Emphasis, Quotation Out of Context, Abstract Terms, Vagueness, Ambiguity, Shift of Meaning

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Alfred M. Hubbard: Mystery Man

Welcome to LSD week at Horkheimer's Conceptualization of Critical Theory. This is Alfred M. Hubbard. He is one of the most mysterious men I have read about recently. Here are 10 facts about him, but are they all really true? Dunno. Everything I read about him has more question marks than answers. Lots of links are embedded below in case you want to read more. A warning: You can't poke at Alfred M. Hubbard without unleashing a swirling, busy, buzzing beestorm of Conspiracy Theories. I'm not sayin' they're right, I'm not sayin' they're wrong, there are just a lot of them. Mostly, as I read about him I kept wondering: Did somebody make this guy up?

1) When he was very young--late teens--Alfred M. Hubbard invented the Hubbard Energy Transformer, aka "atmospheric power generator," aka "perpetual motion machine," aka a "radioactive battery" that kept a boat moving for three days. There was a lot of excitement about this potential energy source, he sold half the patent for $75,000 to the Radium Chemical Company of Pittsburgh, PA, and then POOF it vanished.
2) During Prohibition, Alfred M. Hubbard was a prominent member of a gang of bootleggers in Seattle. A taxi-driver, he had a "ship-to-shore communication device concealed in his trunk" and used it to help safely smuggle booze in from Canada. He went to prison for 18 months. He also might have been a government Prohibition agent. See what I mean about confusing? By the time he came out of prison, it appears that he had joined the OSS (now the CIA).
3) Alfred M. Hubbard "smuggled weapons into Great Britain before America's formal entrance into World War II. He sailed ships under cover of darkness to Vancouver, where they were refitted as destroyers bound for England, and he avoided matters involving official neutrality—some eighteen months before Pearl Harbor—by becoming a Canadian citizen. As America's man in Canada, Hubbard handled millions of dollars, filtered through the Canadian consulate, which financed covert operations in Europe."
4) Alfred M. Hubbard made millions in uranium, had a Rolls Royce, an airplane, and lived on an island that he owned (Daymen Island, apparently) off the coast of Vancouver. This did not make him happy. It might make me happy, but it did not make him happy.
5) Alfred M. Hubbard got really, really, really happy because he got really, really, really into LSD. In fact, he got so very into LSD that he was apparently called the "Johnny Appleseed of LSD." He gave Aldous Huxley LSD, as well as 6,000 other people including--he claimed--the Pope. You can read more about this in a book titled Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream by Jay Stevens. At the same time, he really hated Timothy Leary. A lot.
6) Alfred M. Hubbard might or might not have worked for the CIA and been part of the CIA's notorious Project MKULTRA which you would really need to read about to believe--unless you are naturally wary of the government, have a suspicious mind, and/or already know about it. If you are interested, apparently a small amount of documentation exists about the project after "the fire."
7) Alfred M. Hubbard appears to have gotten his doctorate in biopsychology from the University of Kentucky--although everyone who has written about him seems rather skeptical about this "doctorate"--and he went to work at Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster, Canada where he used LSD to cure wealthy patients--some of whom were Hollywood (U.S.) movie stars and prominent politicians (e.g., members of the Canadian Parliament) of alcoholicism, drug addiction, and psychological burn-out.
8) His last big effort was to get funding to use LSD with people with cancer. That fell through.
9) He died in a mobile home in Casa Grande, Arizona when he was 81 years old.
10) Who the hell really was this guy? And, why hasn't somebody made a movie about him?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Prohibition Fun Fax

1. During the Prohibition, some people believed they could make the alcohol in antifreeze drinkable by filtering the antifreeze through a loaf of bread. They were wrong. Very, very wrong.
2. A Los Angeles jury that heard a bootlegging case was arrested after it drank the evidence to "find out whether it contained alcohol." The bootlegger was released due to lack of evidence.
3. During Prohibition, anti-alcohol activists paid a scholar to rewrite the bible and cut out all of the references to booze.
4. Anti-alcohol activists also insisted that Jesus drank grape juice. Somehow, it's not as impressive to turn water into grape juice. I can do it with a frozen can of Welch's. Whatever.
5. Anti-alcohol activists were almost thwarted by 1 Timothy 5.23 in the bible: "Use a little wine for thy stomach's sake." But, then they claimed the bible was telling people to rub alcohol on their abdomens.
6. Alphonse Capone: Hey! Let's go explore his vault! Member of the youth gangs: The Junior Forty Thieves, the Five Points Juniors, and the Five Points Gang. Earned the scars on his face by "inadvertently insulting" a woman when he was working as a bouncer (he asked her if she was pregnant). Made $60ish million off the Prohibition. Opened a soup kitchen and gave away clothes during the depression. One of nine children: Umberto, Vincenzo, Raffaele, Erminio, Salvatore, Mafalda, and "Rose and Matthew." Rose and Matthew? Huh?
7. Prohibition lasted for 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours and 32.5 minutes--the historians counted every single moment because they couldn't drink and they were bored. It was repealed December 5, 1933.
8. There are still at least 500 dry counties that do not allow the sale of alcohol throughout the U.S.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prohibition Photo Gallery

Before the Bud Girls, There Was Just...Bud (would you buy a drink from this man?)
"I don't know nothin' 'bout runnin' likkah outta Canada. I'm just an importah of goods. Like them little maple candies."
Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. A fox with a fun flask. They should have a "Prohibition Barbie" with a fun flask. Like an American Girl doll. Sort of."It ain't a "speakeasy," it's a supper club. Where's the supper? It's...coming." ("Speakeasy" derived from the need to speak softly about such a place in public or when ordering liquor inside it. They could have been called shhkeepitdowners, but that was seen as less catchy at the time. Go know.)
Early Prototype Party Girl--"Pour me another one!" spirit shining through the near-impenetrable force field of her mink burkha.
Oh, I beg to differ. Poor, dear Mr. Booze. Man, America looks like she's on the rag.
You bet they did.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Billy Sunday's Anti-Mr.-Booze-Fu

Creepy. I find early tent evangelists fairly creepy. And fascinating. Fairly fascinating. This is evangelist and media sensation Aimee Semple McPherson in action. In her teens, she was an agnostic. Then, she married a Pentecostal minister and went on the "Glory Trail."
She knew how to work it. She had her schtick:
Lots of movies about her. Character in Elmer Gantry based on her. Went to the ocean, disappeared for 12 days, everyone thought she was dead, and then she came staggering out of the desert with some wild kidnapping claims. Hmm. In the newsreel footage at right, she tries to make a humorous speech about prohibition's hypocrisy--kinda cool--but appears to be more intent on playing with the head of her fox stole. Creepy. Fascinating. But, this is keeping me from the Anti-Mr.-Booze-Fu of Billy Sunday.

Billy Sunday was obsessed with "Mr. Booze." Before he was, though, he did time in an orphanage. Former pro-baseball player for Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia:
Pro-women's suffrage, pro-sex education, anti-child labor, included blacks in his revivals, even when he toured the deep South. Supported Roman Catholics and Jews. Anti-evolution, anti-card playing, anti-movie going. Most of all, anti-"Mr. Booze."Here are Billy's thoughts on sin: "I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, and I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!"

Granted. That is catchy. Yet the thought of a fistless, footless and toothless Billy gumming sin gives me the heebie-jeebies.

So, let's forget all of that and enjoy a brief sampling of Billy's Anti-Mr.-Infrastructure moves.

Everybody was Mr. Booze Fightin'!
Those kids were fast as lightnin'!
In fact it was a little bit frightnin'
But they fought with expert timin'