Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily."

Hey, isn't that Michael Caine in Children of Men?  Sure looks like it.  No, wait...it's yours truly with recent holiday snaps.  Hawaii, I think.  Gaikiki.  Why not?  Taken in the garden of the I Can't Copacabana.  Met this fellow.  Seemed interesting.

Seems we are drinking.  A double X cat he was.  My brew is triple X, but it usually comes in film stock, not alcool.  No matter.  I was drinking Smiths and an olive.  Hold the meat.  A Johnny Marr-tini.  I'm not sure.  It's kind of a blur now.  A Raymond Blurr.  That's the Ironic Side of it.  I think he was an apparent Mason.  Never got his name.  At first I thought he was the actor from Eyes Wide Shut, you know...the one who pimped his daughter, Leelee Polish Vodka.  Then I thought he might be that Italian actor who played Sylvia Kristal's husband in those Emmanuelle movies.

Not sure.  Still a little hungover (isn't that a Korean jeep?).  Anyway, an interesting man.  Not the MOST INTERESTING man I ever met, but up there.

Which leads me to the belief that I find women more interesting than men.

Not trying to boast here, but I think I made more enemies among my male friends, simply because I was in the company of women rather than hanging with the boys.  Sorry.  That's just how it was.  I've met many interesting people throughout my life and I wish I could converse with so many of them again...so many questions, thoughts and reflections.  But in my Bliss State, my love of Euphoria...it is always the women I want to be with.

Probably has something to do with a strong willed Mother and an older Sister.  Both quadruple Leos.  Strong willed and the fur flied.  All my family members were Fire Signs.  I was the odd Earth one (with tons of Water...hence, a lot of mud).  Still, I am pretty happy with the placement.  It's that Venus in Scorpio that kept me in the salons des les femmes rather than the sports bars of the grunting alpha males.  Thanks to a cool Dad, the balance was perfect.  A perfect perspective.  I worship at the altar of the Goddess without being afraid of the Spider Woman.  I love the Web.  (Is the Freudian Symbolism too THICK HERE?)  I'm hearing the voice of Roger from American Dad! when I write this.  No, that can't be right.

Sorry, maybe it's still the after effect from the drink and the sun.  I'm not usually out in the day this early.  And I don't start the liquid consumption until it gets dark.  Now that I think of it, the drink could of been a Bert I. Gordon's Gin.  The Amazing Colossal Martini.  Attack of the 50 Foot Wallbanger.  Featuring Bombay Sapphire Blue Screen.  Attack of the Puppet Pina Colada.  Not sure.  Kinda fuzzy.  Navel?  Air Force, actually.

Oh, yeah, the women.  I love writers.  Have had many encounters with some of the most celebrated authors. Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, Jr. Jim Harrison.  Yet, I am still intrigued by the conversation I had with Erica Jong or the chance to talk to Isabel Allende.

Must be my lunacy.  Moon in Cancer.  Maternal waters.  The K-Tide man.  Ebb and flow.  Didn't Linus say, "I love humanity, it's just people I can't stand."

Well, I love people, but I prefer women.  Interesting.  Thank you Doctor Freud.  Same time, next week?

By the way, your couch has a lump near the lower left thigh.

(An excerpt from the soon to be released musical based on a psychiatrist's notepad, entitled Our Hearts Were Jung and Gay.)

Technical note: in the photo, the martini glass is real, the liquid is water and the olive & pimento on a toothpick is made completely of glass.

Movie magic.  Tricks of the trade. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Well, I can see you're serving drinks..."

My wife really loves Star Wars.  And she likes the Goons.  I really love the Goon Show.  And I like Star Wars.  Quite a bit, actually.  So...it is a mysterious harmony of bliss when the two can Come Together and form a loving balance.  Let me explain.
My darling wife quite often occupies the Star Wars Universe.  I am old enough to have entered same space from Day One, yet in Rebel spirit (Galactic, not Confederate), I have retained a Jed Guy attitude of hermiticism.  Obi in the desert.  Yoda in the swamp.  Like Space Pirate Radio, I am the Sputnik spinning around the Death Star.  KTYD, Y-97, KCBX.  They were all, at one time or another, Death Stars.  But I digress...

How does the anarchistic BBC radio show of the Fifties and very early Sixties--launching pad for Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe--connect with the intergalactic world of George Lucas?  In many ways.  There are not Six Degrees of Separation.  I've got it down to Three.  Tee-hee!  Thinks....

I've mentioned before my earlier encounters with Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness, and the mementos I hold from those days.  Now Sir Alec was obviously the most important influence on Peter Sellers.  A book could be written on it.  But what is the Star Wars connection?  Sellers lived to see the first film, but died in the year Empire Strikes Back came out (1980) and obviously never saw Return of the Jedi (1983).

Now let us jump into the re-Tardis and flash forward (or flash backward...as time can be rewritten) to Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

Having shared the experience of being in the queue for midnight showings of the reworked episodes and later the Holy Trinity, the little lady and I are kindred souls in the Happening.  The new films give as much a thrill as the earlier encounters.  And in contrast to many cynics, I find myself liking the new characters that seem to irritate the hoi polloi.  I like Jar Jar Binks, 'cause I get the joke.  He's the Robert Crumb Keep on Truckin' dude.  It's San Francisco, Lucas Land, not Orange County.  And Watto.  Dig the subtext.  He's Middle Eastern. Jewish or Arab.  Isn't the nose a Nostrilferatu image?  And remember, Christ-like Liam Neeson can't talk him out of the Deal with those Jedi Mind Tricks.  I've worked for a money-minded Muslim from Pakistan who could become Watto in a nanosecond.  "I'm sorry Annie, I sell your Mother.  But I got GOOD PRICE."

Watto.  Just a small businessman.  Has a gambling problem, but would join the Elks or the Rotary Club if only they would let him in.

Okay, so it's Watto that holds the key here.  My wife goes to the big Star Wars Celebration to meet as many people who may have stumbled into frame as possible (triple price if you have an action figure of yourself).  She completes the Seth: Seth Green, Seth MacFarlane, Seth Rogen, Pink Floyd's Seth the Controls for the Heart of the Sun...Revenge of the Seth.  And for ME...the voice of Watto...Andy Secombe....who--wait for it--my lovely wife DOESN'T realize is the son of Neddy Seagoon, Harry Secombe!  TAA-DAAH!!!  ("Waits for audience applause...not a sausage.")

I love this woman.  She's my Minnie Bannister, companion to a decepit Henry Crun and lust object to a gas filled Major Bloodnok.  And we like the same movies and go to the same concerts.  Got tickets for the CANtina Band.  Actually, to bear out how much of a Star Wars lover my little lady is, she just came back from Star Wars in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  She saw Saturday's show (having already seen an earlier presentation in the past years), and was happy to see special guest, composer John Williams.  "Stop that modern sinfull saxophone playing!"

And there's more where that came from....

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Sin Spots Of Europe

"Yumpin' yart fanoot!  Effer tim I write, it seems I don't know vhere to begin.  It seems dat all of Europe is philled vith der steaming Sin Spots."

So begins another letter from my friend Olaf Sniffsen, Sweden's greatest authority on the pleasure palaces of the world.  I know I could print his letter in its entirety, but Olaf writes like he talks; in an accent as thick as cream of monkey soup.  Instead, I'll mention some of the unusual nightspots my friend frequents.

"Hamburg is probably der dirtiest city in Europe, if not just Germany," writes Olaf.  The Reeperbalm is known as the Street of Sin.  The Alleyway of Sin is the Tigerbalm.  The streets are filled with clubs, movie houses, shops for unusual appliances and parlours of certain pleasures.  Here is the home of the notorious "Ich Bin Naughty Naughty Klub."  It features live sex shows with naked toasters and nude washing machines.  Fraulein Beebee and the Typewriters of Sappho was the current popular attraction at the Klub.

"Der room is philled vith der scent of human steam.  You can cut der atmosphere vith a knife, but most preferred a garden trowel.  Beebee is on der stage, groping vith a Smith-Corona 2200 Electric.  Businessmen, on veekend from Munich, are shouting out 'Backspace!  Backspace!' and 'Release your margins!'  Beebee is not too good on der forward cartridge motion, but her backspace is incredible.  Men in der front row could see just how loose her margins vere."

Olaf Sniffsen further describes some of the specialty shops.  Every taste is catered to, every kink is satisfied, no matter hour outre.  For a certain sum of Deutsche Markes, a man can wrestle in the nude with a sofa, or be massaged with an electric golf cart.  In a shop catering to humiliation, a woman named Gretta will criticize the length of your trouser legs.

"But be careful of der bogus German Sex Clinics," warns Olaf.  He mentions that one clinic offers a home vasectomy kit, which doubles as an office stapler.

The best porno films in Europe are in Holland.  "Hot Sheets in Amsterdam is probably my favourite film," Olaf writes.  "Based on a short story by Nikolai Gogol, der modern setting of a Dutch call girl operation only heightens Gogol's rustic observations.  Der colour is pretty good too.  No purple tint."

Olaf goes on to mention that the audiences for these films are better in Holland also.  Certainly the Screaming Beaver Theatre chain in America is one of the finest operations anywhere.  But a bad audience of loud, rude and unsophisticated juveniles can always ruin it for the discriminate erotic cinemagoer.  You'd think they had never seen a woman before with 20 Chinese waiters (as Veronica Nose had in Throbbing Big Guys).  It's the discomfort of audiences like these that is forcing people into the purchase of adult home video equipment.  Soon we shall all be urban voyeurs.  But enough commentary.  My thanks to Olaf Sniffsen for his global observations.

Speaking of films, on a less pornographic but still graphic level, is Paper Schrader's latest work Penguin People.  The films stars my favourite Pistachio Kinki (daughter of German enigmatic actor Krauts Kinki).  British actor Malcolm McDroll plays Kinki's brother who, due to ancient relatives having intimate relations with Arctic seabirds, turns into a penguin.  The only way to stop this Eskimo Curse is for the brother to have sex with his sister.  Despite a recent obsession with the frozen fish section in the supermarket, Kinki refuses to fall for his ploy and, needless to say, all Hell freezes over.  After endless havoc, Kinki accepts her fate to be.  "I just couldn't believe my brother could transform himself into a deadly penguin," Kinki says to the Eskimo housemaid.  "I guess I should have suspected something was wrong when I saw his bedroom slippers in the freezer."

[First published June 8, 1982.]