Sunday, August 23, 2015

"Turn off the bubble machine."

This Hawaiian Eye thing is SO yesterday.  Maybe Westerns will come back.  Have Gun, Will Travel.  Or a zen obsession with Joel McCrae.  Maybe I could combine Hermann Hesse with Louis L'amour.  Or Gunther Grasse with Elmore Leonard.  Perhaps it's time for a return to Zorro.  Replace those vegetable eggrolls with refried beans.

A Roald Dahl dalliance?  Wait!  That's not till next month.

Or maybe I should start collecting Harvey Comics.  Hot Stuff or Wendy, the Good Little Witch.  And what about TV?  I felt the momentary urge to start collecting Surfside 6.  But then I watched some clips on Hugh Tube and saw how dumb the scenes were.  That brought back my respect for Hawaiian Eye.  Well, there's always 77 Sunset Strip.  Or Bourbon Street Beat.

My obsessions (or *ahem* "interests") can often be affected by environment and mood.  And food.  Chinese food or Chinatown, and it's Mr. Wong or Fu Manchu.  Mexican food and Old California:  Zorro and Frida Kahlo;  Animal Nocturno and Patricia Llaca.  A can of olives and it's Antigone, Hermes, Vangelis and Maria Callas.  A plate of spaghetti conjures Casanova, Fellini, Venice, Verona, Mario Bava, Sword & Sandal movies and a Borgia Pope and his Family (which can easily lead to Spain, which may mean the land of the Moors and/or Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera; Dali and flamenco).

When the wife and I stay in Downtown Los Angeles, the compass pulls in four directions.  Or maybe more.  Old Downtown can make you go Retro Noir (the Bradbury Building) or Future Noir (the Bradbury Building).  Ethnic Exoticism can pull to Chinatown, Olvera Street or Little Tokyo.  It's easy to feel this way in San Francisco and Oakland as well.
 
California is a state of mind when it comes to environment and mood.  Good or bad, the areas can inspire a variety of obsessions.  "From the desert to the sea," as newsman Jerry Dunphy used to say.  Old Hollywood or Zabriskie Point.  The Haight District or Palm Springs.  San Quentin to San Diego.  It's a Sainted State.  With a City of the Angels.
 
It's easy to get caught up in Western nostalgia here.  It doesn't help that we just got the Encore Western channel on cable.  Plus I recently, accidentally acquired a collection of autographed photos from Western character actors of the '40s and '50s. When we take the train to Los Angeles, passing through the real Zorro's hunting grounds, one gets lost in the rock formations of Chatsworth and Simi Valley--the backdrop of countless Western TV series, B-movies and serials.  Where are the gun sets of my youth?  My Paladin belt buckle with derringer.
 
(As an aside here, I am aware that many of my favourite TV heroes had names connected with the crusades.  Paladin, of the Court of Charlemagne, and The Saint, Simon Templar.  Will kids in two hundred years follow characters named after Blackwater or Navy Seals?)
 
Since we are discussing heroes and villains interchangeable, how about a love of classic pirates?  Doctor Syn, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is a perfect example.  Filmed at least three times, with George Arliss, Peter Cushing and Patrick McGoohan.  Why not a man child return fixation on the old Skull & Bones.  Just not so much with the Harvard/Oss/CIA one.
 
Let's see how long this will last.  Robert Louis Stevenson.  Rafael Sabatini.  Basil Rathbone, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn and Louis Hayward.  Treasure Island in all its incarnations.  Kidnapped and The Black Swan.  Time to find the old E.C. comics series Piracy.  Or Long John Aluminum and the Moody Roger.  After all, this Pirate Thing is in my blood.  :)X.
 
"...And now back to...Hawaiian Eye."