Thursday, June 25, 2015

"...than Heinz has pickles."

"I have more ideas..."
 
One tries to keep the Regrets In Life Department well swept out, for any changes in the past would null and void being in the here and now.  Still, my list of mad ideas and possible schemes seems endless and in a parallel world that continued from fixed points, I wonder "what if?"
 
In the theatre world, the productions that were contemplated seemed to keep the cosmic giggle going.  After NOTHING IS SACRED in 1973, a follow-up was considered entitled ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  The main set piece of the thing was a full blown satire of the Clint Eastwood film Magnum Force, called Magnum Forks.  This was because San Francisco cop Glint Eastwest was also a world class pastry chef, known as Desserty Harry.  The oversize magnum pistol of the original movie poster was replaced by an oversize wooden outdoor garden fork, purchased for the photo from the Akron.  The story as it was, dealt with a homicidal food poisoner, who of course kills Harry's disposable partner.  The play concluded with a filmed chase involving shopping carts: first filmed a la Bullitt style in the supermarket, then concluding in the actual streets.  I believed it was possible but then abandoned it because I thought the satire would get too dated.  Big mistake.  Years later, after seeing the sequel after sequels The Dead Pool, I realized the satire had become the satirized.

Ideas I had from NOTHING IS SACRED but didn't use, I wanted to carry over.  These included using the Snack Bar and Coming Attraction trailers from the local cinema chain for the Intermission.  I also wanted to wire up Drive-In speakers to the end of each theatre aisle.  Madness.  And unusable.

Another theatrical project was my parody of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, here named A CHRISTMAS MAGGIE.  "I don't remember Carol, but I DO remember Maggie."  Maggie was the wife of Bob Crotchitch or Bob Crotchairs as the character's name alternated.  This was a fully developed play after CASANOVA's LIPS and was a recurring pipedream year after seasonal year.  My image of Ebeneezer Scrooge in full Victorian garb, but wearing lapel buttons that said 'Nixon's the One' and 'Bomb Hanoi' still bring a smile to my knees.  Although a stage version with extra surrealism never saw the limelight of night, a number of audio versions surfaced on SPACE PIRATE RADIO.
 
More often than not, concepts or snippets for the stage unused would wind up on SPACE PIRATE RADIO.  But some cross pollination between the two would occur.  Oscar B. Chow, a regular from the radio show, wound up at the end of CASANOVA'S LIPS in 1976.  Doctor Einstein in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE in 1979 was definitely a voice and being from the wireless.  Crazy Germans and lunatic Viennese are a favourite.  A play called SCHIZ (rhymes with 'shits,' a danger for the critic's revue) was written.  "A One Man, Two Person Show" featuring the Weiner psychiatrist Doctor Emil Hunger.  In the files.  As is a very involved comedy about the Third Reich.  Titles withheld.  A million bittersweet laughs, I guarantee.  And one that gets more relevant each passing decade. 
 
There are always serious undertones in a satire, but in my earliest days I considered doing some pure dramas.  Wisely, I outgrew the temptation.  Part of the Rock Star meets Shakespeare phase.  A Brian Jones as Hamlet was once kicked about.  Later it was Brian Jones as DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY.

Age and Reason have tempered these pursuits.  And parking the car called Ego, or the "Look at me!  Look at ME!" of the child performing in his room for a captive audience.  As I've said before, I stopped being a Narcissist when I got out of the pool.
 
But the ideas haven't stopped.  And when I think of the simplicity of a Spalding Gray type performance... well, maaayyybeee.

Friday, June 12, 2015

"I'm thinking outside the envelope. I'm pushing the box."

Two blog entries here on the subject of ideas, although this initial entry will probably boil down into randomness.  Ayn Randomness, more likely.  If I'm at Liberty to say.  Atlas Shagged.  The Fountainhead Rush.  Labour of love?  Or can you tell I'm not a fan?

For the present, I've been digging into and Digging into the past.  My Wayback Machine, the Re-Tardis, time-wise is always all over the map.  But lately it's been focusing on about 1956 to 1962 with jumps to the early '70s or the '40s.  As always, my obsessions are variable.  But the focus has been considerable on satire and art from the Cold War Era.  This is an outgrowth of my reading the Harvey Kurtzman biography.  I'd already acquired the 2 volume boxed collection of the complete HUMBUG, which I'm still savouring.  I added the hardbound Art Of Harvey Kurtzman since, reliving my collecting days of MAD Magazine and HELP!  Finishing that, I now begin the hardbound reprint of Kurtzman's JUNGLE BOOK.  Adding to the time frame and comedy connection has been the acquisition of The Ernie Kovacs Collection Volume 2.

B to Z movie sci-fi always adds to the flavour.  Red Scare or Radiation mutated cinema from the '50s.  Any film with ATOMIC or COSMIC in the title.  Or SHE as an adjective.  As in She Creature or She Demons.  Throw in a German character actor portraying a mad Nazi scientist, a Chinese actor who once played Charlie Chan's Number 2 Son as a hero's sidekick, AND
SHEENA, the Jungle Woman...Well, you have a recipe for delicious brain cell loss.  On a more reputable note, I did watch sixteen episodes of the Ray Bradbury Theater over two weeks.  And I took the little lady to the cinema to see TOMORROWLAND.

Comic art delights me.  Especially since it is a field I take no claim of talent in.  My art is confined to collage experiments, which still attract.  As well as the Triple Entendre photo thingees, that pop up here with my wife's collaboration.  And then there are the new style fumetti displayed.  Egg Y Nudo.  An experiment in comic strip that combines static HELP! Magazine fumetti, with Underground weeklies and Peter Blegvad LEVIATHAN style surrealism and alchemical philosophical humour.
 
Robert Crumb is popping back as well.  Psychedelic art of the '60s in the form of poster art is obvious in recent entries.  Wilson, Mouse & Griffin entice.  It hasn't been that long since I finished the HIPGNOSIS Portraits hardbound as well.  Never far from the Art.  And let me identify this diary's illustration.  A recently excavated work from my friend David Fontana.  A Dada portrait done on the sly, either in my apartment or his ocean near pad in Santa Barbara, mid-'70s.
 
Humour in an Archie and Jugheadular Vein.