Friday, July 21, 2017

A toast to her majesty this evening

I think that I will take two small bottles of Dubonnet and gin with me this morning, in case it is needed

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon had a taste for the grain and the grape. Every day her entire adult life, she would start drinking cocktails around noon, then have some wine with lunch, followed by port for dessert. Then around 6 p.m.  -  the “Magic Hour,” as she called it—she’d have a gin martini and a couple glasses of Veuve-Clicquot Brut Rose at dinner.

She died young at the age of 101

Demand Euphoria!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour (24) Special Edition

Another page from the ACME Catalog -

Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the 1962 Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog Looney Tunes cartoon, A Sheep In The Deep:

This is last cartoon featuring Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf (the pairs sixth outing) to be directed by Chuck Jones.

Since I went with the Proust Questionnaire on my birthday, I figured I'd play my Desert Island Disc choices during today's ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour. But in order to avoid copyright issues with the BBC, ACME would like to team up with Toho Studios and rename the program Godzilla's Atoll LPs.

(In case you've never heard of the BBC show Desert Island Disc - people are asked what music they would bring with them if they were stranded on an island for an indefinite period of time.
Here are the rules:

1.) You make choose 8 pieces of music and tell me why you chose them.
2.) You then get to choose one book to take with you (you automatically get to take the Complete Works of Shakespeare and either the Bible or another appropriate religious or philosophical work.)
3.) You get to choose one luxury, which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside. (You can cheat here - since you can listen to music, there is some form of electric, so you may have refrigeration for your luxury item.)

There is nothing profound or deep in my Godzilla's Atoll LP choices - they're just songs that I like (in no particular order)

Heroes - David Bowie

I'm going to start with the toughest. Choosing you favorite Bowie cut is like choosing you favorite kid. After I boiled it down for the purposes of Desert Island Discs, I mean Godzilla's Atoll LPs, again ACME doesn't want a problem with the BBC, I had two possible picks. I could go with either Heroes or Life on Mars. After much soul searching, I went with Heroes because I could imagine it playing over the credits of an imaginary film.

The Chain - Fleetwood Mac

I so clearly remember when Rumours came out, back when the earth cooled and formed a hard crust. I've mentioned before, that my sister and I wore the needle on the record player out playing the album. Currently, my daughter loves Fleetwood Mac and loves this cut. Listening to The Chain remind me of the my memories of me being a teenager and my daughter being a teenager.

Wild is the Wind - Nina Simone

This is another sneaking twofer - this is a fanatic song performed by a phenomenal artist. Listening to this would remind me of David Bowie's very good version of the song. Listening to this song will wipe away any drab thought I might have while on the island; the music will carry you away.

Tom Waits - Telephone Call From Istanbul

Why wouldn't you want to listen to Tom Waits? I don't think I trust anyone who doesn't like Tom Waits.

The Nearness of You - Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox is another tough call. I'm going to go with a cut from her 2014 album Nostalgia. It's a very good dry martini of a song.

Haitian Divorce - Steely Dan

Ah, the ever present Steely Dan cut. I probably wouldn't need a Steely Dan song; I could call them up at will in my mind. But this is the perfect song to have with you while stuck on a desert island.

How Insensitive - Frank Sinatra

I can't have every Sinatra song, so I picked one of the Bossa Nova hits; why wouldn't you listen to a Bossa Nova Sinatra song while you're on a desert island.

Mohammed's Radio - Warren Zevon

I had to have a Warren Zevon and I figured I go with one of the 'cheerful' ones. Also it's about being on an island (although not a particularly good vacation.)

Beyond Belief - Elvis Costello

Even on a desert island, you need songs about almost empty gin palaces - Imperial Bedroom comes through

The book I'd take with me would be Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (hard cover)

Perhaps I can finally understand whether or not the entire novel is just a long fever dream before Castrop's death on the battlefield or did he really spend seven years at the sanatorium. As always, the luxury item would be a refrigerator full of Bombay Sapphire (and maybe, tub of kalamata olivies.)

So that's eight songs (and that's all you're allowed.) This year I feel content with my choices. I'll try to get marooned again next year for my birthday, and see how I do.

Demand Euphoria!

Friday, July 14, 2017


The use of a juniper based spirit to rejuvenate and restore the body. More frequently encountered on the weekends.

It's always an odd number of olives in a drink; one is fine, three is traditional (five is overkill.) Even number of olives is a sign of bad luck and in an old time bars, two olives is usually a signal from the bartender that someone is there in the bar to get you.

The three olives are supposed to represent a trinity of peace, love, and harmony.

So now you know.

Demand Euphoria!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The only paradise is paradise lost.

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire as answered by yours truly, the good doctor..

1.) What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A cocktail party with my friends

2.) What is your greatest fear?

One of the girls getting seriously injured.

3.) What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Impatience with others.

4.) What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Intentional lateness.

5.) Which living person do you most admire?

Jimmy Carter

6.) What is your greatest extravagance?

Finding the time to write

7.) What is your current state of mind?
Mild Elation with a hint of creeping dread

8.) What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Religious Piety

9.) On what occasion do you lie?

To protect the feeling of others

10.) What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My expanding waistline.

11.) Which living person do you most despise?
The current Majority Leader of the Senate

12.) What is the quality you most like in a man?


13) What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Ability to laugh spontaneously at my lame jokes

14.) Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

15.) What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Besides my children, Mrs Mao (she knows who she is.)

16.) When and where were you happiest?

See the answer to question #1

17.) Which talent would you most like to have?

Dance like Fred Astaire.

18.) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To get back the metabolism I had as a  younger man.

19.) What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Not to have completely messed up my children (a work in progress.)

20.) If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

As a family dog.

21.) Where would you most like to live?

When I currently live: New York City

22.) What is your most treasured possession?

The love of my friends and family

23.) What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The inevitable loss of friends and family

24.)What is your favorite occupation?
Film archivist.

25.) What is your most marked characteristic?
Middling sense of humor

26.) What do you most value in your friends?


27.) Who are your favorite writers?

Fitzgerald, Proust and Virginia Woolf
28.) Who is your hero of fiction?

Hercules Poirot

29.) Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Adlai Stevenson II

30.) Who are your heroes in real life?

MLK, Julia Child, Groucho and Dorothy Day

31.) What are your favorite names?

My own

32.) What is it that you most dislike?

Mean people suck.

33.) What is your greatest regret?

I will never see the director's cut of The Magnificent Ambersons

34.) How would you like to die?

Old, in my sleep and in no pain

35.) What is your motto?

We make plans and God laughs.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour (23)

Another page from the ACME Catalog -

Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the 1959 Looney Tunes cartoon, Wild About Hurry:

look for director Chuck Jones' credit displayed upon a rocket that the coyote plans to ride.

Today on the ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour, we are remembering a rather unpleasant event in the life of the fantastic performer Baroness von Sacher-Masoch. On this date in 1969, Marianne Faithfull collapsed due to a barbiturate overdose on the set of the film Ned Kelly after Mick Jagger told her their relationship was over. She was rushed to a Sydney hospital in a coma where she recovered. She was later dropped from the movie.

We are honoring Faithfull today by watching a 2009 BBC Four Session special featuring Marianne Faithfull.

Demand Euphoria!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Liberty now has a country

Happy Sedition against Our Former Sovereign nation

If only for one day a year, it's important to remember that the British weren't always the friendly sort of people who gave us the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Monty Python. They're also responsible for warm beer, vinegar-flavored potato chips, and irritating Anglophiliacs on our own shores schedule as shed-yule and issue as iss-yew. On July 4 of every year, therefore, we celebrate our forefathers having told them to screw.

We not only celebrate the purging of the British blight from our land: we celebrate the manner in which it was done, which was at once brilliant, daring, and easily adapted to the screen. The events that led to our independence are all the more worthy of remembrance, even inaccurately, at this crucial juncture in our history, and I therefore offer the following summary of American independence for the edification of my friends.

In 1774, representatives from each of the thirteen colonies convened in Philadelphia to complain. This was The First Continental Congress. Upon registering their various complaints, they returned home.

One of the colonists' primary complaints was that British cabbies working in the colonies refused to unionize. This was called "Taxis without Representation," and became the issue that ultimately pushed the simmering discontent of the colonies into outright hostility. Sensing the volatility of the situation, British troops advanced toward Concord in April of 1775, forcing Paul Revere to ride his horse (and not to ring bells and warn the British not to take our guns but we won't bring up Mrs. Palin on this holiday.)

The first shot that rang out at the battle of Concord was so loud that its sound reverberated all the way around the world. As a result, the British heard it behind them instead of in front of them. This caused the fog of war. Neither the British nor the Colonists were prepared for fog, so the War was postponed.

In May, representatives once again convened in Philadelphia to complain about the taxis, the fog, and other grievances. This was the Second Continental Congress. Unlike the previous Congress, however, this one tried to work out a deal with Britain's King George. This was difficult, as King George was insane and regularly confused the colonies for colostomies, causing considerable embarrassment to everyone involved but accruing great profit to Britain's flourishing proctology trade.

In June the Colonists developed a Continental Army and a Continental Currency, operating on the assumption that an insane king would be easier to deal with if they had a lot of money and guns. This assumption proved partly correct, as the Brits appeared to ease hostilities for nearly a year. It also proved partly wrong when, in May 1776, the Americans discovered that the King had been hiring German mercenaries to come kill them.

In June of 1776 the Colonists finally decided that instead of working something out with the British it would be easier and more satisfactory to shoot them.

On June 7, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia read a resolution to the Continental Congress. The essence of his resolution was that King George and Great Britain could kiss his hairy American ass. The Congress appreciated Lee's sentiments, and subsequently formed a committee to write a note to King George in which it would be made plain why it had become necessary to start shooting the British.

The committee was chaired by Thomas Jefferson. Its four other members were John Adams and Benjamin Franklin (each of whom was counted twice for the sake of Stature - ok, ok, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston were also on the committee.)

The Declaration of Independence wasn't a very long document, but little Tommy Jefferson was trying so hard to impress all the older guys that he overwrote it, using an archaic style of English that is best understood in translation.

Here is a translation of the Declaration in its entirety:

"It's a good idea to let people know why you're having a revolution. We think it's pretty obvious that any government that screws its people over is cruising for a bruising. We're not saying anyone with a hair up their butt ought to have their own revolution, but we've put up with an awful lot of crap from King George. He won't let us do anything on our own, and whenever we try, he sends people to kill us. We've asked him over and over to back off. We've told him over and over that we'd only put up with so much. But did he listen? No. So to hell with him and to hell with Britain and all their phony goddam accents. We'll kick their ass or die trying."

These were, what political scientists refer to as "fightin' words."

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration was presented to the Congress. Nine of the thirteen colonies voted to adopt it. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against it (we know where you live). Delaware couldn't make up its mind, and New York abstained. Copies of the Declaration were distributed the next day (photocopiers were much slower back then). On July 8 it was read aloud in Philadelphia's Independence Square.

The document wasn't fully signed until August, but as soon as it was, Americans began shooting the British in earnest. By February of 1783 they had shot enough of them that Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Russia officially acknowledged the United States of America as an independent nation.

In honor of our Independence, we celebrate the anniversary of its declaration by blowing things up, roasting dead animals over hot coals or gaseous flames, and drinking cold, sudsy beverages that inhibit our ability to think. Such festivities may not honor the philosophical nuances of our revolution, but they do keep the rest of the world at a comfortable distance.

Happy Fourth of July folks!!!

Demand Euphoria!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour (22)

Today, the ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour would like to salute our friends in Canada on Canada Day.

Canada is the second-largest nation in the world. It is not part of the United States - (it's the U.S.' nicer sister, not dissing Mexico, the U.S.' feistier sister.)

A little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.

In the 150 years of their nationhood, Canadians have given the world paint rollers, snowmobiles, electric organs, green ink, toboggans, snow blowers, plexiglass, and the push-up bra.

Canada has about the same population as California, but fewer Scientologists.

Canadians consume more Kraft Macaroni & Cheese dinners than any other nation in the world.

Today is the 37th anniversary of the Canadian national anthem, 'Like America, But Colder.'

Canada's leading export to the United States is Canadians. Dan Aykroyd, who happens to have been born exactly 65 years ago today, is one.

Pamela Anderson is another, and was also born today, although she's younger (most of her is north of 40, but some parts are significantly younger).

Other Canadian exports: Bryan Adams, Paul Anka, Alexander Graham Bell, Raymond Burr (of nipple rouge fame), John Candy, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Michael J. Fox, John Kenneth Galbraith, Lorne Greene, Peter Jennings, kd lang, Marshall McLuhan, Joni Mitchell (hopefully she's doing well), Alice Munro, Mike Myers,

Oscar Peterson, William Shatner, Alex Trebek, Shania Twain, Neil Young and of course everyone's favorite Canadian Zen Buddhist, Leonard Cohen.

(... there is a crack, a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in.)

(don't go away The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour is coming up.)

Another page from the ACME Catalog -

Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the 1953 Looney Tunes cartoon, Punch Trunk:

The ship in the cartoon is named after writer Michael Maltese.

Today on the ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour, we are celebrating Canada Day today by watching one of Canada's favorite bands, Barenaked Ladies. Today we are listening to a 2001 live broadcast from NYC Roseland Ballroom:

So sit back, crack open a Labatt (although, as odd as it seems, most Canadians like Bud?) and toast our neighbors from the North.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hopefully we made it to the beach by now

I'll be telecommuting for the next several days from a secret location; Mr Teeny will be holding down the fort.  Try to avoid direct eye contact - he always gets cranky when we don't bring him along with us.

Demand Euphoria!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

... Who controls the past controls the future.

Eric Arthur Blair was born on this day in 1903, in the Indian village of Motihari near the Nepalese border. His British father was an agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service (why is this job no longer available - I checked.) The family returned to England in 1907 so that young Eric could struggle and drop out of school. By 1921 he had returned to the subcontinent and joined the police in Burma (now known as Myanmar but for our purposes and to annoy the generals there, we'll continue to refer to it as Burma.) He spent five years with the Burmese police before returning to England to quit and struggle. He stayed in England for a year, then went to France to be poor.

Finally he returned to England and wrote a book about being poor in Paris but no one wanted to publish it. He told his mother to burn the book (she did not), then wrote a new one about being a policeman in Burma. It too was rejected by several publishers. Meanwhile, however, his mother had been sneaking around with the book she hadn't burned and had found a publisher for her son.

Upon submitting the final manuscript to the publisher, Blair decided that a book about being poor in Paris written by a middle-class servant of the British Empire might not look good, so he decided to write under a pen-name. The name he chose was George Orwell.

Later he wrote a book about the poor voting habits of farm animals and another one about a future involving apple computer that sucked (he later acknowledged that it would have been a cheerier book if he hadn't been dying of tuberculosis).

Finally he became a Famous Author and even a Great Writer, but by then he was dead, whatever his name was.

Demand Euphoria!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour (21)

Another page from the ACME Catalog -

Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the 1952 Porky Pig and Daffy Duck Looney Tunes cartoon, Thumb Fun:

This short was one of the last cartoons in which Daffy was cast as a good natured screwball instead of a vindictive egomaniac.

Today on the ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour, we are commemorating the cancellation of a show on June 24, 1995. Pearl Jam had been on tour both promoting their new album Vitalogy and boycotting Ticketmaster for their business practices. By June of 1995, Pearl Jam had just started a tour of the Midwest and the West Coast. On the date in question (June 24) the band was set to play at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Eddie Vedder had come down with a bad case of food poisoning and was hospitalized.

Vedder believed he was well enough to perform but had to leave the stage shortly after he began playing. Neil Young was at the concert and stepped in for the ailing Vedder. Pearl Jam had to cancel the next few weeks until Eddie completely recovered. Today we are watching a taping of the tour at Red Rocks Amphitheater: Morrison, CO. on June 20, 1995.

You will notice that Pearl Jam performs their first six songs seated, experiencing some of the effects of the high altitude

Demand Euphoria!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour (20)

Another page from the ACME Catalog -

Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the 1958 Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner Looney Tunes cartoon, Hip Hip Hurry:

Due to a musicians' strike, this is one of six Warner Brothers cartoons featuring a non-thematic stock soundtrack, scored by John Seely of Capitol Records using stock music from the Hi-Q sound library.

Today on the ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour, we are commemorating the start of Roger Waters' first solo tour in support of his album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking at the Isstadion in Stockholm, Sweden on June 9, 1984. Among the stars featured in the tour was Eric Clapton as Waters’ guitarist . Today we are listening to the album he was supporting, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.

Roger Waters began work on the concept and songs for the album in the late 1970's and it was only after Pink Floyd disbanded that he refined the lyrics and music. Pros and Cons became his first "Solo" album without the other Pink Floyd members as backup studio musicians.

Demand Euphoria!

Friday, June 16, 2017

These heavy sands are language tide and wind have silted here.

Happy Bloomsday!

June 16, 1904  -
If you notice English majors greeting one another joyously saying, "Yes - yes - yes!" They'll titter. It will all be terrific fun for them. And here's the reason why -

Today is the date on which all the events depicted in James Joyce's famous novel Ulysses takes place, even though the book itself was published in 1922 and therefore cannot celebrate a real centennial until my daughters have graduated college. There is probably also a lot of excitement in all sorts of intellectual circles.

And now, you can truly impress your friends by telling them the plot -

Leopold Bloom, the main character of Ulysses, does not have much work to do, so he spends most of his day wandering around Dublin doing some errands. He leaves his house on Eccles Street, walks south across the River Liffey, picks up a letter, buys a bar of soap, and goes to the funeral of a man he didn't know very well.

In the afternoon, he has a cheese sandwich, he feeds the gulls in the river, helps a blind man cross the street, and visits a couple of pubs. He thinks about his job, his wife, his daughter, his stillborn son. He muses about life and death and reincarnation. He knows that his wife is going to cheat on him that afternoon at his house.

In the evening, he wanders around the red light district of Dublin and meets up with a young writer named Stephen Dedalus, who is drunk. Leopold Bloom takes him home with him and offers to let him spend the night. And they stand outside, looking at the stars for a while. And then Bloom goes inside and climbs into bed with his wife.

They'll feel smart and proud and better than the rest of us (and you again can feel morally superior for knowing it), and now you know why.

(...yes I said yes I will Yes.)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour (19)

Another page from the ACME Catalog -

Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the 1952 Foghorn Leghorn Looney Tunes cartoon, The Eggcited Rooster:

Mel Blanc did all of the voices in this cartoon.

Today on the ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour, we are commemorating the U.S. Postal Service debut of its Legends of American Music, Rock and Roll-Rhythm and Blues stamp collection on June 9, 1993. Among the stars featured was Dinah Washington, born Ruth Lee Jones, the Queen of the Blues. Today we are listening to one of her greatest recordings, What a Diff'ernce a Day Makes!

The seemingly heavy-handed orchestration of the album lost Washington many of her jazz-purists fans. The title track did go on to win Washington the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording at the Grammy Awards of 1960.