Archive for January, 2011

Portrait of the carney as a young man...

People have often asked me if I’ve ever had a clown in my lap, and I always tap the top of my head thrice and say, “But of course, silly goose, who hasn’t?”

The proof is pictured above (I’m the second guy from the left with the smaller porn star mustache). This photo was taken in the fall of 1981. The clown’s name is Elmo, he worked for The Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus. The five folks seated with laps were all Marketing Directors (advance men and women) for the same show.

Yes, we had been drinking.

My thanks to Gail, a fellow carney pimp, for the picture. At some point, I’ll have to share more circus stories. Until then, maybe you’d like to share your pictures of clowns in your lap.

Jared Lee Loughner, the man suspected for the tragic shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona was obviously a very disturbed individual.

People who knew him knew it, people who encountered him knew it. Even the people working the ammunition counter at the first Wal Mart where he tried to buy bullets knew it–– they wouldn’t sell him the ammo.

But the second Wal Mart he went to did.

It used to be the tragic figures responsible for heinous violent acts were described as loners who kept to themselves. But not in our modern world. Now everyone can leave digital trails of their madness for all to see.

There are many unstable people out there, and angry histrionics by media pundits and politicians only fan the flames in dangerous ways.

Let’s chill, people. Let’s be aware and wary.

Consider us armed and potentially dangerous.

That mean ol' Nancy Pelosi gave Johnny Boehner what-for!

Newly installed Speaker of The House, John Boehner, cried like a little girl after being walloped on his noodle by outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The outgoing Speaker traditionally passes the gavel to the incoming Speaker, but yesterday it was spiced with Three Stooges-like antics.

Ms. Pelosi motioned as if to calmly pass the gavel to Mr. Boehner, then suddenly poked two fingers in his eyes and walloped him on the skull with the comically-large wooden mallet. She blurted out a Curley Howard “Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk”, dropped to the ground and began running in place as she rotated her body in a circle.

Mr. Boehner, taken completely by surprise, began sobbing uncontrollably.

“Oh, it were somethin’,” said an old coot House Representative. “I been ’round these parts longer than skunks had stink, but I ain’t never seen nothing like what that trickster Pelosi did to that cryboy Boehner. She gave him what-for but good, she did,” said the politico as he danced a jaunty little jig. “This new Congress is goin’ to be awful entertainin’, I reckon,” he said as he spat some tobacky into a nearby spittoon.

Yes, it's an epic fight to the finish-- but will it become Oscar's sweetheart?

Humans are hard-wired to love the stories of underdogs battling adversity to win. These Rocky tales, when well-told, are surefire catnip for Oscar consideration and boffo box office.

Enter The King’s Speech, which ups the Oscar attraction by being a period British historical drama with some comedic relief. This is catnip for catnip–– Hollywood is well-stocked with Anglophiles who swoon for all things British, and this film will certainly attract Oscar consideration and nominations like cat fur to wool.

It’s a true tale well-told with meticulous art direction and costuming supporting wonderful acting, writing and directing. That said, I hope it doesn’t run away with gold statuettes. It’s very good, well crafted throughout, but hardly the standout film of the year.

The King’s Speech is the incredible story of King George VI, a man who kept a stiff upper lip that unfortunately stammered badly, and how he overcame this adversity with the help of an Aussie speech therapist, and went on to speak to a nation- and for a nation – during wartime.

Oh, it’s got it all, this one does: superb performances by Colin Firth as Albert, nicknamed ‘Bertie’ and father of QEII, the man who would be King, and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, his teacher/confidant/friend in a story that’s almost too good to be true, made better by the fact that it is true. The throne comes to Albert (King George VI) after his older brother, Edward, abdicated the crown to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced yank. Thus, the younger brother gets the hand-me-down crown and the heavy responsibilities of leadership.

A few years after, Hitler declares war on Britain and bada-bing, the stuttering, stammering royal must now face his nation with a confident voice. King George VI is Rocky, Lionel Logue is Mickey (Burgess Meredith), his trainer in the corner encouraging him on, and the microphone is Apollo Creed.

Ding-ding–– it’s showtime. Guess who wins?

The King’s Speech is a must-see movie and deserves lots of attention and maybe a little Oscar love, but I hope Hollywood doesn’t go ga-ga for it. We had better films last year.