Hide and Shriek with The Addams Family
Those famous finger snaps, and like Pavlov’s pups so many of us are transported into The Addams Family mansion.
Growing up I always thought maybe I’d been switched at birth with The Addams Family; I don’t believe I was the only person in my family who felt the same.
For me, John Astin brought the Charles Addams cartoons to life with his irresistible paranormal charm.
Though wealthy, The Addams Family macabre eccentricity caused them to live as outcasts; it was a role they seemed to relish. They were also portrayed as close-knit, respectful, and loving. This satirical translation of an ideal American family may not have lasted long, but their influence refuses to give up the ghost, including: movies (the best with Raul Julia, Anjelica Houston, Christina Ricci, Carol Kane, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack, etc.), cartoons, books, games, musicals – they simply refuse to pass on.
Creepy, kooky, mysterious and ooky Addams Family bits and pieces:
The Addams Family motto: Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. In Addams Latin, simply: We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.
Their mansion at 0001 Cemetary Lane was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1925 painting about the alienation of modern life, House by the Railroad. Looks like Charles Addams’ friend, Alfred Hitchcock may have liked the painting too, think Psycho.
Charles Addams had no names for the family in his one-panel cartoons, for the TV series he helped pick some out. The nursery rhyme line, Wednesday’s child is full of woe was inspiring.
Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of Wizard of Oz fame played Morticia’s Mom.
The Addams Family loved pets, including but not limited to: a vulture, piranha, an octopus, a giant squid, a man-eating plant, a jaguar, spiders, and who could forget Kitty Kat?
Ted Cassidy as Lurch gave himself a speaking role by ad-libbing, “You rang?” and also played Thing T. Thing (guess what the T stands for).
And I’m listening to the CD of original music from The Addams Family, composed by incomparable Vic Mizzy right now, cara mia.
Religion, Politics, and The Great Pumpkin
Halloween crawls inexorably toward us, a wild beast about to attack with treats, costumes, and decorations, horror movies and specials.
As I re-watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for like the millionth time (sadly, this may not be as much of an exaggeration as it should be), this time I’m trying to see it through the eyes of a child, today.
So with that in mind, I’m putting aside the symbolic struggle represented for those whose beliefs are in the minority, as with certain religions, theories, or Linus and his Great Pumpkin; also, everything I’ve learned from this, including parts that, at times, seem a bit weird.
Here are a few older posts that look into that.
Do children now really like these older classics or are we transferring our fond memories to them, assuming they’ll like them as much as we did? Are they humouring us?
Lucy getting dog germs from Snoopy, is that still a thing?
How about the sucker getting leaves stuck on it?
Does anyone even remember what a Sopwith Camel is?
Do they think Schroeder should just use an app to make music?
Do they think the homemade costumes are bizarre?
That old-school animation is boring?
Do they need more sophisticated animation? Bigger musical numbers? Action? Adventure?
Is this show just too slow and too old-fashioned for modern audiences?
I guess I’m hoping in this frenzied, mixed-up world there’s still a place for the simple joy of Charlie Brown and friends…
Why Zombies Will Rule
1. Zombies won’t just be dangerous because of the biting flesh part, they’re rotting corpses. Think about all the diseases they would cause, not to mention all the scavengers and parasites they would attract. Like some people you may know, zombies are toxic, but literally.
2. Zombies don’t need to sleep.
3. They’re not distracted by TV, the internet, cell phones, etc.
4. They don’t have any vices.
5. Zombies don’t get sick, I mean eventually they decompose, but who knows how long that will take?
6. Society will fall apart if they don’t have cell phones, the internet, TV, etc.
7. Sadly, Zombies will kill off children and probably their parents quickly, come on, think of how long it takes to get the average toddler to put on their shoes, get to sleep, etc…and how would they stay quiet enough? How would they be amused without technology?
8. Zombies don’t get bored and don’t need entertaining, they just wait around for food to be delivered to them or they wander around looking for takeout.
9. So many people are too apathetic or lazy to even get out and vote which effects your life just as much as zombies (have you seen some politicians?). How are they going to survive?
10. Statistically as there are more zombies and less humans, well, you do the math…the odds are against us.
Ever read a book you basically wanted to dislike for various reasons yet still you like it, and you like it a lot? Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of those books, for me. It should seem cheesy and all rabbity and odd, but it’s endearing and compelling instead.
I suppose it depends on how you view the story. As a sweet tale a father started telling his children on car rides or an allegory about corporate persecution, domination of the vulnerable, logic and sentiment at war and so much more.
If viewed as the latter I wonder who would be most disturbed by a freedom so longed for, snatched away, the children or the parents? Both can understand, but children still have the hope of that freedom, while adults realize it is more illusionary.
Depending on the level you choose to read or believe, perhaps a challenging read, but worth it. Very strange, but there it is.
Watership Down has been adapted to film, TV, theatre, games, and has inspired songs, album titles, references, and parodies, it’s become a cult classic. Why? I’m sure there are various reasons.
Perhaps because the 1970s were a time of change where people were exploring massive social, political, and economic shifts. Using anthropomorphic depictions of animals lets us examine human issues, problems, flaws, transformations, strife, horror, etc. through nonhuman images in a sort of Safe Mode.
It’s a lot like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (by Robert C. O’Brien, later made into The Secret of NIMH) which published just a year before, similar ideas and visions. But maybe we’re reading too much into WD, sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.
I wonder…40 years from now what literature will represent our times, to last the test of time, if any? Maybe just an app or chip or a memory. Hopefully all is not Lost.
JUST ONE MORE THING…COLUMBO
I loved this show as a child. I waited for that moment when the rumpled, allegedly forgetful detective turned back to the suspect who thought they’d gotten away with it. Columbo would say something like: “Just one more thing” or “There’s something that bothers me” or “Just one more question” or “Just a few loose ends to tie up”. Then you knew and the suspect knew, they were caught. The classic false exit ending.
Columbo was one of the best inverted detective format shows ever. No whodunit. You knew who did it, in fact many times in Columbo we saw not only who did it, but how they did it. The problem was proving they did it. Catching them.
Columbo was on from 1968-2003 (with some time off here and there). Well-known for his crummy looking trench coat, his meandering, overly chatty style and his keen eye for detail, he was unusual and fun to watch.
In between telling the suspects personal details, some of which were actually true, asking them how much they paid for their shoes, asking about things for his wife (anyone remember the best-forgotten spinoff Mrs. Columbo starring Kate Mulgrew?), looking around their homes, cars, etc. he always found the clues that caught the bad guys.
Peter Falk wasn’t the only actor to play Columbo, but he was certainly the favourite. His seemingly absent-minded portrayal of Lt. Frank Columbo was brilliant and unforgettable.
I loved Peter Falk in so many things, especially Murder By Death, The Princess Bride, and the trilogy of Christmas movies where he played a quirky angel named Max, but for me and most people he will forever be Columbo.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
by Jane Austen
What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn’t been said thousands of times and ways?
And if we’re going to involve the movies or TV series made of this novel that’s wow, just wow.
P & P is warm fudge topping over heavenly hash ice cream.
It is a kitten’s purr.
Silk on your skin.
A musical piece that caresses your soul.
It is all that the blarry, scratchy, low-manners modern world isn’t.
It is perfection that one can visit and relax. It is tea.
Tea with fresh crumpets.
Tea with fresh crumpets and jam.
Flight of the Conchords
This show was so over the top, but so funny.
This witty (some might say witless) New Zealand-based twosome generated by Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement describe themselves to being New Zealand‘s 4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo, but they are so much more and less.
One or both or three or none of the actors may have also appeared in: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Men In Black, Dinner for Schmucks, The Muppets, Star Trek After Darkness, Man of Steal, Ironic Man 3, Diagnosis: Death, etc.
The allegedly impromptu musical numbers are awesome, Frodo Don’t You Wear That Ring, I Told You I Was Freaky, A Kiss Is Not A Contract, and The Humans are Dead are so painfully curious and catchy.
Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) was scary and hilarious as their Number One Fan.
Rhys Darby (remember him as Jim Carrey’s quirky boss in Yes Man?), was outstanding as their manager.
Some of my fav TV scenes of all time took place in Murray‘s (Rhys Darby) office during band meetings.
This show is a rare treasure that the world wasn’t quite ready for just yet, but I will keep it in my brain.
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Del Ray)
I can still read this and laugh so hard it hurts. Contains one of the best scenes ever written, in the tea house with the biscuits, I’m giggling just thinking about it; if you haven’t read it, read it just for that. What am I saying, if you haven’t read it?
One of the most entertaining books ever written and apparently inspired by a drunken evening in Austria with a Hitchhikers Guide to Europe in his pocket, sounds about right.
Adams also wrote and acted briefly in Monty Python and wrote a few Doctor Who scripts.
Worked on video games.
I have no words.
A delight to the gray matter and darn you Douglas Adams, you’re one of the reasons my laugh lines are so deep! No, I forgive you and miss you. In this case as entertaining as the on screen offerings of this have been, the book is so much better. All 4 (or 5 depending on your belief system and the hour of day) books in the trilogy are fantastically mythically rereadworthy.
Although Adams left too early at 49, his written works, his activist causes and his understanding of absurdity of it all remains to entertain and amaze us.
And don’t forget a towel is one of the most useful things you can carry with you on your journeys so celebrate towel day May 25th.
Douglas Adams‘ present location: Highgate Cemetery, Highgate, United Kingdom
Two hot guys in a hot car fighting supernatural elements.
Toss in some angels, demons, monsters, apocalyptic horsemen, ghosts, etc. well, what’s not to love?
It’s fast-paced, but with kinda meaningful messages. Created by Eric Kripke we got our first taste of Sam and Dean Winchester in 2005 and it just keeps going, Season 9 is about to start, thank you.
Jared Padalecki (ER, Gilmore Girls) and Jensen Ackles (Days of Our Lives, Dawson’s Creek – we forgive you for DC, you were young, and of course, Smallville) are brothers who fight ghosties, lots o’ demons, monsters, and all other supernatural type things.
I’m so happy they decided to keep Castiel (Misha Collins), The Colt, the Impala (this Chevy 1967 has been through a lot, it’s basically supernatural itself), Ruby’s Knife, and Bobby (Jim Beaver – Deadwood, Justified, Days of Our Lives) for as long as possible, but I really really wish they could have kept Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Daddy (John) Winchester.
Even threw in Mitch Pileggi for an X-Files kiss.
Action-packed and did I mention the hot guys and the hot car?
This is a program that doesn’t take itself too seriously while trying to remain true to its mythology, and it does so with flare.
Bully For You
Hel-lo McFly! Apparently we now throw parties to celebrate people lying, cheating, slandering, and manipulating. We love it. We tell our children not to bully. However, we love it. Mixed messages, no, try diametrically opposed.
Gordon Ramsey spewing out enough spittle to drown most of NY – don’t yell at people.
Honey Boo Boo – don’t tease or call people names.
Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Fox News, and Sun News – don’t spread gossip, rumours, lies, false ‘news’, propaganda, BS, innuendo, and slander.
Apprentice – don’t backstab, lie, cheat, harass, intimidate.
Real Housewives – don’t hit, yell, lie, spread rumours, harass, and abuse.
It’s embedded in our culture; all of society seems to feed off bullying. We pretend to value people, but really we value drama, electronics, money, power, and more drama.
Bullying is not only acceptable, it’s rewarded. This makes schools and social situations a developmentally deranged breeding ground of bullying.
As if the bullying in school wasn’t bad enough, now the latest tool – cyberbullying. No sanctuary, no escape, and oh so public humiliation.
Bosses destroying you as you’re just trying to make a living; parents screaming, frothing, hurting instructors, coaches, teachers, refs, players, and other parents; governments with hate laws, calling citizens terrorists and radicals, lying, stealing, attacking – home isn’t even safe for some people.
This isn’t good-natured teasing or joking around. The victims are traumatized and even kill themselves to get away.
Certain characters, TV shows, etc. were supposed to be extreme examples of people conducting themselves poorly. Now aggressive images penetrate so deeply into children, adults and society in general that we can’t remember that so instead we worship that bad behaviour.
We cheer when contestants scheme, lie, and manipulate to win. We buy products to emulate spoiled, narcissistic meanies. We hold parties to celebrate bad guys. Our own governments bully and cater to bullies. Then tell our children not to be bullies. Can you see their confusion? The ultimate do as I say, not as I do.
Ways to stop bullying. Puppet shows? Lectures? Selective policies? Non-enforced laws? Ummm, waste of time.
Here’s a simple way – stop promoting bullying as glamorous and cool.
Stop celebrating it.
Stop electing it.
Stop buying it.
Stop showing it.
Most of all, stop watching it.