Chain of events

So as I was typing up my email to our governor, Comrade Cooper, begging official permission to be allowed to celebrate my “freedom” on the 4th, I was listening to the classical-music radio station as background, as is my usual wont. Amidst all the usual rah-rah 4th of July treacle and sludge, they aired a rendition of “Down In The Valley” for some reason—a lovely old tune, a real classic. And somehow, that in turn reminded me of an old Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder buddy flick called Stir Crazy, which at one point featured a beefy, intimidating cellmate of Our Heroes yclept Grossberger performing maybe the doggone prettiest version of the old chestnut I ever did hear:



Nice, eh? The guy who played Grossberger was a Dutch-American actor, wrestler, and opera singer who also held a BS in computer science named Erland Van Lindth De Jeude. He died, alas, in 1987 at a quite young age. Hats off to him for a real treat of a performance on this tune, anyway. Says something that it’s stuck with me all these years.

Accept no substitutes!

Please, please, please, PLEAAAASE make this happen.

PLEASE.

Amid the protests taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody, some long-standing statues are not fairing very well. Now, a new petition calls for a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, to be replaced with one of late GWAR leader Oderus Urungus.

As Metal Injection reports, onetime GWAR dancer / backup vocalist Slymenstra Hymen (aka Danielle Stampe) posted a Photoshopped image of Oderus in place of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond. Shortly thereafter, a GWAR “scumdog” started a petition on Change.org calling for a statue of Oderus to be erected in place of the one of General Lee.

Oderus Urungus, real name Dave Brockie, was one of Richmond’s favorite sons, having started GWAR in the mid ’80s, and fronted the intergalactic metal barbarians until his death in 2014. The petition’s description argues for the statue swap as follows:

“Robert E. Lee is a failed war general that supported a racist cause. For too long, the city of Richmond has been displaying statues of him and other loser civil war veterans.

We the scumdogs of the universe call on the city of Richmond to erect a statue of great local leader Oderus Urungus in its place. While Oderus comes from the planet Scumdogia, he called Richmond his home, working with the local art community and employing local artists and ladies of the night.”

Why yes, as it happens I DO have an up-close-and-personal-encounter story featuring Miss Hymen, who as it turns out is actually a very cool and likeable person. But I’ll save that one for another day, and direct you instead to the place where you can sign the petition endorsing this most worthy of causes.

Oh, and is there a picture? You just bet there is.

Oderus-statue-sm.jpg

If the sainted General Lee really must go, then the citizens of my nation’s Capitol should be proud indeed to host such a noble work of statuary art in his stead, I believe.

Sad, sad, sad

Ho. Lee. CRAP.

It’s hard to believe now, as I write this, but just two months ago, when we were allowed to roam free, when we could board planes and alight from them and wander into rental cars and check into hotels — when we could chase down and replenish the beauty and wonder our very cells need to survive — I went to Los Angeles, where I was asked this question by Val Kilmer:

“Do you think South by Southwest will be canceled?”

But Val Kilmer no longer sounds like Val Kilmer, the movie star of the ’80s and ’90s who has mostly vanished from screens. He hasn’t since his tracheostomy. He can still squeeze air up through his windpipe, however, and past the hole that was cut into his throat and the tracheostomy tube, in a way that makes him somewhat understood — not very, but somewhat. The sound is something between a squeak and a voiceless roar. He says the fact that I can understand him is a result of the endless vocal exercises that he was trained to do when he went to Juilliard after high school, that he was taught to work his voice “like it was a trumpet.” He hated the authoritarian rule at Juilliard while he was there; he hated those stupid vocal exercises. Now look at him, still using his most beloved instrument when really, by all rights, it should be useless. See how it all turned out for the best?

All Val Kilmer’s stories are like that, told with that same dash of preordained kismet. He was traveling in Africa in 1994 when he decided to spend a morning exploring a bat cave; later that day, literally seriously that day, he was inspired to call his agent, who had been trying to contact Kilmer for weeks to see if he was interested in playing the role of Batman, now that Michael Keaton was hanging it up. Another story: In the days before he set eyes for the first time on his (now ex-) wife, Joanne Whalley, he dreamed that he met the woman he was destined for and woke up and immediately wrote a poem called, “We’ve Just Met but Marry Me Please.” Then right after that, he went to London, and while he was there, he saw a play, and Whalley was in it. He was so taken with her that he followed her to the pub after-party just so he could look at her. This was crazy even for him, so he made no move. But two years later, in 1987, she would be randomly coincidentally serendipitously cast opposite him in “Willow,” and they would end up married. So yes, he can talk, and it’s such a miracle that he has these abilities, because if you have enough faith, you’ll see how every part of your life is just a piece of a bigger part of your life, and nothing is an accident, and everything is good.

Tragic, just tragic, and strange as he’s always been, you can’t help but feel awful for the man. The pic accompanying the article is just…well, it’s just grotesque, frankly. Just wait till you see it; there’s almost no resemblance to the classic matinee-idol hunk you most likely remember. Remarkably, though, Kilmer seems to be maintaining a pretty positive attitude for a guy in his current straits. So that’s something.

Whatever else he may have been along the way, Val Kilmer is undeniably a gifted actor. Which is all the excuse I need to put up one of my verymost favorite scenes, from another of my verymost favorite westerns: Tombstone.



(Via WeirdDave)

More Silverado

Barry mentioned in comments last night that he hadn’t seen Silverado yet, whereupon I responded that the movie starts kicking ass right from the opening credits and goes all the way through without letup. That whetted my appetite for a rewatching of the opener, which in turn made me think of some other personal favorite scenes from the movie, which…well, you begin to get the idea. So, for the CF crew’s Friday-night viewing pleasure, a few of my favorite scenes from one of my all-time favorite flicks. Because I care, I’ll embed ’em all below the fold so they don’t clutter up the main page.

Enjoy, y’all. Continue reading “More Silverado

Further fame beckons!

Longtime hangarounds at this here hogwallow will be quite familiar already with our friend TL Davis, whose work I’ve linked to and excerpted many times over the years. What y’all might not be aware of is that, in addition to being an accomplished blogger and novelist (I’ve recommended his novels before here, especially the great Shadow Soldier saga), TL is also a screenwriter. As it happens, in the course of a discussion of his next film project with him, TL proposed doing a documentary on my old band. So we’re off and running with that project now, kicking things off thusly:

With our first documentary Lies of Omission finally making its way to Amazon (not quite yet released) and other streaming services, we are encouraged to take the next step in filming a more mainstream documentary about the Belmont Playboys. How this rockabilly band came to our attention is a story in itself, but suffice it to say that we had other interests in common and the revelation of their talent and resiliency as a top performing band was indeed a pleasant surprise. 

From the rural North Carolina countryside, the Belmont Playboys quickly created a sound and an energy that captured the attention of a New York Times music reviewer by the name of Kathy Schoemer in 1989 as the band played the old Delta 88 club in New York City. From that moment on they were able to build a career out of doing what they loved. 

But, why do a documentary on the Belmont Playboys? First, it is in line with promoting those who believe in capitalism and freedom. That will always be a prerequisite for who we want to work with. While that may not always be possible, we will seek it out at every opportunity. Next, it is an all-American tale of talent, drive, perseverance and humor that even the folks at NPR would appreciate, creating a wider audience for the film and distribution opportunities a lot more available.

I’m thrilled to death and flattered as all git-out about this, I must say. TL is crowdfunding the trailer for the film, as a first step on the road to pitching and completing the project. As he says:

The fact is media will be forever changed by this pandemic. They are already talking about the end of theaters, which I not only doubt, but would hate to see go, but it puts companies like 12 Round on fairly even footing with big studios. Now, while they will always be able to out-spend us, the idea that they would make 100 million dollar movies that they can only stream is not a viable business model. This brings everything down to a common sense budget  and when all of those financiers no longer have to hold huge funds in reserve for big productions, more of that money will be available to smaller production companies making smaller movies that we can make. 

So, this is the first project in the new paradigm. If you like the idea, help us start getting it put together either through Fundrazr or directly through editor@twelveround.com.

Difficult as these times have suddenly become, with worse to surely follow, feel free to hit him up with some good ol’ palm-grease if you can anyway. We’ll both be grateful for it. I’ll leave this post up top for a few days, to further encourage public generosity.

Update! Had an enjoyable conference-call conversation with TL and Pete earlier today, to hash out a few ideas. TL explains the driving force underpinning this thing over at 12 Round:

We appreciate all the help we have received from the many individuals who have come along for the ride; who see in our efforts the value of being a strong voice for these American values that are daily trampled by the media horde. Our critics are right, we can’t compete with that level of competition. I wish that I did not have to ask for this help, it goes against everything I am or believe in and if I were asking for myself, to better my condition, I wouldn’t be able to do it. But, I can ask, because it is to better the reader’s condition, the condition of the nation, to bolster resistance to the communist trend, to provide for future writers of freedom and capitalism a home, drawing toward itself the talent necessary to influence future generations, especially when they start looking for answers as to why their once-prosperous nation resembles Venezuela.

To that purpose we have found a good, mainstream-type documentary that will attract investors and co-production opportunities while at the same time, perhaps enhance the lives of the Belmont Playboys, who richly deserve to be rewarded for their dedication to freedom, their undying devotion to music that inspires and enriches all our lives. With this documentary we will step into the world of the mainstream and drain some capital from the communist propagandists.

We find ourselves trying to fight a war with people who do not seem to understand the battle, how to fight and certainly not how to win. Here’s a hint: it will not be in the streets with AR-15’s, it will be in the minds of the ensuing generations if we are able to fight at all. Using the enemy’s resources against them is precisely the tactic we are about. It is why I will be using part of my communist government payout to help fund this venture. I know, there are those in this readership who would council me to keep those funds, use them to buy toilet paper without understanding the historical irony of it. To them, I should keep the fruits of communism to further emulate communism and by that somehow arrive at capitalism. It is like the illustrative insanity David Codrea likes to use when he tells of the South Park episode of the underwear bandits, where they draw out their plan to Steal Underwear——-?———-Profits. My version goes like this Communism———-?———–Capitalism. It’s irrational. One arrives at capitalism in America, by denouncing, ridiculing and exposing communism for the fraud and power grab that it is and was always intended to be.

That we are standing at the verge of a wholesale media restructuring, a realignment toward streaming services that rely on new and available forms of entertainment at an insatiable rate means we could parlay this little production company into a serious media outlet. Getting this documentary going will help, but we are involved on a number of different fronts seeking collaboration with investors and other production companies to achieve it. If the reader sees the bigger picture and sees that helping us helps them promote their understanding of America, that we are dedicated to promoting the fundamental understanding of freedom, which I suggest the very definition of which is being obliterated from the American lexicon, all the better. If not, a visit to these pages is unnecessary.

This project ain’t just about music, or one particular band, or me, or TL. Ultimately, it’s about freedom, and how we will go about restoring and retaining it. An important step in that campaign will be to gain a cultural foothold, to establish a voice for liberty and truth amid the cacophany of Progressivist falsehood.

It’s been said many times that instead of abandoning the culture wars entirely, our side desperately needs to start finding ways to embrace new technologies and concepts in order to bypass the Left’s media, entertainment, and artistic blockade. It is vital that we tell our own stories in our own ways, using new outlets of our own design to spread the good word without being subject to liberal censorship or suppression.

The ideals of liberty must win out over tyranny. This will be a long and arduous struggle. It’s high time for Team Freedom to nut up, dig in our heels, and get crackin’.

San Francisco priorities

James Woods is back to Tweeting again, and just won the Innarnets for the day with this one.



Some of the follow-on Tweets are pretty funny too.

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