The origins of the line “It’s better to burn out than fade away” are somewhat muddy. It’s another version of “Play it again, Sam”; the words we’re most familiar with are actually a variation, and not a quote verbatim.
Kidding and perversity aside, we used to have “rocketry club” at school. Well, I didn’t; it was all done away with by the time I reached seventh grade. Kids could care less about the excitement of space and walking on the moon now.
In the 1960s, there were two unusual homesteads on television. One was monstrous, the other creepy and spooky. Both had excellent opening titles music.
Lovely type treatments and title cards, too.
The Munsters was easy to comprehend, for the most part; it was a show about a family of classic movie monsters (hence the pun). Father Herman was the great Fred Gwynne dolled up as a friendly Frankenstein’s monster; wife Lily and Grandpa were vampires. Son Eddie (Butch Patrick) was the wolf-boy, with a prominent widow’s-peak that ensured I would be humiliatingly likened to him, and daughter Marilyn was the freak, with no monstrous qualities whatsoever. They all lived in a spooky mansion on 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Who knew or cared about the genetics involved in such a lineage? Continue reading →
I don’t know why people are sad about the Great Deathwave of 2016. It’s a remarkable opportunity to make a stranger’s life all about yourself.
Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, 1942-2016. A multifarious and complex personality that’s tough to categorize (especially for a pugilist), not a prop for your opinions.
When a celebrity dies, you now own them. You can take the life’s work of someone you never encountered and reduce it to a personal inspiration. You can interpret their efforts as empowerment for your own agendas. Oh, and you can cherry-pick the qualities of their persona that you agree with, and ignore everything else. A corpse will never call your bluff. Continue reading →
Lao Che (1885-19??) was a Chinese crime lord, who made several attempts on the life of archaeologist Indiana Jones in the 1930s.
Lao Che (c.), with sons Chen (l., Chua Kah Joo) and Kao Kan (r., Ric Young)
Lao’s nightclub, the Club Obi-Wan, was a front, and the headquarters of his criminal empire. The Manchurian government hired Lao to secure an urn holding the cremains of the first Manchu emperor, which had been stolen by thieves in 1903. Jones brought the urn to Club Obi-Wan, trading it with Lao for a huge diamond, but Lao double-crossed Jones by poisoning his drink. Thus begins a thrilling action sequence as pandemonium and balloons overtake the club, while Jones flails to recover the antidote Lao had taunted him with. Continue reading →