Entertainment News 11-5-11
- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
Steamshovelpress.com is back! New web content! New book product! New conference information! PLUS: a new, daily, twitterish quip: "Parapolitics Offhand!"
Now available on CD and through US Mail only: Popular Parapolitics, 219 pages, illustrated, of comentary on the nexus of parapolitics and popular culture. $15 post paid from Kenn Thomas, POB 210553, St. Louis, MO 63121.
ConspiraZine Grand Opening
Saturday, November 12 at 6:00pm - November 13 at 3:00pm
3834 5th Ave., Hillcrest
San Diego, CA 92103
Come to ConspiraZine's grand opening on Saturday, November 12, from 6-10pm. Appetizers will be complimentary and drinks available for purchase. Our special guest will be Anthony J. Hilder, a conspiracy film producer. On Sunday, November 13 at 12pm, he'll be showing one of his latest documentaries. Come check out the west coast's exclusive conspiracy store - books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, T-shirts and more!
Awesome Quotes: Zachary Quinto
"when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled. but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair. i also made an it gets better video last year - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time. but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country. gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying. parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance. we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world. we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government. i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society - and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. jamey rodemeyer's life changed mine. and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner - i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me. now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world. that - i believe - is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other."
RIP: Boba Fett
From Dark Horse Comics, via YardSellr.com:
Established Star Wars writer Tom Taylor is back with another stunning Blood Ties series to be released in April 2012.
"Boba Fett is dead. The most infamous hunter in the galaxy has been hunted. He's lying, broken, on the desert floor. He's more blaster-holes than man. It's the ultimate ending. However, this is just the start of our story. With the fall of Fett broadcast across the galaxy, someone rises to avenge him. But who would care about the death of a man like Fett? Bounty hunters aren't exactly known for their enduring, close friendships but even a man like Boba Fett has family and now a Blood Tie demands blood."
The Awesomest Things
Oct 25, 2011
When I get sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story. But how do I do it? Simple. I sing the following song to remind myself of how many awesome things there really are out there.
Girls in wet t-shirts and chimps in tuxedos,
Monster truck pile-ups and Hans who shoot Greedos.
Wild chicks that beg to be tied up with strings,
These are a few of the awesomest things!
U.S. Armed Forces and dudes kicked in gonads
Box suites for football and chicks' absent dads.
Single malt scotches that someone else brings,
These are a few of the awesomest things!
Skateboarder wipe-outs and first person shooters,
Reruns of "Air Wolf" and hiring for Hooters.
Hot girls that gyrate and wear down bedsprings,
These are a few of the awesomest things!
When the check comes!
When the girl clings!
When she's fully clad
I simply remember the awesomest things,
And then I don't feel so bad!
Humor (and Not-So-Humor) Break: Web Pics
Hollywood's Favorite Villain
Wisdom from Freud
The Last Time Republicans Cared About You...
Assange Vs. Zuckerberg
Bovine Idolatry Through the Ages...
Another Wall Street Joke...
I Am the One Percent
Statue of Guy Fawkes
Don't Fall for This...
The Definition of a Slut...
Ike on Unions...
Kids Playing Monopoly
Adam Levine on Fox News
How the Government Could Fix Everything
Troubleshooting Mom's Computer...
Don't Be Sexist!
Happy Halloween from SpongeBob SquarePants
From Maxim.com, EOnline.com, Yahoo.com, DailyMail.co.uk, & Facebook...
Valeska Castillo, aka the hot T-Mobile Chica for Spanish television, and "The Prize" in Heineken's excellent "The Tiger" commercial...
Laura Vandervoot for PETA
New Girl Zooey Deschanel singing the national anthem before the World Series
Adriana Carnanova, the new face for the Wonderbra
Rooney Mara of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Evan Rachel Wood
At Elle Women in Hollywood gala: Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts, Katherine Heigl & Freida Pinto
Nicki Minaj on the cover of W Magazine
Kim & Kourtney Kardashian
Book Review: Empire of the Wheel
Kenn Thomas, SteamshovelPress.com
Authors Walter Bosley and Richard B. Spence take a novel approach in examining the Zodiac killers crimes, the infamous and still open serial murder case in northern California, as part of their examination of crimes from another time and place. Empire of the Wheel initially uses the narrative of a novel to explore a rather arcane possibility that Zodiac connects to a serial murder case from fifty years previous in San Bernadino. "Her face hit the water," the book begins, "She did not gently submerge; there was nothing gentle about it. It was well into autumn and the water was cold..."
The book proceeds through the stories of the murders of Cora Stanton, the Estep children and others notorious in the 1910s, describing the autumn in San Bernardino and offering almost obsessive detail of the crimes. Bosley and Spence assert that they intend to provide questions avoided by official and press reports, and so atmospherics play a large role in the book as well. The daily press attracts readers with lurid detail and official reports attempt to fit everything into crime and punishment categories. The weirdness of these killings, as well as San Bernadino's cultural milieu of spiritualism and Mormonism beg a deeper look, which this book provides, making linksvia avenues as off-normal as things like telluric ley linesto the life of Aleister Crowley and even the death of Harry Houdini. Quotes from the likes of Bram Stoker and H. P. Lovecraft pepper the text, reinforcing the frame of mind in which the sleuthing here needs to be viewed.
Empire of the Wheel doesn't lose the character of documentary, however. A central part of the narrative sets this out fairly concretely: Many authors and cultural researchers, such as John Keel and Jim Brandon, argue that there is an ancient and sinister undercurrent running beneath the bright, modern exterior of American society. Stephen King has made a career out of writing about it. The late `mythopoeic political historian' James Shelby Downard (1913-1998) conjured up a phantasmagorical and unsettling portrait of an America riddled with `Masonic sorcery'; "Call to Chaos" cultism and `Mystical Toponomy," an America in which literally nothing is as it seemed .To Downard, the America of `baseball-hot dogs-apple pie-and Chevrolet' was but a facade beneath which the `eternal pagan psychodrama' played itself out in a neverending cycle, invisible to those uninitiated in its secret symbols and rituals. It is east, and comforting, to dismiss Downard as a simple nut-case because if he isn't, America is a much stranger place than most of us could possibly imagine." The writers' chore here is to link up these disparate murders and arcane history Kell, Brandon, Downard and see if they fit into the perspective that Keel, Brandon and Downard evoke.
This it does, but also as a true crime novel it's a page turner.
New Biography Says van Gogh Did Not Kill Himself
October 14, 2011
A new biography of Vincent van Gogh and a "60 Minutes" report on it scheduled for Sunday night call into question the long-accepted notion central to the myth of the troubled artist that he committed suicide.
In the book, "Van Gogh: The Life," due out next week, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith present evidence that raises doubts about the source of the gunshot wound van Gogh sustained in or near the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, France, in July 1890.
"No physical evidence of the shooting was ever produced," they write. "No gun was ever found." Van Gogh, who "knew nothing about guns," left no suicide note, and the bullet entered his upper abdomen "from an unusual, oblique angle not straight on as one would expect in a suicide." The authors hypothesize that he was shot by a friend's teenage brother, who carried a gun and "had a history of teasing Vincent in a way intended to provoke him to anger." (The artist, for his part, "had a history of violent outbursts.")
As for why van Gogh did not accuse the boy before he died, but instead offered "hesitant, halfhearted, and oddly hedged" confessions of a suicide attempt, the authors speculate that he welcomed his own death and saw no reason to punish anyone for bringing it about.
Who wrote Shakespeare? 'Anonymous' claims not who you think
Maria Puente, USA TODAY
This is not a trick question: Who wrote Shakespeare?
By now, you'd think this is a settled matter. But you'd be so wrong.
On Friday a Hollywood director skilled at blowing up stuff onscreen is set to blow up 400 years of Shakespeare scholarship with Anonymous, a $30 million period-costume drama/thriller that traduces everything the high priests of the cult of Shakespeare have taught for centuries about the Bard from Stratford-upon-Avon.
Anonymous is about Elizabethan-era political scheming over the royal succession. The intrigue is set against the claim that the author of the most hallowed plays and poems in the English language was not the barely educated commoner William Shakespeare, about whom we know virtually nothing.
Instead, it was Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (played by Rhys Ifans), the highly educated, well-traveled aristocrat with royal connections, who penned "To be or not to be" and all the other deathless lines we know as Shakespeare. Why hide his authorship? Because high-born types of the era did not mess about in rowdy theaters during the rise of the art-fearing Puritans.
"It's the first film suggesting that Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare," says James Shapiro, Shakespeare scholar at Columbia University and author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Screenwriter John Orloff, an American who worked 20 years on the script, says it's one of the few films about the power of the written word. "Did Shakespeare write the plays? There's a valid argument that he did, but an even more valid argument that he didn't. And if not him, then who?"
In Anonymous, Will Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) is a semi-literate drunken actor from a country village who weasels his way into attaching his name to Oxford's plays and then shamelessly hogs all the applause. Oxford dies (in 1604, before some of the latest plays were supposedly written) with no one but Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto), a rival playwright/poet to Shakespeare, in the know about what happened and why.
This notion is infuriating enough to many. But the real shocker in the movie is that the "Virgin Queen'' Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave as the dying queen and Redgrave's daughter Joely Richardson as the young queen) not only wasn't a virgin but may have committed incest. Somewhere, Tudor spin doctors are shouting in their graves. In fact, the shouting over Anonymous is in full roar.
Shapiro has taken to the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times to denounce Anonymous. British historian Simon Schama was scathing in The Daily Beast, calling the film an "idiotic misunderstanding of history."
"I've been to dinner parties where people screamed at me," Orloff says. "It's fascinating how upset people get, but it shows how Shakespeare really is alive in our culture."
Scholars are outraged
The English are especially upset. "I feel like a heretic of the Middle Ages," jokes director Roland Emmerich, the German-born disaster maestro (Independence Day, 2012) who is defending the movie at book fairs, colleges and debating clubs.
"How many movies are discussed at the Oxford Union or the English Speaking Union?" Emmerich says, laughing.
Emmerich, who knew little about the authorship debate, was "flabbergasted'' to learn that scores of famous, smart people do not believe the man from Stratford wrote the plays, including: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Sigmund Freud; British Shakespearean actors such as Derek Jacobi (he's in Anonymous); and at least three U.S. Supreme Court justices.
Historians, Shakespeare scholars and theater directors are the most outraged, Emmerich says, because they have the most to lose if it becomes even more widely believed that what has been taught about Shakespeare is all a lot of hooey.
"People say, 'How dare you!' but my movie clearly states I'm telling you a different, darker story," Emmerich says. "It's one possible alternative."
But it's not, says an exasperated Shapiro, who has examined the history of the authorship question and the long list of others (more than 50) put forward as the "real" Shakespeare. He worries that American audiences unschooled in history but all too familiar with conspiracy theories will believe the story Anonymous tells.
"It's another sign in our culture about the ways in which conspiracy thinking is winning the day, and it's tough to combat," he says.
The Oxfordians are numerous and organized, with websites and annual conferences and an online "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare" petition that already has thousands of signatures.
The debate matters
"We are hoping this becomes more of a legitimate issue, that more people devote scholarly attention to the facts," says Richard Joyrich, president of the U.S.-based Shakespeare Oxford Society.
But does it really matter? "Shakespeare matters, so this debate matters," says Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., a center of Stratfordian scholarship.
"If it's a story about what we might believe if we wanted to, that's the realm of fiction, and people have every right to live in the world of fiction. But don't say it isn't fiction."
Michael Kahn, artistic director of Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Co., says that any movie that even talks about Shakespeare is probably good for those who do it.
"Whoever wrote (the plays) was a genius," he says. Then he adds, puckishly: "And maybe the movie will help sell tickets for our Much Ado About Nothing (opening in November)."
But why a movie now? Why not? The comedy/fantasy Shakespeare in Love was a huge success in 1998, says Daniel Wright, an Oxfordian and director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland, Ore. "Don't expect Anonymous to be any more truthful than Love, but it touches on an issue for which there is an as-yet-undiscovered truth, so it will prompt people to pursue," Wright says.
The few known facts about Shakespeare could be "printed on the back of a postcard," Wright says.
This vacuum has always been a problem but particularly in the modern era, when so much stock is placed in the relationship between the writer's experience and his work.
The argument against the man from Stratford comes down to that tiresome English obsession: class snobbery.
The Oxfordians say Shakespeare didn't have the education, the class connections or the life and travel experiences to have been the author of plays and poems that suggest knowledge of history and politics, foreign languages and places all of which Oxford possessed.
"I don't believe great art comes just from pure imagination it also comes from life experience and a lot of pain," Emmerich says.
Still, the filmmakers are primarily entertainers. Anonymous has plenty of sword fights and rebel battles, velvet gowns and collar ruffs, muck in the streets and great, gushing gobs of Shakespeare declaimed on a re-created Globe stage.
"We set out to make an enjoyable, tense film," says Orloff. "The framing device is a reminder that it's a play, a piece of drama. If we fail at that, who cares about anything else?"
The Making of the Electric Guitar
From the Paul Tutmarc Website:
I have been urged by many persons over the years to write the TRUE FACTS regarding the creation of the very first electric guitar, which was an electric Hawaiian guitar because the inventor was an accomplished artist on the Hawaiian guitar.
I am speaking of my father, Paul H. Tutmarc.
My dad had a love for the Hawaiian Steel guitar from the time he was 15 years old. This was about the year 1911 as my father was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 29, 1896.
He started playing the guitar at that age and a few years later got a Knutsen Hawaiian steel guitar and practiced hours and hours everyday. He married my mother, Lorraine, in 1921 and I joined the family on July 11, 1924 after my sister Jeanne, who was born on December 7, 1922. We lived in Centralia, Washington, my first four years. My dad was the local band leader for the dances, playing banjo and singing and leading the band. We moved to Seattle in 1928 (I was four years old) and my father built us a very good home in Seattle. This house had a fine, full basement, and my dad, being such an ambitious person, had a very complete workshop in the basement by the time the house was finished. My father and his brother did all the carpentry work on the house.
My dad was the tenor soloist in several of the downtown theaters in those days. He worked on the Fanchon & Marco circuits and was much involved in music as well as being an instructor of the Hawaiian guitar. He gave many lessons in our home and I was a constant "listener" from behind the living room sofa.
In the later part of 1930 or perhaps the very first of 1931, a man, Art Stimpson, from Spokane, Washington, came to Seattle, especially to see and meet my father. Art was an electrical enthusiast and always taking things apart to see what made them function as they did. He had been doing just this with a telephone, wondering how the vocal vibrations against the enclosed diaphragm were picked up by the magnet coil behind the diaphragm and carried by the wires to another telephone. My father became interested in this "phenomenon" and began his own "tinkering" with the telephone. Noting that taping on the telephone was also picked up by the magnetic field created behind the diaphragm, he was encouraged to see if he could build his own "magnetic pickup".
As every, old time steel player knows, it was difficult to make the steel guitar heard above other instruments. My father was always complaining about this common problem. The Dobro guitars with the aluminum dishes inside did help, somewhat, but never enough for performance with any goodly number of accompanists.
The very first though of my father's was, with this idea of magnifying sound, electrically, how could this magnify the sound of his steel guitar. He started with a rather large, horse-shoe shaped magnet, wound some coils with the smallest wire he could obtain, which was either No. 38 or No. 40. I remember seeing this first magnetic pickup of his. It was all wrapped up in friction tape and about the size of a grapefruit.
He made contact with another friend, Bob Wisner, a young man with a brilliant mind, and a radio repairman of great repute in Seattle as about the only one able to repair the old Atwater-Kent radios. He worked at Buckley Radio in Seattle, on Saturdays, repairing all the radios the regular repairmen could not repair during the week. It was Bob Wisner who helped my dad re-wire a radio to get some amplication of his magnetic pickup.
Once this was ready, my dad starting working with an old round hole, flat top guitar and discovered the pickup would pick up the sound from a plucked string and carry it through to the "adapted" radio. So, this large pickup was eventually installed INSIDE the guitar with a polepiece sticking up through a slot he cut in the top of the guitar near the bridge, and the electric guitar was on its way. Being an ambitious woodworker, he decided to make a solid body for his electric guitar idea and his first one was octagon shaped at the bridge end, containing the pickup and then a long, slender square cornered neck out to the patent heads.
Before he actually made this solid body guitar, he electrified every instrument he could get his hands on. He electrified zithers and pianos and spanish guitars. He would break up two guitars, just to get the necks and fretboards and glue them on to a flat top guitar, having three necks with three different tunings. He made a solid body (black walnut) guitar with FIVE sets of strings. The guitar was about 24 inches wide and the neck about 20 inches wide. He had a full, six string major chord, six string seventh chord, six string diminished chord, six string augmented chord and six string ninth chord. I can remember his demonstrating this "out of this world" guitar at the local Sears-Roebuck store in South Seattle.
He began to receive much interest concerning this new invention from his students. He began to see the possibilities on manufacturing these guitars for sale. He did send in to the U.S. Patent office for information regarding any type of electric, stringed instruments. A complete search was made, which I recall cost him $300.00 which in the time of the great depression, was a LOT OF MONEY. There were NO types, whatsoever, presented to the U.S. Patent office, so my dad knew he was the FIRST. However, the chances of patenting an electric pickup would be nil as Bell & Company had long since covered that.
After building a few guitars out of solid, black walnut, he felt he needed to get someone else to do the woodworking and he would go do all the assembly work and electrical manufacturing. He contacted a man, Emerald Baunsgard, a young superb craftsman, and an agreement was made and Emerald started doing all the wood work of the electric guitars for my father's company, Audiovox Manufacturing Company. Emerald was a master at inlay work so these black walnut guitars all had inlaid frets, inlaid pearl position markings and beautiful, hand rubbed finishes. The guitars were beautiful and very quickly accepted on the market...
The TRUE FACTS on the Invention of the Electric Guitar AND Electric Bass