Saturday, June 17, 2017

Holy Obituary, Batman—Adam West Passed Away

Adam West said of his Batman series that it was morality tales for children, but done in a way that adults could enjoy. And he was right. The kitschy, overly-polite style was great for children as Batman and Robin slugged it out with bad guys, and it entertained the grown-ups as they watched the show. And the actors—Caesar Romero as the Joker, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin (who really didn’t like being reminded of that role later in life), and Julie Newmar as Catwoman. They were fantastic for their roles, and Julie Newmar was a purr-fect fit.

public domain 

The actual Batmobile was at a science fiction convention. I was surprised at how small it was—like a tiny sports car. In the TV series, it really did have a jet engine in it. No fooling.

And the music! If you’re in a band, jam to that original “Batman” tune sometime. That was from a time in the 60s and early 70s when there was The Addams Family theme music, and “Best Friend” from The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Great stuff.

So farewell, Adam West. Thanks for stopping when the light said Don’t Walk while you were chasing criminals, and for not throwing a live bomb in the water because you saw some baby ducks there.

Click for my comments on Powers Boothe and John Hurt

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Going Postal – Ancient Greek Edition

Citizens, do you want to force a change at your local federal institution? Even just a tiny change? Look closely at the picture below.

Upper right corner

It shows the typical huge, metal, rotating drum at a post office for dropping off packages. It’s inside the building, so packages can be dropped off securely. But there is no internal drop-off slot for envelopes in this post office. We are directed to go outside and place envelopes in the big, blue mailbox so common throughout the country. Are they insane?

There was the incident, some years ago, when someone took a cutting torch and cut through the four legs of the mailbox and hauled the whole thing off. This would be to wash the written ink from any checks they found in the mail. That way, the crooks could make the checks out to themselves for large amounts and wipe out the victims checking accounts. What about your personal letters and paperwork? They would just toss those.

So of course I would put my envelopes in the big metal drum, because it was inside the building. I and other people did it often enough, they added the sign in the upper right corner: STOP! Packages ONLY!

I like to think the most recent time I mailed a manuscript through there was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Now I get to point at the sign and say, “See that? I did that!”

And here’s an excerpt from that Temple Beyond the Sea manuscript. Iphigenia (Iphi) just told three new women in the temple that she is related to the great Helen.


Delailen made a chewing motion, her lips crooked, her eyes full of doubt. “You claim to be related to the great Helen? The one who was taken to Troy? What are you, some lesser relative?”
“Yes. Have you heard of her? Is the war still raging?”
Cordi’s eyes now opened wider, whites showing against her dark skin. “My, everyone’s heard of the great Helen, most beautiful of all women. And you’re related to her? Whee!” She reached out and touched Iphi’s robe. “And I’ve met you, and you’re related to her, and oh, I’ll have to let my family know, and all the fisher folk on the shore.”
Tassa also came close. “Sorry, I didn’t know. The caravans have been trading treasure from Troy for some years now. The siege was broken. Whether that means Troy won, or the Achaeans won, or whether that was one siege and the war continues, I do not know.”
“Thank you.” Iphi wondered if meeting these new people and asking more questions would lead her to discover what happened to her family, if they were all safe at home. She remembered her dream about the pillar that must have been Orestes, and hoped others did not share his fate.

She looked at Delailen. But her face was closed. If she knew more than these two, she was not telling. 

For a different excerpt, click here


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