"If you tell people the truth, make them laugh or theyíll kill
George Bernard Shaw
NOTES FROM THE AUTEUR
Dear Friends, I hope you are all enjoying the Planets as they come spinning your way, and I apologize for the erratic nature of the orbits, but I just gotta write Ďem as I spot Ďem. Sometimes Iím obviously "spinning" off the gravitational energy from sightings of intelligent life out there, and other times Iím simply taking advantage of the fact that in space there is no up or down.
Nonetheless, I appreciate your input both in material and immaterial ways, like comments or observations on the work, and I hope you continue to excerpt it and pass it along to others as alienated in cyberspace as I.
Ironically, Chuck "News of the Weird" Sheperd has been producing a private newsletter for a while now, called "Planet Chuck" (no relation); and has been kind enough to send me some past copies. When he gets it going again, Iíll let you know how to subscribe.
In the meantime, Iím considering cobbling together a special edition of "Planet P" with pictures from my adventures to date here on the Blue Planet with additional personal writings, possibly to be produced in collaboration with Fred "Firezine" Wiebel and company. Would you be interested in purchasing such a tome? Inquiring mimes want to know. And -- Itís a great gift idea!
"The English Patient,"*****
"Get On The Bus,"****
"Uncle Bob" written by Austin Pendleton, Yale Ď61, who also wrote the musicals "Tom Jones" and "Booth Is Back In Town" in which I starred at Yale and for which Peter Bergman, Ď61 wrote the lyrics -- at the Asylum Theatre (next to the Improv on Melrose and Crescent Heights), with George Morfogen and Austin Pendelton playing "Bob" on alternating evenings. (213) 651-2583 (ext. 176).
"The Ovation Awards" on Monday, November 18th at 7:30 in the Shubert Theatre, 2020 Ave of the Stars (featuring Melinda Peterson). 1-800 447-7400. The Reduced Shakespeare Company: performing "The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)" (I was offered the Jerusalem-Cleveland Tour; 4 days in the Holy City, 4 weeks in Cleveland!) on Fri, Nov. 22 in the Plummer Auditorium at Cal State Fullerton. (714) 773-3371. Then, at Cal Tech Pasedena the 23rd in Beckman Auditorium. (818) 395-4652
THIS JUST IN-SKI!!
Got a Sunday morn call from Richard "More Sugar" Fish, whoís Lodestone Media in Bloomington is currently cobbling together its latest catalogue and a new Firesign compilation called "The Pink Hotel Burns Down," which contains some outrageously funny material, including "Over the Edge," Austin and Ossmanís hysterical take on soaps LIVE! in performance; the infamous Jack Poet VW commercials; and the ur-performance of Giant Rat --"By The Light of the Silvery," LIVE! at the Magic Mushroom. (http://bluemarble.net/~lodeston/).
Richard says that his pal and flaming Firehead Bill Whorrall heard an interview of a Russian muckymuck with Bob Edwards on this weekís "Weekend Edition" on NPR. relating to the commercial release of the Marx-Lennon stamp from the Republic of Abkhazia -- a T-shirt of which I happened to be wearing as we talked!!
The Russian official was Redhot with outrage and stamped all who bought the collectable as "enemies of the Russian Repub-lick." Little does he know -- or Weekend Edition, apparently -- that The Firesign Theatre started it all back in 1969 with the cover of our "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once, When Youíre Not Anywhere At All/Nick Danger," album which was roundly denounced by the Nights of Columbus Ohoho.
I called "WE" in WashDC and suggested that they do a followup that credits us for our prescience; and incidentally, we are presently in conversation with them to create a series or special with the Firesign called "Face The Future," or something like it, being a look at politics in the next Millennium.
O.J. THE TV SE!RIES
E! is still at it! Evenings at 5! Live! And again at 10! You can catch the O.J. uncivil trial (abridged), which has increased viewership by 94% for the upstart network. In the latest article in the L!A! Times, lead actor and jazz singer Stephen Wayne (beware) Estridge says, "When I first read for this, it just jumped out from the page at me!" (A little like O.J. did, out of the bushes that fateful night!?)
"I just felt it. It was there. This was a guy who went from being totally adored to being totally reviled. Iíve felt that in relationships with women, and thatís what I brought to it."
As to O.J.ís guilt, Eldridge is mute. "But," he posits, "I think O.J. believes that heís innocent, and thatís how I play him." So -- whoís the better actor!?! And for those of you who may not have seen or heard my take on the first trial from Radio Free Oz, here it is again for the first/last time:
O!J! THE POEM
Obviously jealous old jock,
Overly juiced offhours junkie, ornery, jazzed,
Overheard jabbering, outside, June.
Ominous jawing, offensive jamming;
Oh-oh! Jeopardy! Overpowering jabs!
On-target, jagged, one-on-one!
Just -- overkill, Jeez...
Obscene Jezebel, occidental Jew.
Odd joyride. Overexposed journey.
Outlaw jacketed; Obedient jailbird.
Oriental Judge -- oscillating jurist. (Obdurate Jeanette)
Ordinary jury -- only jerks.
Outrageous jargon. Overtime! Jumbo!
Oath-sworn Joneses: Obscure jokers, obtuse jesters,
Obfuscating jousters, obsequious jugglers.
Others: jackasses, obese jawmen,
Overwrought journalists: overpaid jackals!
Offbeat junk: offensive jokes, offcolor jibes,
Offsides jests, occult jinxes --
Option junction: Off?/Jail?
"Our justifications outweigh judgement!"
OJís out!! Jesus! Ouch!. . . Joke.
(On June 27th, 1996)
In an recent feature by Carol Jago for the L.A. Times, she points out that Fairy Tales are notorious for being based on the social and political realities of their times. "Ring around the rosie, pocketful of posies, . . . Ashes, ashes, we all fall down, " for instance, came form the flushed complexion victims of the Black Plague exhibited in their final throes, flower petals being strewn about to reduce the stench of death and the necessity of burning the bodies. Also, "Little Jack Horner" was supposed to have been a wily land agent reknowned for pulling out a "plum" deal; and "Humpty Dumpty" who had that great fall, was Richard the Third, so dismembered in battle, he couldnít be put back together again by "all the kingís horses and all the kingís men."
But the modern take on this trend is expressed in "The Inner City Mother Goose," by Eve Merriam, which met with unprecedented opposition when first released in 1969 and is now out in a 1996 edition. ( I always said the 90ís is just the sixties turned on itís head).
In Ď69, the Knights of Columbus said: "This book is obscene and degrading in that it glorifies the decadence in our society, emphasizing prejudice and bigotry. Continued exposure of this type of material to students will cause them to become cynical and frustrate the workings of a Christian community." Of course they were right, and since the damage has already been done, here are selections from some of the poems:
"Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
Snap the blade and give it a flick."
"There is an old woman who lives by herself,
With advertised pet food high on her shelf;
Meat-flavored, yum yum, for your kitten or pup,
She opens the can and then eats it up."
We can only hope she laid in a good supply of Mr. Liverfaceís Dead Dog Cat Food (A full litter of kitties in every can!) and Dead Cat Dog Food (A pound of ground pound hound in every can!)
And finally, to round off this orbit, hereís Procís Picks for Gifts this year:
YOU REALLY TEE ME OFF
Buy a Nuclear Golf Club! Two golf fans named Schuman and Lisanti "launched" a line of clubs manufactured from melted-down ex-USSR-brand nuclear missiles. The" Peace Missile" is a driver going for $325; or for $109 you can get a "Peace Putter." The first to turn their golf bags into shoulder silos were President Clinton, Jack Lemmon and Sean Connery. Now all they need is Steve Sandozís Irradiated Golf Balls from those witty ESPN SportsZone spots (featuring the glowing face of yours truly!) and the green will be all theirs.
I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
And if youíre looking for a hot gift for your little dumpling this Xmas, try the "Potato of the Month Club" at http://www.mainerec.com/newpen.html.
Or just take her for a night on the town down on the Third street Mall in Santa Monica where an ice cream palace advertises:
"1001 Flavors -- and Potatoes."
THE CLOSING PRAYER
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the double lock will keep;
May no brick through the window break,
And no one rob me till I wake."
See you next time.
© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor