At the bottom of the Morning Report in Friday's L.A. Times Calendar section comes an upsetting report from Australia, as it's been revealed, much to the chagrin of Oz's literary elite, that Wanda Koolmatrine, the Aboriginal author of the award-winning autobiography, "My Own Sweet Time, " is actually 47-year-old Sydneyite, Leon Carmen. And what's even better (or worse, if you're looking at it from down under) last Friday, Ozzie gallery owners and museum curators were shocked to learn that works of art by acclaimed Aboriginal painter Eddie Burrup were really the work of an 82-year-old white woman, Elizabeth Durack (which means "idiot" in Russian.) Well. at least the art is "original."
You've probably seen the Deep Thoughts by Young People that's been going around. Well, Firesign provider and faithful friend, Richard Fish sent a cyberbite to his friend Renee Dickson, a teacher in Cincinnati, and she gave her Creative Writing class an assignment to create more. Here are the best from her class:
If God is everywhere, why go to Church? Why not someplace fun? . . . Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? Did anyone try to look in San Diego? . . . If you give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. If you give a man a fishing rod, he can sell it and get a really nice steak dinner. . . .Whenever I get a burst of productive energy, I just lie down and let it pass. . . .They said the greatest weapon you ever possess is self-control. That was before they invented H-Bombs... . . Someday I want to go down and help the homeless, then I want to steal all their cans and recycle them myself. Then I can say I did two good things in one day-helped the homeless and recycled cans. . . .Everybody says they want to die rich. I want to live rich. What good is money if you are dead? . . .If you haven't seen the others I'd be happy to send them to you. . . .How could Hell be all that bad? Don't you think you'd get used to it after a while? . . .
And from producer-pal and broadcaster Jerry Stearns comes the results of a thermodynamics professor's take-home exam for his graduate students who were asked: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with a proof." Most of the students supported their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant, (of course, wouldn't you?) but one student wrote the following:
"First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.
"As for souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since, there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.
"Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. So, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose. Of course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, than the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over."
(It was not revealed what grade the student got, or whether he's damned to hell because of his cheeky attitude.)
In the "Saturday Letters" column of the Calendar section is a delicious little factoid from Kenneth H. Bonnell regarding the new TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer:" "Bram Stoker, who was ethnically Jewish, wrote only that vampires were affected by religious artifacts, which permits Jewish stars, Tibetan prayer wheels and kachina dolls to work just as well. The prevelance of Christian paraphernalia comes from the tunnel vision of producers and script writers." Well, I'll be damned. . .
And here are some additions to Mark McClelland's "Hollywood/English Dictionary" from Daniel Geduld -- a radio theatre enthusiast and major Firehead:
to oversee = take complete control.
to produce = archaic. Once meant to make a film; however, this no longer happens.
grip = frustrated sub-human, but the pay is great!
MORE COMPOUND WORDS:
artistic license = completely different from the original.
good reviews = didn't make money.
screen classic = made a lot of money.
independent production = can't find the money.
from a story by = fronted the money.
based on characters created by = 1. has plenty of money—and lawyers.
based on characters created by = 2. long dead but not forgotten.
executive producer = sold us the right to drop his/her name.
action-packed thrill-ride = straight to video.
feel-good film = low-brow audiences only.
ANOTHER FINANCIAL TERM:
backer = sucker("There's a backer born every minute")
MORE COMPOUND PHRASES:
Great concept = lucrative no-brainer. (e.g.: "We can make a bundle on 'Let's Make a Deal' the movie.")
This would work better on television = get out of my life.
I see Mel Gibson starring = I know Mel Gibson. So there.
It's a go project = you're the CEO's nephew.
Now in pre-production = non-existence.
Currently in post-production = never-to-be-released.
Following are actual statements found on insurance forms where car drivers attempt to summarize the details of an accident in the fewest words possible: "Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have... The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intentions. . . I thought the window was down, but I found out it was up, when I put my head through it. . .
I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way. . . A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's face. . . A pedestrian hit me and went under my car. . . The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him. . . I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment. . . In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole. . . I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car. . . I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident. . . I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident. . . As I approached the intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident. . . To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian. . . My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle. . . An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished. . . I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat, found that I had a fractured skull. . . I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him. . . The pedestrian had no idea which direction to run, so I ran over him. . . I saw a slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car. . . I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows. . . The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of its way, when it struck the front end. . . The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."
The "Sepulveda Song" was recorded by Ray Herbeck's "Music with Romance" Band, circa 1947. The singer is Lorraine Benson, the song written by Livingston & Evans, and it was recorded at ARC and by the way, as any fan of Nick Danger can attest, the singer consistently puts the emphasis on the wrong syl-LA-ble...
That's the reat beat street, it's so elite,
Feeling that highway under your feet!
It's the concrete dream, kumquat supreme(sic),
Where the Sunday drivers meet!
There's somebody waitin',
Gotta go, gotta go, feelin' no hesitatin',
That's where I'm locatin',
I'm happy, on the sunny side of --
Gonna drive my jeep 'beep beep,'
On Sepulveda Boulevard."
© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor