"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
(Mike Harris from Popular Mechanics, 1949)



My pal Bruce Feirstein informed me that the very funny (and painfully on-mark) "Pre-Relationship Agreement," published in last week's issue, is in fact his, published originally in "Nice Guys Sleep Alone (Dating in the Difficult Eighties)," pages 60-63. It's copyrighted material available in a Dell Trade Paperback and it's anonymous use in the "net" represents one of the problems inherent in this brave new medium -- theft of intellectual property. Our apologies to Bruce. Go buy his book(s).




And in keeping with this theme, on March 19, on the front page of the L.A. Times, was an insightful article by Amy Harmon inspired by the debate over the pending Communications Decency Act, which echoes one of Marshall McCluhan's favorite assertions, reiterated by visiting associate law professor David Post of Georgetown as follows: "Activity in cyberspace ultimately forecasts the end of national control."

"Indecent" communications, digital cash and on-line gambling all represent the fact that law could become irrelevant. Electronic money systems also make tax evasion and money laundering much easier and the World Wide Web allows a "netizen" like you to really be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all!

As Amy writes: "The challenge to the age-old notion of geographically based political power springs. . . from the simple fact that in cyberspace, there is no distance between two points." Or as a Clinton administration official so succinctly queries --"What is government?"




And so, from The Top Five List, [copyright 1997 by Chris White and Ziff-Davis!!!] "The Top 15 Pick-Up Lines Used by William Shakespeare" (Who's not around to sue anybody, forsooth!):



"How about a little Puck?"


"Of course, 'Romeo and Gertrude' is just a working title. I might be persuaded to change it for you, M'Lady."


"Et tu, Cutie?"


"Shall I compare thee to a brick outhouse?"


"If I whispered in thine ear that thou hadst a body of beauty unknown but to the heavens, wouldst thou hold it against me?"


"Wouldst thou care to join me in forming the beast with two backs?"


"My heart, it pines, as my trousers tent."


"Without thine companionship, dear lady, I fearest I'd spend the evening with pen in hand, if thou knows what I mean."


" Hey, Baby, can Ophelia up? "


"Is this a dagger I see before me? Nay! I'm merely happy to cast eyes upon thy beauty!"


"Greetings to you, fair sailor."


"But soft, what light through yonder trousers breaks?"


"Wouldst thou away to yon Motel 6 with me?"


"O! Prithee sitteth upon my visage, and perchance to let me divine thy weight."

-- and the Number 1 Pick-Up Line Used by William Shakespeare...



"Do me, or not do me. THAT is the question."

[top5@walrus.com or www.topfive.com ]




From Paul "Mr. Voices" Ross in Santa Fe another list -- of more salient...

"Very Short Books"

  1. What Government Wants You to Know
  2. Easter Egg Recipes
  3. TV for Dummies
  4. Jon Benet Ramsey's Bio
  5. How to Speak Dog
  6. Zagat Does Lubbock
  7. Cheeses --of Nazareth!
  8. Alzheimers & ...uh....
  9. Floppy Disc Repair Made E-Z
  10. Original Gangsta Rap Lyrics




From a wire report in the L.A. Times comes the word (with a small "w") that Arkansas Governor, Mike "Mr. Luck" Huckbee, described as "a Republican and a Baptist minister," has held up passage of a tornado disaster relief bill because it referred to the widespread havoc as "acts of God." He wants it to be replaced with the term "natural disasters." It offended his holiness (with a small "hole" -- "to attribute in law, a destructive and deadly force as being an 'act of God.'" The Arkansas' House decided to use both phrases in the final wording. God and Mother Nature bless them. And China is still in the news . . .




In China, women are not allowed to be naked in their hotel bedrooms - only in their hotel bathrooms. . . and dancing cheek-to-cheek is banned in public. . . In rural China, a man is allowed to show his wife's naked body to other men but if they see her feet, then he is obliged to kill them. . . In Hong Kong, if a woman's husband cheats on her she is allowed by law to kill him (and his lover) - but only with her bare hands. . . In Taiwan, it is permissible for a bridegroom's relative or friend to stand in for him on his night if he is unable to consummate the marriage. . . In some remote parts of Taiwan, a girl wishing to get married must "prove" her virginity by stripping off in front of witnesses. . . In Singapore, a man who cannot father a child may nominate another member of his family to impregnate his wife. The resulting baby is deemed to have been fathered by the wife's husband - even though he isn't the biological husband. . .(BF, see above)




In Indonesia, men who are caught masturbating are liable to be beheaded. . . if a man has sex with another man's wife, he faces a flogging and/or a jail sentence. He also faces long-term unemployment as employers cannot engage a known adulterer. . . In Bandar Lampung Indonesia, cohabitation by unmarried people of the opposite sex is deemed to be "prostitution" and is punishable by a fine or even imprisonment. . . In Bangkok, Thailand, a man who has sex with a female dog faces an even bigger fine if the dog is in heat. . . In Laos, where a woman's feet are regarded as erotic, husbands have the right to punish their wives by refusing to allow them to wear shoes effectively keeping a decent woman housebound. . . In Samoa, it is against the law for a woman to marry or have sex with an uncircumcised man. . . In rural Cambodia, a husband can kill his wife's lover if they have had sex in his (the husband's) home. If, however, the adultery took place outside the marital home, the husband can't kill the lover but can kill his wife instead. . . In Burma, a widow is not allowed to have sex in the first year following her husband's death. If she does, her late husband's relatives have the right to kill her. . . Fijian gold miners are given a statutory half-hour break at lunchtime in which to make love to their wives. . . In remote parts of Malaysia, when a man dies, his eldest son inherits all his father's wives (except the wife who is his mother). . . Married couples living in the rice-growing regions of Java are obliged by law to make love after dark in the rice fields to improve the rice crop. . . In some parts of the Philippines a groom-to-be must prove his manhood by having sex with his future bride's sisters before their wedding. . . In Guam, female virgins are not allowed to marry and so they pay special men to rid them of their virginity. (ibid.)




It is with sadness and soapy tears that we report the passing of the famed Dr. Emanuel H. Bronner, who circled the drain and finally gurgled out on March 7th. We will miss him but will continue to wash our mouths (and everything else) out with his peppermint soap while reading his 3,000-word Moral ABC on every bottle! It was his speeches against fluoridation while employed in a soap plant in Milwaukee that landed him in jail and subsequently into an Elgin, Illinois mental institution; from which he fled in 1949, coming to Southern California to manufacture his own home-grown cleanser, eventually selling 1.5 million bottles annually. (I have one.) Under his All-One-God-Faith Inc. label, his product was lauded as everything from car-wash and tooth-paste to mosquito repellent. He also put out aromatic soaps and soups. Hmmmm. He went out clean.




This week, I start work on the "Rugrats" movie, where my hen-pecked character Howard, the dad of Phil and Lil, makes an appearance. Last week, I worked on the next Disney buck-buster, "Hercules" which looks absolutely maaaaarvelous. James Woods -- entering the Oscars as I type! -- is sinsational as Hades, the God of the Underworld, as is Danny Devito as the Satyr, Phil -- excuse me? -- and Rip Torn as Zeus, to name a few. I essay the role of Hades' singed and smoking black cat "Snowball." Thebes is called the big Olive and the whole myth has been "modernized." It's a hoot.



Happy Academy Boreds! Hope you get the gold; and "All hale Bopp!"


PP 3-24-97


Published 3/24/97

1996/2002 by Phil Proctor