Planet Proctor 2003 Volume 06
THE WORD FROM THE BYRD
On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war...And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.
This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list.
Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word. Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good.
Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher. In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years.
And war must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of our country". This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings.
(Excerpts from a speech by Senator Robert Byrd, D, West Va.)
"This Just In: After we take care of Iraq, the U.S. wants to disarm Phil Spector." - David Letterman
THE OL' MALE BAG
"This Middle East crisis really seems to have people divided. There are so many compelling reasons to oust this new Hitler, and yet, our saber rattling hawkish un-diplomatic attitude has many people trying to slam on the brakes. WE SEEM TO BE CAUGHT BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE" opines v.o. whiz, Danny Mann
And writer/producer pal Mark Klastorin writes that he's doing a century ride (100 miles.. bicycle.. one day) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
If you ride to http://www.teamintraining.org/personalpages and enter 69230, you can read all about it, and maybe contribute to the cause!
"We want a creepy, believable refined bully/villain who just happens to have a fart-lisp." - Cartoon audition character description
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE
Bob Joles, presently appearing as the singing panther in "Jungle Book 2", tells us about Jacob (92), and Rebecca (89), who decide to get married and go for a stroll to discuss the wedding. On the way they wander into a drugstore...
"We're about to get married," Jacob says to the pharmacist, "Do you sell heart medication?"
"Of course we do," he answers.
"How about medicine for circulation?" - "All kinds."
"Medicine for rheumatism, scoliosis?" - "Definitely."
"How about Viagra? And medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundice?" - "The works."
"What about vitamins, sleeping pills, antidotes for Parkinson's disease?" - "Absolutely."
"And you stock wheelchairs and walkers?" - "Indeed. All speeds and sizes."
"Great!" Jacob says, "We'd like to use this store as our Bridal Registry."
"Dial-Up won't bury joggers in my garden." - On-camera audition copy
ART IS FOREVER
Mark Swed in the Times Calendar section, writes of a organ concert by the late surrealist composer, John Cage that will take 639 years to perform.
Begun in September of 2001, at a Halberstadt, Germany church, the "ASLSP Concerto", standing for "as slowly as possible" and which usually lasts about 20 minutes, will be completed in 2640 - or 639 years - the present age of St. Burchardi's organ. Latecomers will be tolerated.
And there is a production of Hamlet that's really leaving the critics cold, since it's being performed in at The Ice Globe - a replica of The Old Globe build from 15,000 tons of snow on the grounds of the famous Jukkasjarvi Ice Hotel, 1,250 miles North of Elsenore, the unhappy Dane's original home.
Performed to audiences of about 1,000 by a Sami cast in their Finnish-Hungarian tongue, the drama has been trimmed to a speedy hour-forty-five because, explains the theater manager, "At minus 38 it is impossible to stand outside for four hours."
"We tell ourselves stories in order to make sense of life." - Norman Mailer, "The Spooky Art"
YOU NEED FLAB!
Wayne Newett of Mackie found a Russian company named "FLAB" that describe themselves thus:
"Million years people lived happy and the louder were the man, the bigger were his audience or quieter the wife. But times changed, and people became more sociable, garrulous and full of self-expression. Human throat could not be the only instrument to bring somebody's voice to everybody, and people contrived the LOUDSPEAKER. Since that moment the modern history of ACOUSTICS started.
"Hereunder we'll not take into account that cavern, best enclosure ever known were initially designed in the Stone Age, horns were used by thousands of nations as simple way to increase SPL of human voices, bigger drums were better to reproduce the bass of the thunder; we'll take those facts as BASES of the ACOUSTICS THEORY. All in our life is based on it now, we have piles of things like stereos, TVs, computers, cars that talk to us, sing to us, amuse or irritate us.
"We can let those things to sound better. You'll not be frustrated anymore."
"Words are like bullets; if they escape, you can't catch them again." -African proverb
WANT TO BE SUPER-SIZED?
Here are a few common TV snack goodies and what it would take to work them off, according to the L.A. Times Health section:
MIXED NUTS (3 ounces - 530 calories) Play a round of golf for 97 minutes sans cart.
NACHOS (Taco Bell - 450 calories) Play raquetball for 47 minutes.
CHICKEN WINGS (6 pieces - 460 calories) Compete in a fast-paced soccer game for 34 minutes.
PIZZA: (2 slices - 515 calories) - Ride a bicycle at 12-14 mph for 47 minutes.
BEER (12 ounces - 143 calories) Walk uphill at 3.5 mph for 17 minutes.
And Eric Mills with "Action for Animals" wrote that: "After 25 years in animal protection, I've come to believe that the majority of Americans would eat their own grandmother if she tasted good and was cheaper than chicken."
But blame "portion distortion" for the bloating of America.The typical serving has grown 25% since the mid-90s, and 61% of US adults are now classified as obese. That's big news!
"A mind is a terrible thing to taste. - Cannibal Adderley" (Gary Belkin)
SO LET'S EAT!
And here to further whet your appetite is some old-time lunch counter slang collected by the Times' Charles Perry, who says that the trail mix we call "Gorp" actually comes from the Old English "gawp" (opening wide) and by 1913 meant "to eat noisily or greedily." So much for "good old raisins and peanuts," eh?
If you went into a pitch-till-you-win, got in a baldheaded row and ordered broomsticks & pebbles, heavy on the bullets after loading up with some buckshot and squirrel juice; and then topped it off with fish eggs, roach cake, a hunk of lead and some beetle blood...what did you just eat? You sure weren't at a muffin party, that's for certs! (SEE BELOW)
"Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them." - Samuel Butler
TAKE A HIKE
Roger Steffens says that a woman was driving in Arizona when she saw a Navajo woman hitchhiking. Because the trip had been long and quiet, she stops the car and the Navajo woman climbs in.
During their small talk, the Navajo woman occasionally glances at a brown bag on the front seat between them.
"If you're wondering what's in the bag," offers the woman, "it's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."
The Navajo woman is silent, nods several times, and then says, "Good trade."
"Faking it is sometimes a crucial part of leadership." - Andrew Roberts, "Hitler & Churchill"
AND SPEAKING OF FAKES
I will soon be heard on two more "reality" shows, providing station breaks on a two-parter called "DNA: Guilty or Innocent" for CBS, and as the announcer for the upcoming nine-week run of "The Family" on ABC.As our pal Harry Shearer quoted from Gail Berman, a Fox Entertainment executive, on "Le Show" this Sunday on KCRW: "The monetization of reality is the key to this whole thing."
At least here at the Bank of Proctor...
Also, Proctor & Bergman's long-lost cult classic "J-Men Forever"has finally been made available in a sharp new DVD including an exclusive interview with the original Commando Cody (Rocket Jock) George D. Wallace, thanks to Night Flight's Stuart Shapiro.
Go to eclecticdvd.com for a copy!
"There is music in the midst of desolation/And a glory that shines upon our tears." - Laurence Binyon
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
"The Devil's name was Mengele. He came in with an impatient gait and ordered all those who had blue eyes to step forward...
Stripped bare, we approached in turn with arms raised high and he looked at our ribs. We had to do this at a pace, eins-zwei-drei, so that he wouldn't waste his valuable time. The ones who looked healthiest went out. The thinnest he grabbed under the chin with his thumb and forefinger -and with those two fingers threw them into a corner behind [a] cordon of Kapos. He did this impatiently, as though there were too many of us, as though we were wasting his valuable time because of us...
"So when Mengele grabbed me with his forked fingers and pitched me into the black corner, I didn't even stop but went back behind the hedge of Kapos. He could not have anticipated anything like that. It wouldn't even have crossed his mind. And I didn't get dressed like the others to remain until the next selection. I turned back and, with my arms raised to heaven, moved toward him again. He couldn't have recognized me. Naked, we all looked alike, didn't have faces. It couldn't have occurred to him. I walked past him when he was examining someone else, and went the only way out I had.
I made my own selection; I selected myself. He turned his head and looked at me, but the next one was approaching from the front at the pace he's established, eins-zwei-drei. He couldn't waste his valuable time."
(An excerpt from "Drohobycz, Drohobycz and Other Stories" by Henryk Grynberg, Penguin Books)
"Little by little we were taught all these things. We grew into them" -Adolph Eichmann
Pitch-till-you-win: All you can eat restaurant
Baldheaded Row: Restaurant booths
Broomsticks & Pebbles: Franks & Beans
Bullets: More beans
Squirrel Juice: Thin soup
Fish Eggs: Tapioca pudding
Roach Cake: Raisin cake
Hunk of Lead: Donut
Beetle Blood: Ale
Muffin Fight A tea party
"Did you hear about the seismologist who always rated earthquakes much too high on the Richter scale? He was generous to a fault." - From Chris Caracci
DUCT & COVER: http://www.solidarity.com/hkcartoons/duckandcover.html
SIGN UP: http://www.whitehouse.org/initiatives/patriot/index.asp
PAX PIX: http://www.hyperreal.org/~dana/
"I'm walking on water!" - Dr. David Walker, after a spill during Sunday's "Science of Mind" talk