Planet Proctor 2003 Volume 10
NOW, 'AT'S-A SCARY!
Newly appointed Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge told a Senate Subcommittee today that a new wave of Roberto Benigni movies in the United States was "inevitable."
"For a long time Roberto Benigni movies were a far away problem," Ridge testified. "They occurred in distant European theatres, only affecting the Italians. But now the threat of future Benigni films on the home front is very real."
Already a huge star in Europe, Benigni was recently allowed to release a live-action version of the classic story "Pinocchio in the U.S., causing fear and anxiety among a nation of already jittery American children. Tragically, studios in the U.S. unleashed the film nationwide without a previewing, which is customary for foreign films staring Benigni and French actor Gerard Depardieu.
"As an American I am outraged that Benigni could continue to release movies right here in our backyard," said filmgoer Dave Story. "I know the Holocaust was awful, but the people who died in Auschwitz should consider themselves lucky that they didn't have to watch 'Life is Beautiful.' I'd personally rather be gassed."
Ironically, the 1998 film "Life is Beautiful," considered Benigni's most heinous act of aggression against the American viewing public, earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor. According to several Congressional sources, that will never happen again.
Ridge answered questions posed by members the Subcommittee on the possible European backlash over the new alert. Ridge dismissed the entire continent and their filmmaking skills as "irrelevant," saying we must focus on finding the sources of these films and freeze their funds immediately.
Ridge has offered to create a new coded system to gauge the threat of future U.S. released Benigni movies -- low level threat occurs when Benigni is safely making non-subtitled movies in Italy, a mid-level threat occurs when American studio executives meet or discuss future projects with Benigni's agent over lunch.
In the rare case that an English-language Benigni movie be complete with a domestic movie release date set, "we immediately go to DEFCON 1. But let's pray it never comes to that."
- Tyler Reisinger (C) 2002, Bob From Accounting/Orange Planet Entertainment, Inc.
"George M. Cohan's 'It's a Grand Old Flag' was originally titled 'It's a Grand Old Rag'." ~ Gary Belikn, http://www.melodylane.net/standards4.html
A FAQUIR FAKE BOOK
Sing when Caught Between Iraq And A Hard Place! By Dean Christopher & Barry Zweig
It's Saudi Duty Time, This Scud Be The Start Of Something New, Oman The Range, Papa's Got A Brand New Baghdad, Kuwait Till You See Her, Here's That Irani Day...
I Love A Brigade, Moon Over My Army, Marine, (The Dawn Is Breaking), Tanks For The Memories, I Clobber The Waterfront, Who Put The Bomb, In The Bomb, de Bomb, Bomb, Boulevard Of Broken Pavements, I Want To Hold Your Land, These Fuelish Things Remind me of U.S.
Cairo Mubarek To Old Virginny, Alexandria's Ragtime Band, Long Ago And Fahd Away, Bedouin The Beguine, I've Grown Accustomed To Her Fez, I Can't Get No Saudis' Faction, If You Knew Saudi Like I Knew Saudi, oh, oh, oh what a war...
Emir Bist Du Schoen, Allah Be Around, The Amman I Love, Mother Of All Machrees, Saddam, You're Rockin' The Boat, Saddam Of These Days, and As Saddam Goes By...
"The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."~ George W. Bush, Jan. 29, 2003
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Signs hoisted by protestors marching outside the Academy (Ah) Wars Show included: "Apocalypse, No!, I See Dead People ,and The Sick Sense"; and on the pro-war side of the Hollywood Street, "What Would John Wayne Do?" (Stay home and make movies, according to Hamilton Camp.)
"I'm protesting that this war is the hottest reality show on TV," said marcher Jane Kennedy; while Inside the Kodak Theater, Michael Moore --didn't he back Nader? -- fired one across the bows as he denounced "fictitious elections that elected a fictitious president...sending us to war for fictitious reasons."
"The teamsters," quipped host Steve Martin, "are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo."
Meanwhile in the factious non-fictitious world, Iraquis are beginning to speak out to relatives in America, leading Tamara Darweesh, now residing here, to say to the L.A. Times: "Saddam is an Arab leader who has killed more Arabs that Israel ever has," and, she adds, "I'm so disappointed with the left. They are in complete denial."
Finally, an Iraqi residing in Cairo, says, "You have no idea of the fear in Iraq, the cruelty of the regime...If someone knocked on my door and he was an American...I would say, 'Welcome.' If Satan himself knocked on my door and said that, I would say, 'Welcome.'"
"I and my brother hate our cousin but my cousin and I hate the invader." ~ Old Egyptian Saying
ALL THINGS FIRESIGN
John Elliott of Madison, Wisconsin recently wrote to "All Things Considered" on NPR, "I can only commend you for your what appears to be regular features by the Firesign Theatre on National Public Radio.
"I see them as an antidote to your apparent attempts to reach out to the dreaded 'middle America.' I should also add that Firesign Theater actually seems to have gotten funnier; their wits are sharper than ever."
To order a copy of our latest CD, "All Things Firesign" on Artemis Records, go to Amazon.com and tell 'em Phil sent ya - Only $14.99!
"I asked all my French-speaking friends what 'Je ne sais quoi' means and they keep telling me they don't know." ~ Ivan's Jokes
SADDAM FOUND - LIVE ON STAGE
Steven Alan Green is producing a new one-man show starring none other than soon-to-be former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. In his first foray into fringe theatre since the Allied bombing, "Saddy!" takes us on a fascinating journey through his troubled childhood in a free society all the way up to and including the joys of dictatorship.
Learn for yourself how being the tyrant of the world's most dangerous country can challenge one's self-esteem; his impressions of both President Bushes are both subtle as well as eerie.
(This is a cigar-smoking event. No audience members will be allowed out of the theatre. Anyone talking during the performance will be summarily executed. Armored Valet parking available.)
"They call Saddam's adviser Ali Hassan al-Majidt, 'Chemical Ali' - but don't ask for a 'bio.'" ~ Phil's Phunny Phacts
IN THE NOOSE
People in Lardal, Norway reported seeing a UFO burst onto flames in the night sky and plunge to earth. But investigators think they solved the mystery after finding the charred body of a cat at the foot of a power pole. They believe the unlucky cat climbed up and touched a live wire, causing it to explode, reports Aftenposten. (Me -OWWW!)
Speaking of things falling from the sky, Aloysius Casey, retired Air Force space expert, said in the LA Times, that the present chances of another shuttle failure is about 98.4%. Such a rate in commercial flights translates to 640 crashes a year, noted Steven Wallace, investigating the Columbia disaster.
Then, American Indians suing the U.S. for billions in profits from appropriated land, learned after a $20 million study that they actually owe the government -- $60.94.
Meanwhile, in a case for gay rights at the Supreme Court, Cheap Justice Scalia offered his opinion that "moral disapproval of homosexuality" is a 200-year old American tradition, and asserted that states had the right to ban gays from teaching kindergarten since children "could be induced to follow the path of homosexuality", a comment met with groans and glares from other justices.
Just like "Yankees" came from the common early Dutch name "Jan Kees", "Shock and Awe" was inspired by the fierce Florida "Shawkinaw" Indians, not "Shucks, Y'all" as some wags have suggested. And what's all this about reporters being "in bedded" with the troops? Or is it "indebted" to the troops? It's great to back our fighting forces, but isn't this going a little too far?
"It probably looked good on paper." - John Gebler on the war, LA Times letters
WHAT'S SO FUNNY?
What's the five-day forecast for Baghdad? - Two days.
What is the Iraqi air force motto? - "I came, I saw, Iran."
What is the best Iraqi job? - Foreign ambassador.
What do Saddam and Custer have in common? - They aked "Where're those Tomahawks coming from!"
What do Miss Muffet and Hussein have in common? - Both have Kurds in their way; and why does the Iraqi navy have glass bottom boats? - So they can see their air force.
"Al Rasheed - It's More Than a Hotel" is the actual motto of the place where a secret underground army command center is rumored to be located. -Phil's Phunny Phacts
BLAST FROM THE PAST
In going through stacks of unused clippings recently, I came across a yellowed piece from the '91 Gulf War, about the behavior of Iraqi troops in Kuwait:
At the zoo, after killing two wolves, a black leopard and wounding an elephant, a general personally shot a baboon after feeding a live donkey to the lions, one of whom was grievously injured by a grenade tossed at it. The soldiers then ate the llamas, gazelles and a porcupine.
At Entertainment City, a children's amusement park in Doha, they somehow stole the entire "Arabian Carousel", all the mini-cars from the Grand Prix course and smashed the "Atom Smasher" ride.
Finally, after looting Sindad's Magic Shop they cut up a player piano and used live ammo at the Wild West Shooting Gallery. Lest we forget who the animals are.
"Atomic Accuracy in Any U.S. Time Zone!" - Motto for a radio-controlled watch
BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Rising young writer Amanda Davis went down in a plane in her native state of North Carolina last week, ending a promising career at the age of 32. Among her early well-received books was a collection of short stories called "Circling the Drain." She was on her way to a reading of her latest, Wonder When You'll Miss Me."
Fellow writer Michael Chabon, author of "Wonder Boys" says, "As with many people who are both small of stature and truly funny, there was something fierce" about her.
And bring the gavel down on the 50-year career of flamboyant former Senator Daniel Pat Moynihan. As fellow Senator Charles Schumer notes, "It's very hard to find consensus among 19 million New Yorkers, but just about every one...loved Pat Moynihan."
"What do you think is going on with France? - (pause) They're French." ~ Bush Senior in Newsweek
NOW WHERE WAS I?
Chris Riser, a veteran of Desert Storm writes, "As we head for war with Iraq, Americans should reflect and be grateful for combat sacrifices made by our veterans, such as Sen. Inouye (lost an arm), Sen. John McCain (six years as a POW), Bob Kerrey (lost a leg) and Max Cleland (lost both legs and an arm).
"However, we veterans are most impressed by the sacrifices of Vietnam-era veteran George W. Bush, who lost his memory for nearly a whole year from mid-1972 to mid 1973, concerning where he was and what he was doing when he was supposed to be serving in the Texas Air National Guard."
"She's young, she's happy, she's Ralph." ~ Copy for Ralph Lauren perfume
THE MUSIC RACKET
I also found a piece sent me by the dear, late Avery Schreiber, from "The Little, Brown Book Of Anecdotes" about avant-garde composer George Anthiel.
In 1924, his "Ballet Mechanique" was performed at Carnegie Hall, scored for fire siren, automobile horns, and an airplane propeller. After a few minutes, an aged gentleman in the orchestra seats tied his handkerchief to his cane and waved a white flag; to which film director Alfred Hitchcock might have added:
"I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made tones never equaled the great purity of sound achieved by the struggling pig. "
"I'm planning to retire and live off my savings. What I'll do the second day, I have no idea."~ Richard Schulenberg