Planet Proctor 2004 Volume 02

"Democrats are the party of 'tax and spend'; Republicans are the party of 'don't tax - and spend.'" ~ L.A. Times columnist Janet Hook 

 ODDS ...

        Brrrr. We're roving on Mars but we might as well have brought Mars to Earth with temperatures in the East recently hitting -102 in wind-blown New Hampshire. Maybe we can survive on the rusty planet after all. But remeber, as they say in the science of robotics, "You shouldn't anthropomorphize robots. They don't like it."

        Tacoma, Washington was found recently to be the most stressful city to live in in the United States.  Austins take note!

        And after the recent devastating earthquake that leveled the ancient Iranian city of Bam (who says Allah doesn't have a sense of humor?) the government made it clear they would refuse any aid from the "Zionist regime" of Israel.  

        Our pal Charlie Moed is heading over there this very day with Operation USA to deliver medical supplies.  Good Luck, Charles.

            "Here on earth, God's work must truly be our own." ~JFK


        In an article by Stephen Bayley, author of "A Dictionary of Idiocy" from Gibson Square Books, London, he writes that in Greece the original meaning of the word "idiot" was "a person of strong and independent views who was unafraid to air them."  He also points out that extroverted lab rats live longer than politically correct ones.

         "Surely to be opinionated," he says, "is to be in possession of the juice that lubricates the moves of civilization." And as Ludwig Wittgenstein noted, "if people never did silly things, nothing worthwhile would ever happen."

What an idiot!

        Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" is out in a new translation and the L.A. Times book review by Alexander Nehamas points out that it's the longest novel in the world containing 1.4 millon words in over 3, 000 pages to introduce almost 400 characters.  "One of its prodigious sentences, " writes Nehamas, "is 970 words long [and] the account of a single dinner takes up 130 pages."

        Publisher Alfred Humbolt, one of many who rejected "Swann's Way" in 1913 said, "I just don't understand why a man should take thirty pages to describe how he turns over in bed before he goes to sleep; it made my head swim."

        And some of you complain about the Planet's length!  Vas te foutre!

    "What kind of holy war is this? Is it a holy war to kill innocent Iraqi people? They should kill Americans." ~ Bombing victim's neighbor, Jabbar Challub


        More wonderful spam scrambles received this week...

        "Shallot showroom cent eduardo common pygmy reminisce denture again quip spinnaker spatterdock unital doctoral cowlick marcia onion tableaux."

        "Irradiate lighthearted vagina sophocles tapestry proletariat illuminate bark chutney magdalene inexcusable huddle lucia martensite emancipate impotent strove concubine maidenhair skew."

        And a puzzling request from a foreign fan...

        "I am a great Fan of you and your Synchronasitons for example in Rugrats and I would be very happy if you could fullfuilll my wish Would you please send me one or two resigned photos of your?"

 "Every people deserves the leader it gets." ~ Sayed Nassar in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat


        From The New Scientist's annual Feedback competition is this invented scientific word, defined "in an appropriately pompous way":

        "Coyotus Interruptus -- A momentary suspension of the law of gravity, usually accompanied by the sudden realization of impending gravitational acceleration.

        "The term is derived from the name of its discoverer, Wile E. Coyote (Carnivorous vulgaris), who often observed the phenomenon when, in pursuit of Road Runner (Accelerati incredibilis), he was propelled at high velocity from a precipice of sedimentary rock by an apparatus of his own contrivance or by a commercial product, such as Fleet-Foot Jet-Propelled Tennis Shoes (ACME, Inc)."  

              From Jacqueline Jaeger Houtman, Madison, Wisconsin.

  "We're going to fix the sound barrier that Chuck Yaeger broke." ~ Roy Martin, sonic-boom dampening test pilot


        Our beloved Mr. Blackwell (or is itour beloved Harry Shearer?) came out of the closet with his latest Worst/Best Dressed list, and some of the worst are the best.

        Paris Hilton: How are yu gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?  Grab the blinders, here comes Paris.  From cyber disgrace to red carpet chills - she's the vapid Venus of Beverly Hills.

        Diane Keaton: In prudish fashion pitfalls that bury her beauty, it could be Queen Victoria on jury duty. Dowdy, dumpy and frumpy!

        Jessica Simpson: Forget putting her stylist on suspension - just clean out that closet and hire a magician!

        Melanie Griffith: Melanie defines "fatal fashion folly" - a botoxed cockatoo in a painting by Dali.

        Celine Dion: Half sequined scarecrow, half gaudy acrobat - is it Abe Lincoln in drag? ... I'll leave it at that!!

        And so will I...

           "Amish men average 18,000 steps a day."~ Phil's Phunny Phacts


        Planet explorer Bill Coombs writes that one evening at dinner, he mentioned an article he'd read where an actor complained about having to remain "celibate for months" while shooting in a remote location.  His nine-year-old son asked what 'celibate' meant, and they explained as best they could.  

        After thinking for a few minutes, he said, "I don't know what's so difficult about that. I've been celibate for nine years!"

   "Every time I walk into a singles bar, I can hear Mom's wise words: "Don't pick that up, you don't know where it's been.'" ~ Bill Coombs


        A jumper cable walks into a bar; the barman says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

        A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says, "Sorry we don't serve food in here."

        A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

        Two peanuts walk into a bar. One was a salted.

        A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

    Thank you. I'll be here all week. In the bar. And thanks, too, to Mary Willard.

   "Read in a relaxed and laid-back manner, but not stoned." ~ Voice-over audition instructions


        Science writer Lewis Jones investigates the Jewish taboo against pork in the December  issue of Skeptical Briefs, and quotes Sir James George Frazier in "The Golden Bough" who wrote that "some of the Jews used to meet secretly in gardens to eat the flesh of swine and mice as a religious rite,"

        The oft-voiced idea that pigs were considered disease-bearing is debunked by the observation that T Spiralis, or the trichinosis-inducing parasitic worm, was not proved to be injurious to man until 1859!

        He speculates that the real reason swine-flesh is considered "an abomination" in such texts as the Koran, is that, according to William Hargood in "Mythology's Lost Gods,"

 "The pig...had been worshipped as Ashtaroth. And for that reason, the eating of her body, once sacramental, had become taboo..."

        Be that as it may or may not be, the work "pork" may not even be uttered today on Pakistani TV and religious police in Muslim countries customarily destroy images of Miss Piggy in toy stores.

        And although the Chinese cleverly avoid the controversy by calling pork, "mutton", comedian Chris Rock probably sums it all up best when he says, "Hey, God!  I killed a bunch of kids - but I ate right!"

    "Apparently, the world didn't need an ice cream with fish oil." ~ Food reformulator Colleen Zammer


        Kudos to late award-winning actress, writer and teacher Uta Hagen, which means "outside of the garden" in Norwegian. Well, she's in it now --if her ashes were scattered there, that is.  

        Born in Germany, she soon found her footing in America as a young girl on the boards and after being blacklisted with husband Mel Ferrer, she said,

        "McCarthy kept me pure. I might have been tempted by Hollywood [and] gotten lost in all that crap."

        Among other giants of the stage and screen who studied with her at the Hagen/Berghoff studio in the Village was this pygmy, your humble, etc.

        As actor David Hyde Pierce so aptly put it, "The American theater has lost its patron saint." Brava, Brava! She was 84.

        We also saw the passing of Harold von Braunhut, inventor of Sea Monkeys, who turned out to be a racist and anti-Semite, even though he was born a Jew himself.  Maybe he was trying to create a new 'master race."

        Also exiting down left was author of "The First Wives Club", Olivia Goldsmith, only 54.  As L.A. Times obit writer Mary Rourke notes, she "used humor to lighten her cautionary tales about marital infidelity, corporate corruption and the cosmetic surgery boom."  

        She died in NYC "of complications from elective plastic surgery."

"Do you design the future or does the future design you?" ~ Futurist Stephen Valentine


        And a final farewell to J.K. McEldowney.  Who?  A famous Hollywood florist who complained once to his wife, a publicist for MGM, about one of her studio's films. She dared him to do better, so he sold his home and business and from 1947-1951 managed to produce the first Technicolor film ever made in India, called "The River," based on a romantic novel about the British colonial occupation which garnered over $16 million worldwide.

        But McEldowney never made another film.

        "I did it once, " he said, "I made my point."

  "To be able to organize a near-perfect government." ~ Shoe designer Manolo Blahnick, asked in Vanity Fair for his greatest desire


        A billion seconds ago, it was 1959. A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive. A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate Washington spends it.

     "Even my clothes have betrayed me." ~ Saddam Hussein

     "Experience doesn't teach us; we are the teacher." ~ Dr. David Walker

2004 by Phil Proctor
Published JANUARY 20, 2004