Planet Proctor 2007 Volume 21

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” ~ Globus


        … from an amazing 16-day trip to London, Rome and Venice.  For those of you who can pursue the blessed opportunity of travel as we have done, this trip epitomized the philosophy of letting go and going with the flow – if you catch my drift.

        After a perfect trip to magical Rome, just missing a blistering one-week-long heat wave, where we enjoyed the end of summer “White Nights” festival with city-wide concerts, art exhibits and outdoor film screenings, as well as free subways on Saturday night, when all the shops were open from 9PM to 9AM the following day -- an apartment we were supposed to stay at in Bologna became inaccessible due to miscommunications all around, so Melinda suggested we train from Rome to Venice where we were able to book a few nights at our favorite little hotel, Il Bel Sito.

        Having a whiskey on the Piazza San Marco, we were amazed to see a huge stage at one end of the square and thousands of chairs set up all the way back to il duomo.  A symphonic rehearsal of sorts was in progress, and we recognized themes by the great Italian film composer, Ennio Morricone – who we were then informed was right there, in front of us, conducting the orchestra!

        To make a long story short, as the Italians probably don’t say, we got the LAST TABLE for the special concert on 11/9 – or 9/11, as we would say – when Morricone also premiered his musical soundscape collage dedicated to “The History of Suffering Mankind’” with a 200-person chorus. It was “magnifico!”  

        Our great adventure into Europe’s future and past was, however, interspersed with intense line-learning sessions in Hyde Park (surrounded by geese and ducks and swans), the Bolognese Park, and at a sun-drenched beach cabana on the Lido!

        We returned to immediate immersion in our multiple roles for Noel Coward’s “Tonight at 8:30” to be presented in two parts by the Antaeus Company at Deaf West, starting the end of October… TICKETS:

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. At least until you can arrange bail." ~Harry  (The Hat) Anderson


        I was amazed to see how consistently English and Italian media echoed events we thought we had left behind, including a run on a mortgage bank in London, a Pasta strike in Italy and more Iraq war criticisms. And then, there was the death of Pavarotti, which saddened and elated us while in Rome with people whistling, humming and singing “Nessun Dorma” everywhere…

        We returned on the night of the Emmys to hear that winner Sally Field was censored by Fox News.  According to Newsweek, what listeners heard was, “Let’s face it, if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no god –“ cutting off the rest of her statement “— damned wars in the first place!” and politically distorting her intention.

And right before we left, Pearl Jam had been similarly jammed on a webcast where the sung lines "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home” were dropped from “Daughter” another unsettling example of the Big Brother “net neutrality” paradigm.

This, of course, troubles us as artists,” the band responded, “but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media. AT&T's actions strike at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media."

Around the same time, Democratic Senator Tim Johnson returned from his health crisis, somewhat hindered in his ability to express himself. But he says, “I believe I have an unfair edge over most of my colleagues right now.  My mind works faster than my mouth does.’

“Washington,” he added, “would probably be a better place if more people took a moment to think before they spoke.”

"Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion."~ Madonna


A guy stuck his head into a barbershop and asked, "How long before I can get a haircut?” The barber looked around the shop full of customers and said, "About two hours." The guy left. A few days later the same guy stuck his head in the door and asked, "How long before I can get a haircut?" The barber looked around at the shop and said, "About three hours." The guy left. A week later the same guy stuck his head in the shop and asked, "How long before I can get a haircut?" The barber looked around the shop and said, "About an hour and a half." The guy left. The barber turned to a friend and said, "Hey, Bill, do me a favor. Follow that guy and see where he goes. He keeps asking how long he has to wait for a haircut, but then he doesn't ever come back." A little while later Bill returned to the shop. The barber asked, "So where does that guy go when he leaves?" Bill said, "Your house."

“Jesse and Frank James once spared a man's life because they liked the way he cooked chili.” ~ Phil’s Phunny Phacts


        When he was running for president, Theodore Roosevelt did not want photographers to show him playing tennis as he feared it’d make him look effeminate; and Lyndon Johnson liked to play golf, but always kept his score a secret. Martin van Buren's autobiography does not mention his wife, even once; and James Garfield was the only president to have been a preacher, although John Adams was once a Latin teacher

        Abraham Lincoln sometimes stored documents and important papers in his stovepipe hat; but Harry Truman's mother, a strong confederate sympathizer, refused to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom.

        Bill Clinton played saxophone in a high school jazz trio called "The Three Blind Mice" while Woodrow Wilson was blind in one eye; and a gun fired during his film career left then actor Ronald Reagan almost deaf in one ear. Ulysses S. Grant swabbed his throat each day with cocaine and became addicted.

        George Washington had 300 slaves when he passed on, and when Zachary Taylor died, his wife allowed an Italian artist to sketch his corpse.

        John Tyler was so poor after leaving Office, he was unable to pay a bill for $1.25 until he sold his corn crop.

        My, how times have changed…

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."~ Napoleon Bonaparte


The Chinese Communist dictatorship has now reached into the afterlife.  In what Newsweek calls "one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China's State Administration for Religious Affairs in Tibet have banned Buddhist monks from reincarnating without government permission.

China's hidden agenda, however, in barring expatriate monks from seeking reincarnation, is to squelch the influence of Tibet's spiritual and political leader, as it grants Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul is reborn to continue the work of relieving suffering traditionally in a new human body.

"This world will not be free until the last monarch is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."~ Voltaire


An Irishman is sitting at the end of a bar. He sees a lamp at the end of the table. He walks down to it and rubs it. Out pops a genie. It says, "I will give you three wishes."  

The man thinks awhile. Finally he says, "I want a beer that never is empty." With that, the genie makes a poof sound and on the bar is a bottle of beer. The Irishman starts drinking it and right before it is gone, it starts to refill.

The genie asks about his next two wishes.

        The man says, "I want two more of these."

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." ~ John Bright


        More jobs of the once not-so-rich-and-famous, from Eddie “The Greaser” Deezen: Sinead O'Connor delivered kiss-o-grams dressed in a French maid's outfit while Ellen Degeneres shucked oysters. (No comment.)

        And speaking of food, Ashton Kutcher worked in a Cheerios factory while Arthur Miller was a bakery delivery boy and Jon Bon Jovi flipped patties at "Burger King".

        Little Richard washed dishes, John Lennon sang Christmas carols, David Lee Roth was a hospital orderly and producer Dick Clark, naturally, worked as an office boy.  Our dear late friend, Phil Hartman, was a graphic designer and in fact painted the cover for the Firesign Theatre’s “Fighting Clowns” album right before he struck it rich on SNL.

        Wyatt Earp drove a stagecoach while Jack London shoveled coal, and Hans Christian Andersen worked in a cigarette factory (poor little match boy…) and fittingly, while Bob "Gilligan" Denver was a teacher, Vin Diesel prepared for his future as a big screen tough guy by training as a bouncer!

“All receive advice. Only the wise profit from it.” ~ Publilius Syrus


        Faithful Planeteer Garry Margolis supplied us with this glimpse at the future G.W. Bush Museum, which will contain the following:

        The Alberto Gonzales Room - Where you can't remember any of the exhibits.

        The Hurricane Katrina Room – (Still under construction.)

        The Texas Air National Guard Room - You don't have to even show up.

        The Walter Reed Hospital Room - They won't let you in.

        The Guantanamo Bay Room - They won't let you out.

        The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room – Nobody can find it.

        The War in Iraq Room - After your first tour is finished they can force you to go back again and again and again…

        The Dick Cheney Room - In an undisclosed location, you can shoot a close friend in the face.

        Later, check out the K-Street Project Gift Shop where you can buy an election, or if no one’s monitoring it, steal one; and don't forget to visit the Men's Room for a meet and meat with a Republican Senator!

        There will also be an entire floor devoted a 7/8 scale model of the President's ego.

When asked about the plans, the President said he didn't care so much about the individual exhibits as long as his museum was “better than his father's.”

“A newspaper account of the death of Marcel Marceau reported that he ‘went quietly’.” ~ Paul Ross


        That’s how the L.A. Times’ Lewis Segal writes of the late Marcel Marceau in a moving tribute in Calendar, which ends with this touching observation:

        “For me, Bip was the reality, Marceau a kind of invisible conjurer…But alas, there’ll be no obituary for Bip, no tribute to him from the government of France, even though we knew him a lot better…and will miss him just as much.

        “Together, they proved to me and to so many others that the realm of art is as palpable as any dimension of existence, and I like to believe that both are still walking through time, in whatever reality lies beyond youth, maturity, old age and death.  Rest in peace, both of you.  We’ll all see you again soon enough.”

        In their honor, let us all now join together in a minute of noise…

“You can lead a horse to water, but a cat can run up the curtains.” ~ Fred Willard, to be honored by Actors and Others for Animals, November 3rd


Debbie Palshus, Gregg Berger, Bill Coombs, JW Reynolds, Patty Paul, Nick Oliva, the people of Rome and London and Venice, Lily Rains, who arranged our trio and our dear neighbors, Hans and Vera , who took care of the Little Miss and watered the plants during the heat wave we left behind, and again, to Cristofer Gross, for the pumped-up PDF Planet graphics, here attached.

 “Not all those who wander are lost. “~  J. R. R. Tolkien







 “In the land of the greed, and the home of the grave…” ~ Phil Proctor

© 2007 by Phil Proctor
Published September 26, 2007