The New Nativity

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from WalMart that all the world should buy cheap TVs and waffle irons made by slave labor. And all went to buy cheap items, every one into his own city.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night and eating hormone injected turkey with instant mashed potatoes. And, lo, the CEO of Target came upon them, and the glory of Best Buy shone round about them: and they were sore and afraid.

And the angel of Kmart said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great savings, which shall be to all people who hath credit cards.

For unto you is born this night in the city of Toys “R” Us a sale, which is called Black Friday. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find other shepherds, truck drivers, and telephone sanitizers in line to purchase cheap shit. You shall also find babes wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in shopping carts because their parents could not find babysitters.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising Savings, and saying, Glory to Money in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward corporations.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto the mall, and see this thing which is come to pass, which hath been made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found TVs, waffle irons, Barbies, and pepper spray. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this sale. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But some who heard kept all these things, and pondered them in their hearts.

Random Movie Review – Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get Your Gun

Director:
George Sidney

Writers:
Sidney Sheldon – Screenplay
Herbert Fields & Dorothy Fields – Book
Irving Berlin – Music & Lyrics

Cast: 
Betty HuttonAnnie Oakley
Howard KeelFrank Butler
Louis CalhernCol. Buffalo Bill Cody
J. Carrol NaishChief Sitting Bull
Edward ArnoldPawnee Bill
Keenan WynnCharlie Davenport

Country:
USA

Language:
English

Release Date:
17 May 1950

Awards:
1950 Photoplay Awards: Most Popular Female Star – Betty Hutton

1951 Academy Awards (Oscars): Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture – Adolph Deutsch, Roger Edens; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color – Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis, Richard Pefferle (Nominated); Best Cinematography, Color – Charles Rosher (Nominated); Best Film Editing – James E. Newcom (Nominated)

1951 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture Actress, Musical/Comedy – Betty Hutton (Nominated)

1951 Writers Guild of America: Best Written American Musical – Sidney Sheldon

Ratings:
USA: NR
Common Sense Rating: Age 6
IMDB: 7.1/10
Netflix: 3.4/5
Metacritic: 77

Annie Get Your Gun is a Musical from the Golden Age of Musicals. It may be hard to understand this here in the 22nd Century or whateverthehell century we’re in, but people used to burst into song and dance at a moment’s notice. A guy would be walking down a street in New York, New York and he would just start singing “New York, New York.” Soon a full orchestra would be playing (although you might not see them) and everybody else on the street would be singing and dancing with him.

Or a guy would go out in the rain and start singing and dancing in the rain about how much in love he is. Or a gal would be washing her hair and start singing about how she’s not only washing her hair but also washing out her memory banks about some guy, who is probably singing and dancing somewhere else.

This sort of thing used to happen all the time. No kidding. Ask your parents or grandparents about it. But don’t believe what they tell you, they’re lying. Or senile.

It’s just one of the those things that changes over time, like smiling. Ever notice that nobody ever smiles in those old timey photographs?

That’s because the smile had not been invented yet. The smile as we know it is a reasonably new invention. It wasn’t until sometime in the mid 19th century that a French dude named Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne (de Boulogne) discovered that contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle and the orbicularis oculi muscle at the same time produced what came to be known as le smile and that a smile is a curve that sets everything straight, increases your face value, and can occasionally be your umbrella.

Although the act of smiling quickly caught on in France, it was frowned on by the more pietistic leaders in the USA and UK. As The Most Reverend Thorsten Brinkoff Van Hannen said, “A smile on your face is the Devil’s doormat.” It wasn’t until the 1920s and 30s that people began to feel free to smile in public without fear of being thought of as “a demon possessed lip curler.” Around the late 60s and early 70s the smile began to become more socially acceptable due to a number of factors including the Beach Boys recording an album named SMiLE and Mary Tyler Moore turning the world on with hers.

So there it is, here in the 38th century we don’t sing and dance anymore, but we smile occasionally. Life goes on.

Annie Get Your Gun debuted on Broadway in 1946 with Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley. When they made the movie version in 1950 they passed up Merman for Judy Garland, who had to back out because of health problems. After that the part of Annie went to Betty Hutton, an adorable actress who sang and mugged her way through a lot of musicals and comedies in the 40s and 50s.

Now there really was an Annie Oakley and a Frank Butler and a “Buffalo Bill” Cody who really had a Wild West Show that toured the US and Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This show featured Oakley and Butler, but aside from that don’t base your historical treatise about Annie Oakley on a Broadway musical. Like any musical of this era, you just have to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.

In AGYG’s telling of events, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show comes to Cincinnati, Ohio just as a very scruffy Annie Oakley comes through town looking to sell some game that she’s caught. Frank Butler, the show’s marksman, challenges any man in town to a shooting match, and the local hotelier enters Oakley – who can “shoot the fuzz off a peach” – into the contest. After some initial hesitation about competing against a girl, the contest gets underway. Annie beats Frank and Buffalo Bill asks her to join the show. As it turns out, Annie cleans up pretty good and ends up looking like…well…Betty Hutton. She and Frank fall in love after a couple of songs, but there’s a complication. Annie can do trick shots that make Frank look like an amateur, that hurts his widdle male ego. How can our lovebirds stay together? No spoilers here, you’ll just have to see the movie.

Like I said, you don’t expect wine dark realism from a 1950s musical. It’s a pretty cleaned up depiction of the era as well, this ain’t Lonesome Dove or Deadwood. The main problem that modern viewers will have is with the depiction of Indians in the movie. In the beginning number Charlie Davenport sings that the cast of the show includes “500 Indians and 50 Squaws.” These are to provide background for the heroes of the show like Butler and Cody, they would hoop and holler and recreate stagecoach attacks and such, and just in the nick of time the stars of the show would save the day from the “very notable, cut your throatable Indians.”

In this movie, Indians are basically comic relief of the “ugh” and “how” variety, but Annie treats them with respect and Sitting Bull becomes a father figure to her. My feeling is that you have to take stereotypes and attitudes from this era for what they were, most white people at the time were ignorant at best about other cultures. We can look down our nose at them all we want, but our great grandchildren will probably do the same to art from our generation. Darn no respect whippersnappers!

Betty Hutton is great and puts a lot of energy and fun into the part, at one point she even mimics Howard Keel‘s baritone singing voice. Keenan Wynn was a favorite because he played a villain in so many Disney movies when I was a kid. Trivia question: What popular 70s and 80s TV show had both Keel and Wynn as regular characters (but not together, they appeared in different seasons)?

The Misplaced Boy MST3K Scale:

If you can ignore historical and political incorrectness, the movie is a typically breezy musical with a lot of songs that you’ll probably recognize. I’m giving it a…

Mike Nelson

Random Quote Whore Quote:

Annie Get Your Gun is a hornlike, necessarian, delichon of a movie! Betty Hutton is sure!!!

Always Say Never

Never trust someone who says “Just trust me.”

Never use a hard bristle toothbrush.

Never worry about what anyone thinks of you except for God and your Mama. If you’re an orphaned atheist, then you’re home free.

Never turn your back on a friend or family member, no matter how annoying they get.

Never start eating your popcorn until the first preview starts.

Never lie. It’s usually a bad idea and you’re probably not very good at it anyway.

Never be afraid to try something new, provided that it doesn’t violate any laws of a civil society, basic decency, or physics.

Never be afraid of failure. Abraham Lincoln blah blah blah…

Never take a sunset, rainy day, or kiss for granted.

Never be afraid to laugh at your own jokes.

Never point at someone unless you’re telling them how great they are.

Never forget that no matter how cool, funny, smart, or good looking you are, some people are going to think you stink worse than last year’s cole slaw. They’re not worth your time.

Never cut off your integrity, it doesn’t grow back.

Never be mean.

Never ignore that still, small voice in the back of your head, especially when it says “Run.”

Never fail to tell someone you love them. It might be your last chance.

Never interrupt other people.

And, most importantly…

Never give up.

George W. Bush Facebook Status Updates

Since June 2 of this year, former occupant of the White House George W. Bush has been on Facebook. Since I know that most of my fervent readers have simply been too busy to check out Dubya’s page for yourselves, I have diligently scoured the page for any interesting insights into what has been on the mind of Mr. Mission Accomplished since he left Washington.

Here I present a few of his status updates for your enlightenment:

June 2, 2010My name is George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United Estates. Glad to be here on Spacebook. I look forward to hearing from all my friends on the Internets.

June 4, 2010Laura and I had some *alone* time the other night. Know what I’m sayin’? All I’m gonna say is, somebody around here needs to clear some brush, and it aint me.

June 5, 2010I wonder why I haven’t heard from Cheney. Hey Dick Heart, gimme a call!

June 7, 2010 - Next time you’re in Texas, be sure to visit the George W. Bush Museum & Gift Shop. Careful with the pretzels though, they’ll get ya! LOL!

June 7, 2010Folks ask me what I miss most about livin’ in the White House. I’d have to say goin’ to the White House pool and seeing Condi in her bikini. Schwing!!! LOL!

June 8, 2010What’s wrong with that Miley Cyrus and her little outfits? I guess all girls can’t be role models like Jenna and Barbara Jr.

June 10, 2010Ha ha ha, Al & Tipper Gore are getting divorced! Only Republicans have good marriages becuz we have family values.

June 11, 2010People are callin’ that oil spill thing “Obama’s Katrina.” That’s a good thing, right? Cuz Brownie and I did a heckuva job on that Katrina thing.

June 11, 2010I wonder why I haven’t heard from Condi, hey Wonder Twins gimme a call!

June 12, 2010Just thought I oughta answer the question that everybody wants to know from the Perzident, so here goes. Ginger, man. Definitely Ginger.

June 13, 2010Y’know them Secret Service boys can’t take a joke. I paid some neighbor kids $10 to act like they were gonna shoot me with some water pistols. Damn, reckon I’ll have to send their parents a sympathy card.

June 14, 2010 - I like that Lady Gaga cuz she shows her ass in her videos. LOL. I like ass.

June 14, 2010I wonder why I keep hearing from Rove. Hey Turd Blossom, get a life!

June 15, 2010Hey, don’t forget that my new book ‘Decidery Points’ comes out in November. I hear it’s pretty good.

Jesus! vs Darwin!

Jesus! vs Darwin!, originally uploaded by The Searcher (Derek Chatwood)

Jesus Christ

Positives: Impressive stamina. Historically known for taking a beating, staying on his feet. Has history of miraculous resurrection.
Negatives: Invented Pacifism. Dangerous habit of turning the other cheek.

Charles Darwin

Positives: Invented Natural Selection. Understands what’s at stake with “Survival of the Fittest”.
Negatives: Theology student, nearly became an Anglican parson. Mixed feelings punching his Lord’s Only Son and Savior in the face.

Inspired by the Creation Museum that opened deep in the craw of Kentucky this month. Proudly displays dinosaurs mingling with Adam and Eve, less than 6000 years ago. Noah had some on the ark, but apparently they sinned once they got here.

Larger one here.
Prints, too.

Uploaded by The Searcher on 30 Jun 07, 11.10PM PST.

Boys! Boys! Don’t fight, you’re both pretty!

How to survive a Death Panel

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I came across a great meme on Twitter tonight for anyone who is concerned about the inevitability of Death Panels under evil Obamacare. All of these posts come from Tweeter Victor Abrahamsen under the hashtag #howtosurviveadeathpanel:

  1. Gentlemen, dress for success: ill-fitting suits and loose collars just won’t do. Leave a good first impression!
  2. A basket of fresh mini muffins is always a crowd pleaser.
  3. Ladies, simplify, simplify, simplify. Save the heavy makeup for your next night out.
  4. A tabbed folder will help keep your paperwork organized. No dogears!
  5. No one wants a cold, wet handshake. Use a cocktail napkin and hold the glass in your left hand.
  6. Gentlemen, your cologne should never wear you. For the best impression, spray, delay, walk away.
  7. One word: Puppies!
  8. Ladies, ankles should cross when you’re seated. Good posture shows a confident attitude.
  9. Kids! Don’t forget: an apple a day keeps the Death Panel away!
  10. If you’re in New York, talk about the Yankees and Mets. In Boston? The Red Sox. In DC? Skip baseball altogether.

The Secret History of 'The Inklings' 3.0

This is the third version of this that I’ve posted (the other two were on Facebook). I reserve the right to continue until I a) get it right, or b) it implodes due to the immense weight of its own ridiculousness: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Birdandbaby.jpg

Many people know that C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Charles Williams, and many other literary lights met every Tuesday night at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, England and they were collectively known as ‘The Inklings.’

 Meet the Inklings

What most people don’t know is that ‘The Inklings’ were also a rock and roll band and went around England solving crime and battling evil using their superpowers.

J.R.R. Tolkein played lead guitar and sang vocals. He also had the ability to bend space and time through the prolonged pronunciation of his complete name. In fact, since his reported death in 1973 many residents of Bournemouth, England have reported sightings of JRRT and rumors abound that he used his time bending skills to somehow prolong his life.

C.S. Lewis played rhythm guitar and sang vocals. He did not have superpowers in a technical sense, but was uncannily adept at the use of medieval weapons such as the sword and crossbow.

Charles Williams was the drummer for most of the band’s run. He was a last minute substitution after their original drummer Amanda McKittrick Ros was let go. Williams was a capable drummer, but was the most conflicted member of the group. His powers consisted of an ability to turn the dark arts and occult practices against the band’s opponents.

‘The Inklings’ had a long succession of bass players throughout their history including H.V.D Dyson, Nevill Coghill, J.A.W. Bennett, Dr. Robert Emlyn Humphrey, U.Q. Havard, Lord Edward Christian David Gascoyne-Cecil, and Roger Green, all of whom died mysteriously during the band’s performances.

After Lewis married Joy Gresham, she encouraged him to push the band into more experimental directions. This caused a rift among the members that led to the breakup of the band and a marked increase in British evil.