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Monday, December 24, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Stuff and a few other things

Favorite Christmas movies (No real order): The Christmas Carol with Alister Sims as Scrooge, which is about an old miser that mistreats his help being scared out of his wits by ghost (Why would I like that?).
Christmas Vacation and White Christmas: I associate these two together because of a line Chevy Chase utters it Christmas Vacation. I prefer White Christmas to Holiday Inn (where Bing introduces the song "White Christmas") because Danny Kaye is great comedian and Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen are HOT!
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Santa Claus because they are just plain bad, but no maudlin like most Christmas stories for children. Best when viewed with the MST3K gang (I remember that Aunt Norma on Children's Hour would announce that you could see Santa Claus at the Tower Theater for free if you brought a canned good).
Let us not forget Christmas Story and Ralphie's quest for "the Holy Grail of Christmas Gifts" - the Red Ryder BB gun.

Favorite Christmas Songs: All time favorite: "Little Drummer Boy." When I was younger I liked the original by the Harry Simeone Chorale, but as I've grown older I LOVE the version by David Bowie and Bing Crosby which also incorporates as song called "Peace On Earth." BTW, Ozark Politics has posted the video clip of Der Bingle and the Thin White Duke singing this song (Note I feel the worst versions of this are by Kintaro and Johnny Cash).
2. "Happy Xmas (the War Is Over)" by John Lennon fits my mood about Christmas. I never get what I want and I usually have to work. Most Ozarkers hate this song, which is why it is number two on my list.
3. "Rudolph the Red Nose Raindeer" because like Rudolph, I was ostracized as a child. Mark my words I'll get back at them! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHA!
4. "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano. I like this because it is happy and peppy. It just makes me feel good. Also because like #2, Ozarkers hate it.
5. "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee. It's happy and fun.

Other favorites include "Run Run Rudolph" by Chuck Berry, "Silent Night" (Any version except the Stevie "I'm in pain" Nicks version), "Sleigh Ride" (Any version, because you can't screw that song up), "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole, "Do You Here What I Hear?," "Mary's Boy Child" and "Calypso Noel" by Johnny Mathis.

The Christmas Songs I don't like: "I'll Be Home For Christmas" which is the official song of holiday depression.
"Home For the Holidays" people tell what they are doing for the holidays, not realizing the singer is probably breaking into their homes while they are gone. This song also features the guy with the pumpkin pie fetish.
"Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy. I used to like this when I was in junior high when a radio station would play this once a year. Matter of fact very little Christmas music was played on the radio when I was young. Now this song gets played to death on radio and it is usually requested by rednecks.
"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" by Gayla Peevy. Uses to you only heard this on Dr. Demento. Now that some stations play all Christmas music during the holidays, this one gets too much airplay. I hated it before and I can't take it now that it gets played every five minutes. AAAAGGHHHH!
"Mary Did You Know" by Mark Lowery. Not only is Lowery overly dramatic but if you read Chapter One of the Book of Mark, Gabriel the angel explain this to Mary. Also, if you are a virgin and an angel tells you are going to have a baby, you probably know your child is going to be special. So why did Mark Lowery feel he has to tell Mary this. Ozarkers request this song a lot. They like it. That means I DON'T LIKE IT!

My fear is next Christmas someone will come up with "Mary Did You Know My Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."

Favorite TV Christmas episodes: Dragnet: Big Little Jesus (Black and white version) - Friday and Smith look for a stolen Baby Jesus. The culprit is a small Hispanic boy who wanted to give the baby a ride in his wagon he got for Christmas.

Have Gun Will Travel: Hanging Cross - Paladin has to intervene in a fight between a rich rancher and Indians over the custody of a small boy. Paladin hangs up his guns because "this is a night of peace."

Twilight Zone: Night of the Meek - Art Carney is a department store Santa with a magic bag. If I tell you any more I'll give away the ending.

WKRP - a Christmas Carol-like dream for Mr. Carlson brought on by Johnny Fever's Brownies. Scariest part: In the future, Herb is the only employee of a totally automated WKRP. He even voice tracks his sales calls.


Check out the 1964 Vincent Price film Last Man On Earth. It is based on the book I Am Legend. Author Richard Matheson hated it and made American International change the name of it. I find it to be better than Omega Man, a 1972 movie which Matheson didn't like either.

Also try to find a copy of Andy Milligan's Bloodthirsty Butchers. It is his 1970 version of the Sweeney Todd story. This movie is more fun than the 1930's Todd Slaughter version of Sweeney Todd because it has a fight broken up by a clown in drag and a pie containing a lady's nipple (although I think it looks like the bottom of a purple onion).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to the Studio

It has been a long time since I featured an ad for the Studio from the Springfield Daily News. This is January 1978. The Opening of Misty Beethoven, directed by Radley Metzger, is considered a masterpiece of adult film (for what ever that is worth).

I had to include the other ad as an example of how things have changed in Springfield. I'm not sure if this is the motel that was at the corner of Glenstone and Kearney when I was a kid or not. There were several motels that advertised adult films on their signs. I guess that has been replaced by Continental Breakfast and free WiFi. (Sorry about the quality. The microfilm machines at the Library Center are lousy.

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