Friday, June 16, 2006

Camera Obscura - Ultra Groovy Edition

"This is my happening and it freaks me out!"

Which movie do you know that line from? Think it's from the first "Austin Powers"? Nope, he cribbed it from a script by film critic Roger Ebert. And Ebert crafted his screenplay at the end of the 1960s collaborating with one of his most favorite filmmakers, Russ Meyer in a big-budget Fox spectacle that finally gets the DVD treatment it deserves.

"Beyond The Valley of the Dolls" hit stores this week, loaded with commentary from Ebert as well as the stars of this very influential cult classic and several new documentaries which make it a must own for true film buffs.

Austin uses the line when he enters the Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club - it was a line from BVD which the actor hated saying. Also, the tune "Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry Alarm Clock is playing, and that same band was actually in the scene in BVD when the line is spoken.

And while Ebert's work is exceptionally funny as is the BVD movie, the real genius for the movie is Russ Meyer. Meyer had a rep in the early 60s as That Guy Who Made Nudie Movies, but Meyer truly was a master and BVD is the best place to start your adventure with him. Without Meyer (Russ, not the actor who played Austin and no, no relation) there would never have been a John Waters, a "Rocky Horror", or the rapid edit style of MTV or the tounge-in-cheek Tarantino. Yeah, baby, yeah!!!

The studio got this hilarious send-up of Hollywood from Meyers under budget and under schedule and had no idea how to market the satire of the wild and the groovy and ultra-hip. The preview they made is a mash-up madness with some of the strangest all-time rambling announcer lines I've ever heard. The audience got it though, and the movie made ten times what it cost to make on it's first release and became even more popular with time. As for that preview, check it out below.

It is tough to make an easy label for this movie - an all-girl rock band goes to L.A. in a smarmy soap opera satire, is immersed in the most bizarre cult of personality and fame and fortune (yeah, the one that's still there cranking out Weird at high volumes) and encounters all the horrors of the hedonist life.

The stars from the movie are touring together for midnight showings of the movie to promote the DVD and RetroCrush has great interviews with them all here.

In Ebert's DVD comments, he says that the actors were pretty confused too - was this a comedy or not. He spent meticulous time with the actors, telling them how to play the scenes with all the backstory and emotional hoo-ha and to do it with a straight face. He would add the comedy, he said, thru the music and the editing. He does. When a beheading occurs you hear the 20th-Century Fox theme, and he also was the first director to blend in Wagner's opera just as Looney Tunes used much classical music the make their cartoons hilarious.

Also out on DVD in the US finally is the first classic from Meyer, a 1965 movie so bad and hot and wild the title still provides names today for rock bands and rock songs: "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!". Gotta love that title. And the ad lines from the poster: "Filmed in Glorious Black and Blue!" "Belted, Booted and Buckled!!"

This comedy action crazy adventure is made most memorable by the star, Tura Satana - who as a young Japanese girl in America was held in an interment camp as a child with her parents, endured the horrors of rape at age 9 and then life in the girl gangs, dated Elvis, danced burlesque and found much fame from the movie. RetroCrush has a killer interview here.

I was lucky enough to catch the movie on the big screen at the Downtown West when it was re-released in 1995 and laughed myself silly. It's like Mystery Science Theatre and David Lynch made "Thelma and Louise" with the dialog of Ed Wood. Have to see it to believe it and you'll have to go to the late, great Russ Meyer page to order the DVD.

Ah, the 1960s - ultra groovy times indeed. This week I found another wild take on relationships, this time on the Moon with a crazy cast - Dick Shawn, Dennis Weaver, Connie Stevens, Anita Ekberg, Howard Morris (better known as Ernest T Bass ala Andy Griffith), plus cameos by James Brolin and Linda Harrison (soon to be Charlton Heston's girlfriend in "Planet of the Apes") and starring Jerry Lewis.

Yes, that Jerry Lewis. The movie is "Way ... Way, Out!"

A Cold War sci-fi sex comedy with Jerry Lewis ... sorta leaves any sane person speechless. Sadly no DVD on this one yet, look for it on the movie channels, and I'm one of maybe three people who like the oddity. The director was Gordon Douglas, who made the classic sci-fi "Them!" (and how come they don't put exclamation points in movie titles anymore?), and another classic groovy flick from the 60s, "In Like Flint" plus countless westerns and action films, including a trio of movies with Frank Sinatra as a private detective.

Finally this week a big thanks to GAC at Atomic Tumor for her post on Asian Cinema with some fine selections to consider and where I was allowed to ramble endlessly on the topic and probably killed the conversation.

I'll do that.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Best Music Fest In The World: The 'Roo

Billboard Magazine says the Bonnaroo Festival in Middle TN is the biggest moneymaker music fest worldwide, according to an article in today's KnoxNews Sentinel. It would never have happened at all without the immense work by Ashley Capps, who truly seems in his element with the show. Fact is, he has done a tremendous job making TN and Knoxville a top destination for excellent live music shows.

Brittney is blogging from the 'Roo, along with many other folks, and I'd expect you'll see she has some fine concert clips and pictures of the event. Such an eclectic mix of musicians and people is gonna make for a fine weekend. (NOTE: Left of the Dial has directions to get a live feed from this year's event.)

No, I missed my chance to be a paid blogger there, too many applicants! There are many I'd like to see, but I have a real yearning to be in the crowd as the legendary Lousiana singer, songwriter, musician and producer Alan Toussaint perfoms during the hot humid middle TN summer. His tune, "Southern Nights" is so good you can feel the heat. (Yes, I know Glen Campbell ruined that tune, but his version is fantastic.) Not to mention "On Your Way Down," "Soul Sister" and many many more.

Live music is one of the best things in life.

On any given day or weekend in Tennessee you can see and hear an astonishing range of music. No bluegrass, no country, no rock and roll would be what it is today without the works of peformers and promoters who have who called Tennessee home. From the soul and blues in Memphis to the country heart of Music City to the bluegrass from East TN, we totally own the right to say we have helped define the American sound.

A Unanimous No To President Bush

It is obvious that a massive power battle is underway in Washington, and it's about time. After endless challenges from the Bush Administration to the checks and balances which have served our nation well, the House and now the Senate, in a unanimous votes, have told the President they will no longer fund the costs of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with emergency funding requests.

If, as Bush says, the wars are the "right thing to do" and that the conflict is a "long war", there is no reason for emergency funding requests from the Pentagon in tens of billions every few months.

The action requires specifics in strategies, supplies, force strengths and the lives of our soldiers abroad. The Constitution is so clear on the issue of oversight and checks of power and spending, even if our security is at stake -- to abandon the tenets on which our government works on a constant cry of "Danger! Danger!" is a reckless act. Both houses should have done this last year, or even required it within a shorter timetable following the approval of the President's decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The 98-0 vote demanding budget specifics and the end of emergency funding is, at last, a clear signal to the President that his days as Commander In Chief are waning and the true long-term function of our government needs to return to normal balances.

Will this administration fight this? Most definitely. But it appears the Senate and the House are finally making it clear - our government is meant to operate with oversight of the decisions made, not to write blank checks forever with zero scrutiny. It's the way we will see all our rights, our needs and the lives of those in harm's way best served.

TN Ranks 10th in Tech Exports

I'm glad to see that a push from the Governor's office focusing on development of high tech business in Tennessee is paying in huge ways, according to reports from the state's Economic and Community Development office. Since the Export Tennessee program was put into place, small and medium sized biz can educate themselves about how to make the global economy work for them, and rather than see jobs outsourced, there's now attention on making jobs selling products abroad.

The billions of earnings in increases are cited in a press release:

"According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Assistance Center in Nashville, Tennessee exports rose by 51% from 2003-2005, the highest rate of growth of any major exporting state in the country. Tennessee exports continue their rapid trajectory in the first quarter of 2006, growing 21% above the same period last year and far outpacing the national average of 14%. Tennessee is now the 14th largest exporting state in the nation in terms of overall dollar volume. In 2005, Tennessee companies exported more than $19 billion dollars worth of goods and services to foreign markets. The state’s largest export commodities include cotton, automobiles, auto parts and medical devices. The American Electronics Association’s 2006 Cyberstates Report showed unexpected strength in Tennessee’s technology sector, especially among companies which manufacture computers and data processing equipment. The AeA report placed the dollar value of Tennessee exports from this sector at $3.8 billion dollars in 2005, an increase of 23% over the previous year. That volume was good enough to rank Tennessee 10th among technology exporting states, ahead of traditionally strong export states like Georgia and North Carolina. Tennessee ranked 14th in technology exports in 2004 and 21st in 2003

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wal-Mart To Go Free Trade Coffee?

A report from the WaPo claims the suits at The Mart are reconsidering some of their business practices, which I found most peculiar. The suits are just in the discussion stage with co-ops in South America, but is this an actual response to the anti-Mart movement or just a ploy to get trendy phrases and products on the shelf?

The story says in part:

Wal-Mart executives are planning to visit Poco Fundo at the end of the month before making a decision. It's part of the new corporate philosophy outlined by chief executive H. Lee Scott Jr.: "Doing well by doing good."


At Wal-Mart, executives say a rebirth is occurring inside their no-frills headquarters. "Sustainability" and "trend-right" have entered the corporate lexicon alongside "everyday low prices." Chief executive Lee Scott drives a Lexus Hybrid.

Greg Spragg, executive vice president for operations and the No. 2 guy at Sam's Club, has christened Bom Dia's coffee his "volume producing item," which means everyone down the ladder is focused on boosting sales. "I really felt like it was important to be able to put the words that we had been using around sustainability [and] kind of bring them to life in an item," Spragg said from Wal-Mart headquarters. "What we had in these products were really great quality items at an extraordinary value."

Perhaps the spread of acts like this are having an effect?

Should Knox Co. Be Renamed Inertia?

There is an unholy mess in government in Knox County since their charter was never properly filed (for reasons of "I dunno") and just about everything enacted since then is in question as well. Voters everywhere can learn a tremendous lesson in the current state of disaster, chiefly that citizens must never assume it's all okay and that the principles of inertia are too often the dominant form of governing today.

Here's an excellent definition that applies:

Physics. The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.

2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change: the inertia of an entrenched bureaucracy.

Too often government locally and nationally lumbers along under inertia, aka Business As Usual. Those who dare to question or examine the actions or inactions are vilified as the Anti-Whatever. Here in Hamblen County, we at least enjoy the ability to watch via re-broadcast on Charter Communications Channels the county commission meetings, though there are efforts by some to end that. More than 10 years after creating a government and education channel, the Morristown City Government continues to refuse air a single second of their monthly 4 pm meetings.

A lesson from Knox: even having the camera eye and the mainstream media on government, whopping failures exist.

First rate examinations of the issues can be found at KnoxViews, and No Silence Here notes that bloggers have taken command, swooping down like Al Haig did all those years ago since it's all up for grabs now.

via Rikki at KnoxViews:

The will of Knox County's citizens has been persistently subverted by negligence and disregard, and [Chancellor] Weaver's ruling is just one more slap in the face. It is now too late to salvage this year's elections. Already defective in execution, they will now be defective in outcome. Office holders complicit in subverting the public interest will be awarded with continued power for as long as they can drag out the appeals process, and our elections, already tainted by big money, ballot manipulation and the two-party straightjacket, will degrade further toward becoming complete charades.

Eighteen years of governing called into question by this ruling. That's just pathetic.

Again, such things occur locally and otherwise. Morristown is notorious for issuing voter referendums under the "non-binding resolution" form of government, which allows them to proceed with whatever they wish despite any public vote to the contrary.

At the state level, increases in lifetime pensions for officials are granted in off-hours voting, with the allowance of some votes to be cast in the name of representatives who aren't even in the room, much less in Nashville.

The bottom line seems to be: We the people just means We the few who live in perpetual inertia.

A New Link - My Canadian Family

My niece has a blog and has just recently returned to the blogland and I most heartily recommend it. She has always impressed me with her writing and I like the blog title too - The Cuspidor.

She recently married young Marko (well okay its been a matter of years) and they are in Canada now, coping with couple-dom and other things and I know you'll like reading it. As we say here, They are good people.

Here's a sample of one recent post, about her efforts to complete guest worker status and being The Housewife:

Anyway, most people don'’t know how to properly construct a sentence. I know how to write directions so that a sixth grader can figure out how to use a software suite. Yes, I am aware of what an enormous geek I am. Over the years, I have learned to embrace it.

I say, down with human resources! Just because you don'’t like your job, doesn'’t mean I won'’t like mine! If I can actually find one, that is. I must learn to defeat these demons that guard the gates to employment. Why do they ask such inane questions? There must be a right answer to "“What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?"” that will get me a second interview. Otherwise, I see myself vacuuming the living room, baking pies, and issuing time-outs."

Be nice if you visit or I'll have to get all Tennessee on you.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Alchemy of Media Marketing

Getting that advertising out there is vital in biz, but how bizarre for the NYTimes web report this morning on the case of rape at Duke to have a huge banner ad for Victoria's Secret? I'll put the link in though I'm sure the ads change thru the day to increase ad opportunities and fees.

I know marketing is an often strange and marvelous world, sometimes hidden and subtle and sometimes as obvious as holding a rabid wolverine in your hands. The above instance is more of a hybrid, a designer rabid wolverine.

I noticed the other day that a new DVD edition of Monty Python's classic comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" included two free passes to see the "DaVinci Code" movie. I suppose Columbia, which distributes both movies, have a file of Holy Grail-themed products. But alongside the Python DVD was an edition of "The Mark of Zorro" also with DaVinci tickets.

Discerning the logic and logistics of marketing have their own alchemical symbiosis, mystical and unknowable to non-practitioners, another cipher of meanings to fill your day, like some Sodoku puzzle of business.

Director John Waters noted some years back how the "cult" entertainments have been mainstreamed and alchemical mysteries are as good an explanation as any to mark the move of a longtime cult classic like Python's "Grail" moving from midnight movie to Broadway musical - turning lead into gold is primary for alchemy.

This morning's Washington Post had an article about product placement in books, citing an instance of a major change in a book for teen girls because Cover Girl made a deal with the publisher - not to pay them but to feature the book on a Cover Girl website. Proctor and Gamble owns Cover Girl and again, marketing is important for biz.

The story noted that award-winning novelist Fay Weldon was "commissioned" by Italian jewelry company Bulgari to write an entire book - "The Bulgari Connection" was the cunning name of that tome.

The marketing team that hit upon the Cover Girl/teen novel alchemical connections were the novel's authors, who helped design the vast web-based marketing mystery campaign behind the movie "A.I.", which was certainly one of the first successful web marketing efforts where so-called "viral marketing" was imprinted on the business world.

Our minds constantly yearn to find connections and the alchemical marketing wizards know this and exploit it, sometimes for gold and sometimes you just get the rabid wolverine.

I can play in the alchemical crucible too here on this internets dealie - if I include popular tag words from Technorati or Yahoo! I get more traffic, and the same goes for all kinds of words. Sex, hot sex, or free sex will bring readers. I can try this phrase - "Knitting Knowledge: The Basics of Expert Crafts". That too will bring certain readers.

Yeah, that's fun and easy.

Readers and Web-walkers could be seen as potential customers cruising the alchemy magic shop, and I am enough of a shameless self-promoter that even my blog's title exploits my real name and the elixir of the world, coffee. Make that Free Trade Coffee.

Dang - I gotta go - rabid wolverine on the loose! It'll smash my Ikea furniture I'm selling on eBay to finance my Net-Nuetrality petition, or pee on my Ann Coulter book collection, which I'm offering free to Christian Republicans to fight the Democrats Who Hate America.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

As Promised, I Answer Your Questions

I made a request of you, dear readers, back on my 300th post, that I would answer any questions you might have - even those questions not about me, just any question. And they arrived in style, Some dear reader even supplied her own answers and that gave me much joy and laughter.

I tend normally to be the interviewer and close friends will tell you that while I crave attention I also have certification as a hermit - usually a bit loud as I pace my personal cave and sometimes I throw rocks at those who pass by.

As many writers do, I prefer to let the choice of topic or rant provide personal glimpses into myself. My motto has always been that Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

And any regular reader knows I love movies and love even more to write about them. Just lookit them posts every Friday.

But what about all the other unknowns of this Cup of Joe? Find a comfy reading spot, I cannot shorten this biographical rambling.

A few things to begin -- I write at this moment while listening to the CD "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. It was an album (yes, I'm that old) which I played so much when it came out that eventually the grooves all wore away and it skipped and popped so much I had to tape a stack of nickels to the tone arm. (If you don't understand that technology, then go learn some history, you trendoid.)

The album had a hit or two on the radio, but it is "Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5 and 6-9" which I love best.

It's late as I write, nearly 1 am, I've always preferred to write these autobiographics in the wee hours. It's a humid summer night and the moon traces a luminous path through the clouds, and I love the heat, the humidity and the cool feel of grass on my naked feet when I take the dogs out for a walk.

Listening to "Wish You Were Here" back in the teen years on summer nights, I would dream of being able to sit and write and instantly upon completion have it printed worldwide. So God bless the blog and the internets.

A warning here - when I write, I often take side routes to points unrelated, the way my dad used to do on family vacations, finding every Stuckey's south of the Mason-Dixon line or some side road in Georgia where we'd buy peaches and watermelons from a stand in front of someone's yard, usually with a homemade sign indicating fresh garden goodies for sale.

So a side note here about the aforementioned "Wish You Were Here" album. When it first was released, it had a black plastic cover which I mistakenly thought was the actual album cover design. After perhaps 3 or 4 months ( I got it from my brother for Christmas of 1975), I accidentally tore part of the plastic away ... and saw that underneath was the real album cover.

It was a moment of personal epiphany about design and mystery and pre-conceptions and how easily the mind (or at least mine) can be convinced of the truth of its own limited perceptions, and how wrong those perceptions can be.

Ok, back to the main road.

Here are the questions readers sent and my replies. (NOTE: you may well want to read the answers supplied to many of the questions submitted written by Newscoma, 'cause they're damn fine answers.)

1. Espresso, Latte or Decaf? I pity the person who drinks decaf, since they use embalming fluid to remove the caffeine, which tells you how potent a life force coffee is. I loves espresso, and cappuccino, but my favorite is plain old JFG with some milk and sugar. I don't like my coffee strong, I like it invincible.

2. How do you like your eggs? I have eggs??? ye gods, like the ones in Alien or somethin'? Seriously, here is a question for which my answer points to what some people see as a personal flaw. It doesn't matter, as long as it's cooked. "Make a choice, Joe" is a comment I often hear. If forced, I'll go with scrambled, but I like them over easy, hard boiled, and even an egg salad sandwich. Just not raw. I also read a study was done recently by properly attired Scientists which stated that the egg did in fact come first, not the chicken. My thought? Oh yeah? Then who laid the damn thing?

3. It is winter of 1874. You are leading the Brady Bunch (including Alice and Tiger) from Provo, Utah to Breckinridge, Colorado in search of gold, when something goes horribly awry. Which Brady do you cannibalize first, and why? They can all eat me. Who wants to get stuck living with those chuckleheads? Unless, maybe, me and Marcia make a deal to roast the rest of them and go live in a cabin and make sweet love by a roaring fire. We could raise chickens and eggs!

4. How is my dad? This question is from Wednesday T.G., and he is doing fine, though he should be a highly paid artist and writer in my opinion.

5. What do you think they have done with the real John McCain? My best guess lies within the plot of the movie "Futureworld."

6. Given a choice between doing the right thing for the wrong reason, and doing the wrong thing for the right reason, which do you suppose you would do? Hmmm .... my answer is: Yes.

7. You have been elected President of the United States! So, President Powell, what are you going to do about the current health care crisis? Crisis? What crisis? Oh, the one where medical care is overpriced, drug companies write insurance laws, Congress is considering anti-obesity legislation and federal calorie counting and we are the only Western nation without a national health care program? Long ago, the Chinese would pay the village doctor a small fee as long as they were healthy. If they got sick, the doc didn't get paid. (How could I get elected president? Doesn't the GOP own all the voting machine companies?)

8. Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares? Please describe. Yeesh, getting personal here aren't we? Hmmmm .... a lie or a truth? Both could be interesting. Ok, truth. For years I used to have dreams about a girl I was in love with my senior year of high school. I mean, these dreams lasted for almost a decade. She had a smile like sunlight and drove a white Mustang. She stood me up for my Senior Prom so she could ride in a limo with a football player. A year after school ended, we started dating again for maybe a year or more. In my dreams, we were always skipping school and having a picnic at Watauga Lake under blue skies and brilliant sunshine. We talked about everything imaginable. I would always wake up shaking, and her voice would linger in my mind all day. Last I actually heard of her, she was an investment banker living in Manhattan. If I have a dream about her now that I've recalled these events .... well, it better be as memorable as the ones I used to have. Also, I've had several dreams recently with Cameron Diaz.

9. You have fallen out the window into a vat of toxic waste, and have transformed into the Toxic Joe-venger, super hero extraordinaire. What is your super power? I don't really want that to happen, I mean I'm fairly certain dropping into a vat of toxic waste would provide me with mostly skeleton power. (I am, however, a proud member of the Wonder Triplets, along with Newscoma and Tits McGee and our power is to call bullshit for what it is.)

10. When was the last time you cried at the movies? When I had to pay 10 bucks to see a piece of junk. Which reminds me of an old joke - You know what I hate about sex in the movies today? The dang seats always fold up on ya. I did shed some tears watching the struggles of Johnny and June at "Walk The Line." There was also a weepy moment in Jet Li's "Unleashed" when Jet remembered how his mom got killed when he heard his new friend play a tune on the piano his mom loved to play, Mozart's Sonata Number 11, in A Minor". There were also some tears of pain for the 15 minutes I watched the remake of "Bewitched".

11. Whom do you admire and why? Frank Zappa, a musical genius and an honest man and I really miss him; Thomas Pynchon, he writes the way I wish I could; Silver Surfer, because he can ride a surfboard across all the galaxies and is searching for home; Buffy Summers, she kills bad things, has cool friends and is hot; (try some real people again, Joe). Mostly I admire writers - Vonnegut, Frank Miller, Stephen King, Herman Melville, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, Sam Shepard and oh .... how about Chuck Yeager - they clank when he walks. I also admire my brother David, who is an immensely smart teacher, and has an incredible wife, Katherine, whom I also admire and their two kids are genius children.

12. How many questions do you figure I can come up with before midnight tonight? A bajillion.

13. Zombies are overrunning Morristown! Which weapon do you grab first? Ha! Like that would happen - zombies eat brains .... actually, that means my weapon would be a car, cause they'd be after me and they can chow on Mo'town all they want.

14. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? In the way back times, when my dad was a preacher in Monterey, we'd have ice cream Wednesday nights on the church lawn in summer, and someone used to make this incredible fresh peach ice cream. Otherwise, if it has chocolate or coffee flavor, I will devour it.

15. You have come into possession of the TARDIS, allowing you to travel freely throughout space and time. Where and when do you visit first? Tardis? That's a Dr Who thingie, right? My first impulse would be to go to Hollywood during the studio era of the 1930s and I would get a job as a staff script writer and never bother to return to the present. The second impulse is to go to the year we finally have space travel and have spread across the galaxies .... especially if I could do it on a surfboard.

16. Can you roll your tongue? Roll it? I can make it a trapezoid!

17. What question have you always wished someone would ask you (but no one ever has), and what is the answer to that question? Would you like seven million dollars and a yacht? To which I answer YES. Or maybe .... Will you please, please be the film critic for the New Yorker magazine for life? again, YES!

18. Do you have any tattoos? Please describe. Sort of. When I was 13, I was killing time between lunch and the next class at school and some of us were playing basketball in the gym. For some reason, I had a pencil in my jeans pocket with the point sticking up. I came down with a rebound and jammed the pencil lead into my right forearm, where the mark remains to this day. Somewhat embarrassed, I transferred the pencil to my other jeans pocket, nabbed another rebound, and stuck the pencil in my left forearm. That mark also remains.

19. How's the weather over there? Over where? There castle. There wolf.

20. Regarding the Coherence Theory of Truth, Bertrand Russell maintained that since both a belief and its negation will individually cohere with at least one set of beliefs, then contradictory beliefs can be "true" according to the theory. Therefore, the theory is invalid. Agree or disagree? Ummm..... both trains arrive in Cleveland at 3 p.m.?? Honest answer: See Godel's Axiom Theorems of Incompleteness regarding "sets", or to put it another way,
there are some who hold that a statement that is unprovable within a deductive system may be quite provable in a metalanguage. And what cannot be proven in that metalanguage can likely be proven in a meta-metalanguage, recursively, ad infinitum, in principle. By invoking a sort of super Theory of Types with an axiom of Reducibility -- which by an inductive assumption applies to the entire stack of languages -- one may, for all practical purposes, overcome the obstacle of incompleteness.
My brother David once told me that everything is True simultaneously. I like that idea.

21. Do you like cheese? Only as a food. Or if properly applied to fiction.

22. (here is a great question from Cheeky Wee Monkey) Who does your hair? If I revealed that, I'd have to kill you.

23. (these next questions came from Tits McGee) What food irritates the hell out of you? I for one cannot stand food that seem to have yet to completely finish the formation process of an actual food, such as Cottage Cheese -- what IS that stuff? Oh, and the arrogance of beets is criminal.

24. Favorite book/CD/drink? I've gone through about 7 copies of "Gravity's Rainbow", but "Catch-22" is a killer-diller too; favorite CD is impossible to answer, but I can list two I listen to and never get tired of - Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" and the Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers"; favorite drink?? god bless julipatchouli for introducing me to a dirty vodka martini and god bless my Uncle Bit for introducing me to Jack Daniels, for which I apparently have a genetic receptor.

25. What song sends you into a homicidal rage? At the risk of enraging every resident of Tennessee, I despise "Rocky Top." But the one that will make me destructive is "Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows" by Leslie Gore.

26. What's your favorite movie with zombies in it? Jeez, another impossible one! All Romero zombie movies are brilliant (i even liked the remakes of "Night" and "Dawn") however since I have friends who worked on "Evil Dead" and it was filmed only minutes away from where I sit, that makes the list too!

27 Who was the last person that you checked their butt out? There was a girl in the check-out line at the store the other day wearing low-rider corduroy cutoffs and I nearly fainted.

28. What's the obsession with tits? (Ok, remember, this was a question someone asked Tits,) My answer: I blame my heterosexuality.

29. What's your guilty pleasure? See the previous two questions heh heh .... and I will always stop to watch a horror movie. But I do have one question myself - When the heck did vampires all learn kung-fu??

30. Would you wear a live madagascar roach decorated w/ jewels? Would I get paid to do that?

31. What was your most embarrassing drunken episode? My fave was when I was 17, decided to just split a 6-pack with a friend, then we went to some party and some goober handed me a 16 oz. glass of pure grain alcohol punch. I'd never had that before. It tasted like Hi-C Fruit Punch! So I had three or four more. Somehow, I was able to drive home and not die in a horrible car crash, and arrived home just in time to engage in about a half-an-hour of hard-core hurling in the bathroom. The sounds must have woken the dead. I stumbled upright, fell out into the hallway where both my parents were looking at me as if I might be Satan. I clearly remember my father saying "You smell like a brewery! What did you drink tonight?" To which I made this reply: "Naaawwwww, saw a movie, then went to McDonald's .... but I did kiss a girl who had a beer." The next day an astonishingly calm father said this to me: "Son, please, the next time you kiss a girl who's had a beer, will you please just call home and tell me where you're spending the night?" I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

32. If you could pick any one person for a hot date from any time in history, who is it? (This one was I had asked Tits) Oh great, another chance to be indecisive. I can narrow it down to three: Cleopatra, Anais Nin, and Bettie Page.

33. The last thing you downloaded? Some MP3s of pirate sea shanties.

34. Which one is bigger? (again, this was one someone asked Tits) My answer: probably my ego.

35. Most disliked very, very popular musical person? Please someone stop the whole American Idol deal.

36. What are some of your vices? Call me sometime and we'll find out!! Woo-hoo!

37. Who would you like to see in this year's World Series? Isn't it time for the Cubs? I think so, and my friend Bill would at least call me from one of the games.

38. Have you ever streaked? Or, how many times? When that was all the rage, I saw plenty of it. But the closest I have managed has been from the beach to the surf, and that was at night.

39 (Finally, Tits asks me some questions rather than make me answer the ones she got!!)
Why did you start blogging? I had been adding comments to other blogs in the spring of 2005, and started this one Aug. 3rd, 2005. (I did like Newscoma's answer to that one for me though - 1964. You really should read all her answers, found in the comments section here.)

40. What keeps you blogging? The same Muse that took over my mind when I was about 10 or 11 and decided that I was supposed to be a writer in this life. And coffee.

41. What do the blogs you regularly read have in common? Several things - truth, humor, a relentless commitment to documenting the world we all share, whether or not its important to anyone but the blogger. Oh, and a blogger who has must-read prose.

42. (These next questions arrived via Newscoma)
When did you become a super hero? I think it was when that radioactive spider bite me, or when Professor Xavier had that heart-to-heart talk with me. Or was it that I was simply born a Wonder Triplet?

43. Who is your favorite Buffy character? It's the Buff herself. But Spike and Drusilla are two of the best vampire characters of all time.

44. When did you decide journalism was for you? I started a weekly news mimeograph at absolutely no one's request when I was in the 5th grade. By the time I started taking Journalism classes in college, I found every class to be a waste of time, and the classmates and profs wouldn't know news if it bit them. I wanted to be both Woodward and Bernstein. I've done other jobs, but like Michael Corleone says, "they keep pulling me back in!"

45. When did you realize that Bush was an ass monkey? I think that was about the time he set the record as governor of Texas for executing more inmates than any other American. The real question is when will the rest of the country figure it out?

46. Why don't people just act kind to each other? Well, here goes -- I think too many people believe the horrible lies they are fed as children by institutional idiocy - schools, bad parents, and a religious view that we are all born to commit evil first and beg forgiveness later. With such bad programming, people have terrible self-esteem or no self-esteem, so they become viscious to others thinking its the treatment they deserve. It doesn't just happen in this country, either. It's a worldwide brainwash. I was in a diner once and this little 6 or 7 year old kid was running all over the place making loud noises and his insidious mother kept yelling at him "You're a monster! You're a monster!" So what else does that kid think he is supposed to be? I was incredibly blessed as a child to have two loving parents who encouraged me, and also taught me that I was the one responsible for my actions.

47. When was the last time you ate sushi? Ahhh, that question hurts. I had some faux sushi back in December, but I yearn to sit at a sushi bar and watch it being made, drinking lots of sake and eating my weight in sushi.

48. Is Nietzsche dead? Nawwww, God just keeps teasing him and telling him he's alive and attending Liberty University.

(Thanks for the questions oh mighty Newscoma and Tits McGee, and let's not forget some of the fine ones from W.T.G., who added the remaining queries) ( I promise, this is almost done.)

49. Did you take money from Jack Abramoff? Do I look like I'm a Republican? Nope.

50. Stephen Colbert: Great Pseudo-pundit, or the Greatest Pseudo-Pundit? The smartest person to ever appear at the White House Press Dinner.

51. What was the name of your first pet, and what kind of animal was it? He was Marvin, a Collie, and once, he growled at my mom when I was about 4 and she was mad at me for not coming in the house when she yelled for me. Ever since, dogs is my pals.

52. Everyone has "the one that got away." What would you say to that one if you had the opportunity to speak with her? Oh, fine, great, you just won't let me forget about that girl I loved in high school will you? Why can I not muster malice towards her, just for that Prom deal alone? Given the chance, I would tell her that we owe each other one more incredible night, because even our dullest moments together were better than some peoples entire lives. That's awfully corny, and I'd probably just go away alone and have a drinking binge and then hours later, I'd figure out a better thing to have said. Wait a minute ... isn't the real question is what would all those women say to me as the "one that got away"?

53. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Let me answer with something a wise old Mexican man once told me. He said, if you read the Bible, whether you believe in it or not, it says that God made woman from the rib of man. Not his foot, for us to step on them, not from our hands to make them do what we wish, but from our side, because we are meant to be partners.

54. What is your favorite curse word? (apologies to James Lipton) There is only one that can express it all, joy and rage and awe and wonder and even hate, and I've never typed it on this blog. And if you've read this far, I doubt it will offend you when I say the King of Curse is Fuck.

55. When you were a lad, what did you most want to be when you grew up? Not a jerk like the majority of the adults who populate this world. And a writer. (should have added "a rich one.")

56. Who let the dogs out? The cat. She wants their food.

57. What's the deal with Sulu? Heh heh ... I think it's Texas hold 'em and kiss 'em.

58. If you could choose five people, living and dead, with whom to share a meal, which five people would you choose? Groucho Marx, Dorothy Parker, Bruce Lee, Uma Thurman and Frank Sinatra.

59. At the above dinner party, what meal would be served? Their choice, of course, as long as it included much vodka martinis and I want sushi!!

60. What is your least favorite movie? It's a tie -- "Sound of Music" and "Grease"

61. Do you believe in god? I believe the Divine Unnameable exists in each person, whether we know it or not.

62. For $5 million, would you perjure yourself before Congress? Again, do I look like a Republican?

Man, that's more about me than even I want to know.

While reading some about the album "Wish You Were Here", the musicians said the Crazy Diamond song was about former band-mate Syd Barrett, who, as President Merkin Muffley would describe it, "went a little funny in the head." I simply enjoy the music and the lyrics and have my own meanings to the tune.

I always enjoyed those long, concept albums which were poorly-terrmed as "rock operas". Concept album sounds like far better term. And my favorite of all those is Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick".

Whatever meaning you glean from the two titles of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Thick As A Brick" are your own. It tells you about yourself.