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‘Addams Family’ fan creates 3,000-piece LEGO Addams’ Mansion
02.23.2018
07:14 am
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Addams Family fan and LEGO enthusiast Hugh Scandrett has created a nearly-3,000 piece modular recreation of the creepy/kooky Addams Family mansion which he has submitted to LEGO Ideas. If 10,000 people support his build idea, LEGO will review it to possibly make it an actual set. So far, as of this writing, the project has nearly 3,000 supporters.

Scandrett had previously submitted a larger build of the Addams’ mansion in 2016—in honor of the show’s 50 anniversary—but the original build had 7,000 parts, exceeding the 3,000 piece limit imposed by LEGO Ideas.


Scandrett’s earlier 7,000 piece build.

Details of the new construction:

Three floor Mansion, each floor is a removable segment, like standard LEGO modular construction.
The Mansion measures 23” (57cm) high, 10” (25cm) wide and 15” (38cm) deep.
A full glass greenhouse.
Includes 8 minifigs: Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandmama, Cousin It and Lurch.
The build includes 2,975 original LEGO pieces, no modifications.

You can vote to support Scandrett’s set idea HERE. We give it TWO SNAPS.
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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02.23.2018
07:14 am
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Gore Vidal and Roy Cohn debate McCarthyism, 1977
02.22.2018
09:59 am
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In 1977, Gore Vidal went head-to-head with Roy Cohn, onetime mentor of the president*, on the NYC talk show Midday Live. Cohn was promoting his new book, which sported a cover blurb by, uh, Roy Cohn: an “answer to” the recent TV movie Tail Gunner Joe, in which Peter Boyle portrayed Joe McCarthy as a crapulous commie-baiter who lied about his military service. Roy was hopping mad. He published his book-length screed a month after NBC aired the movie, and he sued the network for libel, and fought all the way to the Supreme Court. (He lost.)

Cohn’s performance is a master class in demagoguery. He accuses everyone else of lying. McCarthy is the victim of a vicious smear campaign. If elites in New York and Washington, D.C. don’t like what McCarthy stands for, it’s because they’ve lost touch with the decent, vital, God-fearing people of the heartland, who understand the stakes in the fight against Communism. Most instructive is his fluid interpretation of the word “McCarthyism.” Vidal defines the term early in the broadcast and uses it consistently throughout; for Cohn, it means anything that confers a momentary rhetorical advantage. In the same breath, he casts doubt on the validity of the concept (the word first appeared in The Daily Worker!) and tries to use it like a curse (the real exponent of McCarthyism is… Gore Vidal!).

The real fun starts when Vidal brings up the topic of personal sexual habits, which is right in the wheelhouse of Jack Kerouac’s seducer, and a subject Cohn would rather avoid:

Vidal: To me, the nicest thing—let’s be affirmative. The nicest thing that I have ever heard about Joe McCarthy was told me by Senator Flanders of Vermont: that he was a full-time homosexual. Is this true?

Cohn: No, I’m sure you’d think that merited a badge of honor, but it is not true.

Vidal: Well, I’m getting to you in a minute, but what about Senator McCarthy?

Cohn: Oh, sure, that’s your favorite topic of conversation. I know that.

Vidal: I know; it’s aroused by the obvious.

Vidal later remembered telling Cohn on this broadcast, “We regarded [you and G. David Schine] as the Damon and Pythias of the homosexual movement,” and said Cohn responded by “shaking all over in a ghastly way.” This moment, alas, does not appear on the tape; I like to believe it occurred during a commercial break. But Cohn does appear shaken by all this talk of manly love, and eager to change the subject. Immediately, he produces a sheet of paper and reads some of Vidal’s cutting remarks about LBJ, Jimmy Carter, and General MacArthur, to prove that Vidal is the real McCarthyite. (As if “McCarthyism” just meant “saying unfavorable things about public figures.”)

Don’t worry; host Bill Boggs circles back to Joe McCarthy’s sex kicks—a hot topic since the early Fifties, when, as McCarthy ginned up the Lavender Scare, the Las Vegas Sun reported that the senator himself was “the queer that made Milwaukee famous”—and Vidal makes Cohn squirm some more.

Cohn: I hate to eliminate or eradicate the one plus you ever did give to Senator McCarthy, but the statement and the charge is totally untrue.

Vidal: You would know.

Cohn: Well, I don’t know, you’ve been around a man for a certain period of time, you know his wife, uh, you know his family, uh, you see him, I suppose you can know as well as anybody can know, and if I knew or didn’t know, I’d wanna have a little more proof before I start throwing it around the way you’ve done.

Vidal: But Senator Flanders did.

Cohn: Well, that’s McCarthy—Senator Flanders apologized for having made a statement which was not based on fact, but based on something somebody told him, which when he checked it out, felt was so unfounded that Senator McCarthy deserved and received an apology from Senator Flanders—

Vidal: I would be happy to see that.

Me too. When 67 senators voted to condemn McCarthy on December 2, 1954, the New York Times reported that Flanders apologized for one thing only: comparing McCarthy to Hitler.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.22.2018
09:59 am
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Frankenstein and his Bride get mind-melting makeovers


Frankenstein’s monster reimagined as Franken Berry (the General Mills cereal monster mascot) by Michael Burnett.
 
In 2011, 80 artists were invited to create their own version of Hollywood’s most famous monster of filmland—no, not Harvey Weinstein, but rather the creation of author Mary Shelley, James Whale and Boris Karloff, Frankenstein’s monster—for a charity art endeavor called the It’s Alive Project. For the show, the artists were simply required to utilize a bust of actor Boris Karloff in character as Frankenstein’s monster and do whatever they wanted. Over the next few years the It’s Alive Project would take on the monster’s better half, as famously portrayed by actress Elsa Lanchester in the 1935 film, Bride of Frankenstein. Updates to the monster’s made-to-order bride and her black and white look were quite imaginative—such as depicting Lanchester as a punk rocker with a dangerous looking blue mohawk or a sinister-looking version of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

The impressive life-sized busts were sold for equally impressive prices in various auctions—some going for several thousand dollars each. All proceeds from the sale of the various tricked-out monsters and his bride were donated to the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which provides cost-free treatment to children diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Some of the images that follow are slightly NSFW.
 

Frankenstein’s monster as Spock from ‘Star Trek.’
 

“The Bride of Oz” by John Allred.
 

“Punk Bride” by Barry S. Anderson. Other work by Anderson can be seen in the 1986 film ‘Day of the Dead,’ and 2001’s ‘Jeepers Creepers.’
 
More monsters after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.19.2018
09:23 am
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‘Babalú’: Ricky Ricardo big-ups Santería’s ‘Lord of Pestilence’
02.15.2018
07:02 am
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Babalú-Ayé
 
Is I Love Lucy the real Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, the Vault of the Adepti, the Island Beneath the Sea? Robert Anton Wilson used to talk about “the sect of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva,” and its adherents’ simple creed:

They believe that if you look at enough I Love Lucy re-runs when you’re really wasted, even­tually you’ll hear Fred reveal the most esoteric Zen teachings. . . .

If that sounds far-fetched, consider this: Ricky Ricardo’s signature song was addressed to a fearsome deity in the Yoruba pantheon. For practitioners of Santería, Babalú-Ayé is the orisha who controls health and prosperity. You want to be very cool around Babalú-Ayé because he can cover you with boils or give you the Ebola. The next time a conga drum tempts you to do your impression of Ricky Ricardo singing “Babalú,” remember that you might be mocking the god who decides whether you catch leprosy. Ixnay on the abalúbay!

After the jump, Ricky puts on voodoo drag for a big number at the Tropicana, and the Ricardos and the Mertzes fly to Cuba…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.15.2018
07:02 am
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‘The Good Morty’: Pitch-perfect ‘Rick and Morty’-themed Chick tract parody


 
I’ve been a big Rick and Morty fan ever since the show debuted on Adult Swim in late 2013. (For the big Science March last year I carried a sign emblazoned with the image of Rick Sanchez—who is a scientist and genius.) I was a big Community nut and continue to be a Harmontown devotee, and so I was eager to see where Dan Harmon would land after the lengthy demise of Community. In addition to creating that Joel McHale vehicle for NBC, Harmon was one of the main minds behind the legendary failed 1999 TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, which a young Jack Black teamed up with a young Owen Wilson in a parodic reworking of Knight Rider directed by a young Ben Stiller.

Harmon’s heart always lay more with visionary sci-fi (à la Robocop) and not the relatively sober sitcom trappings of Community, so Rick and Morty represented a return to subject matter like Heat Vision and Jack as well as a chance for him and show co-creator Justin Roiland to have a shit ton of fun. Reflecting the evident creative fulfillment that Harmon and Roiland have enjoyed, the show has found a solid cult following.
 

 
Purhasers of the box set of season 1 (Blu Ray version only) of Rick and Morty, which came out in 2014, received an odd little pamphlet with the title “The Good Morty.” The 14-page story was a pitch-perfect parody of the Chick tracts once unleashed by the millions by evangelical nut case Jack T. Chick. “The Good Morty” made a brief appearance in the season 1 finale “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”

“The Good Morty” tells the story of the “good” Morty and the “bad” Morty—the latter makes the poor decision to join Rick for an adventure that is identical to any number of Rick and Morty episodes while the “good” version of Morty stays home and obeys the strictures laid down in Sacrimortys 4:23 to worshipfully kiss his own toes and so on. Meanwhile, Morty’s sister Summer becomes a heroin addict and eventually the “bad” Morty is transformed into a cockroach by a vengeful deity. Such are the risks in deviating from the true path of Morty!

The tract ends with a little list of things to do in order to avoid getting transformed into a cockroach:
 

1. Draw five scantily-clad or fully nude girls every day.
2. Kiss your toes three times each night before bed. Imagine each toe is a crying Morty who needs love.
3. Say Jessica’s name seven times each morning. Never above a whisper. Never above audible levels. Use your “six inch voice.”
4. Play with toys daily. Action figures, building blocks, remote control type toys. Bonus points for yo-yos. They’re a classic that holds up. Just be careful with them. No fancy tricks in crowded rooms.
5. Refuse all calls to adventure from Rick. Be like your dad. Be like Jerry. A simple life.
6. Play video games. Bonus points for handheld games. Never play freemium games.
7. Don’t worry about homework. You’ll be fine. The global economy is going to collapse soon anyway. Learn survival skills if anything.

 
Anyone who has listened to Harmon discourse on Joseph Campbell will recognize the Campbellian note in the phrase “calls to adventure.”

“The Good Morty” was written by Roiland and Ryan Ridley, and the art was created by Erica Hayes. You can read the entire thing below:
 

 

 
Read the whole thing after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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02.14.2018
12:26 pm
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The B-52s take you on a tour of Athens, GA in 1989
02.07.2018
11:54 am
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In 1989 the B-52s returned from a hiatus of several years with their most successful album ever, Cosmic Thing, which spawned two immortal singles “Roam” and “Love Shack.” It was a major turning point for the band: after the death of Ricky Wilson from AIDS in 1985, few observers could say for sure that the B-52s would even continue to exist, especially considering that Wilson was regarded as the most musically talented member of the outfit. Obviously, the surviving members persevered and are a popular touring band to this day.

As part of the promotional efforts for Cosmic Thing, the now-quartet made themselves available to MTV’s Tim Sommer for a tour of their hometown of Athens, Georgia, which, with the exploding popularity of REM, was rapidly becoming a well-known trope even for casual music fans.

Sommer refers to a “homecoming gig” with REM but I have not been able to pin down the barest information about this show. Does anyone remember anything about it? [Update: My friend Annie Zaleski astutely points out that the impression of REM playing at the show is the product of an awkward phrasing on Sommer’s part. This surely refers to the October 14, 1989, show at Legion Field.]

Anyway, the gang start out at the “Hot Corner,” the intersection of Hull and Washington where the Bluebird Café stood at that time but had previously been the location of a “natural foods” restaurant called the Eldorado where Fred Schneider had once worked as a waiter. I’ve always wondered why the B-52s included a tribute to third base on 2007’s Funplex, and now I know what “Hot Corner” is a reference to. Thanks, MTV!
 

 
Touring the college town in (what else?) a convertible, the band passes the Georgia Theatre, where the B-52s played on May 20, 1978, and February 2, 1979. Interestingly, they also pass a courthouse, which prompts a comment from Kate Pierson that that was where she got divorced….

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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02.07.2018
11:54 am
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The gorgeous sci-fi ladies of ‘UFO’
02.05.2018
09:20 am
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Actress Gabrielle Drake (sister of musician Nick Drake) in character as Lt. Gay Ellis from UK television show, ‘UFO.’
 
Television program UFO made its debut in 1970, in the UK and Canada. It came out a bit later in the U.S. The show was the creation of dynamic husband and wife duo, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson—who were best known for their pioneering kid-oriented “Supermarionation” shows such as Thunderbirds. The futuristic storyline for UFO takes place in the not-so-distant year of 1980, and it was honestly pretty gnarly for prime time viewing as it presents the scenario of a ragtag fleet of dying aliens coming to earth to harvest human organs in order to sustain their existence. No big deal. Among the members of the large ensemble cast were Gabrielle Drake (the sister of musician Nick Drake), Polish actor, Vladek Sheybal (who is likely best known for his portrayal of chess master Kronsteen in the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love), and model/actress Shakira Baksh who would wed actor Michael Caine in 1973. The show had much in common with 1969’s Doppelgänger (AKA Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, its better known title)—the Anderson’s’ first project to use human beings—including many of the same props, sets and even actors.

UFO was an instant hit, due much in part to the special effects created by the talented Derek Meddings which took approximately a year to develop. Meddings would go on to do special effects for several James Bond films and the pyrotechnics for every live Pink Floyd show in 1975 during their Wish You Were Here tour. Another element of any successful TV show is the development and visual appeal of its cast of characters, and as I mentioned earlier, UFO‘s actors did not disappoint. Here, we are going to focus on the lovely ladies who were a part of SHADO (the acronym for Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) who always looked cool even in the face of an alien invasion. The most memorable characters got to wear badass purple-hued wigs and silver catsuits which made them look like go-go dancers from the future. There was also some risky looking fishnet worn by members of the cast during “underwater” sequences—a far cry from the basic turtlenecks, jumpsuits, and clerical-style jackets worn by the members of SHADO.

The show ran until 1973 and inspired a line of collectible toys and model kits based on the far-out vehicles and spaceships featured in the series, many still coveted by collectors to this day. If you had either forgotten about this television gem (which was a precursor to the Anderson’s last collaboration, Space 1999 starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain) or were unfamiliar with it until now, you are going to love the groovy images of the fictional female members of SHADO posted below. 
 

One of the lovely ladies of SHADO.
 

Actress/model Shakira Baksh/Caine.
 

Fishnet shirts are futuristic.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.05.2018
09:20 am
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Bruce Conner talks ‘spaghetti art,’ ‘crystal elevators’ on public access, 1987
02.01.2018
09:11 am
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Sparks superfan, publisher and writer Tosh Berman hosted a public access show in 1986 and ‘87, and he recently stuck all 20 episodes on YouTube. His guests on Tea with Tosh were of unusually high quality for a talk show on local cable: Tom Recchion of LAFMS, Philip Glass, Phranc, Peter Case, and Russ Tamblyn are among his interlocutors, or analysands. I’m particularly fond of the interview with Bruce Conner, who was an associate of Berman père.

True, I am partial to Conner’s art, as who is not. But mainly it is just so refreshing to hear a couple of regular guys talking plain sense:

Tosh Berman: Did you somehow work your exhibit and the meteor shower at the same time, or was this by chance?

Bruce Conner: Everything was coordinated on seven mystic levels.

Berman: Huh. Hmm. And you have an interest in mystical levels, don’t you?

Conner: Yeah.

Berman: What’s your interest, exactly, in, uh, in mystics?

Conner: Usually, getting on the elevator and never getting off again.

Berman: Oh, gosh, don’t say that. That’s another one of my things, elevators.

Conner: Elevators that go so high, they become transparent, become pure light?

Berman: Yes. Yes.

Conner: Crystal elevators.

Ascend into the astral light with Bruce and Tosh after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.01.2018
09:11 am
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Leonard Nimoy’s recipe for banana cheese potatoes


 
La Jolla potatoes are no longer on the menu at Chez Jay, looks like, but patrons used to chow down on this dish cooked up by owner Jay Fiondella and his quondam roommate, Leonard Nimoy. The L.A. Times:

“Star Trek’s” Leonard Nimoy, with whom Fiondella roomed in the 1950s, helped him create what became a signature dish: La Jolla potatoes, a melange of mashed potatoes, bananas and cheese.

What did Nimoy contribute to the recipe? The bananas? The cheese? The garlic? The mashing? The browning? The “textural contrast”? I put it to you that, as Americans, we have not only the freedom, but the duty to investigate these questions. For as Leonard himself reminds us in a penetrating study of the Bermuda Triangle: “To say, in essence, that science need not investigate is to destroy the rationale for any scientific quest.”
 

Chez Jay in Santa Monica (via TripAdvisor)

 
This recipe for La Jolla potatoes from L.A.‘s Legendary Restaurants serves six:

8 x 8-inch baking pan, buttered
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 larges cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups half-and-half
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large, ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
4 oz. Jarlsberg or Gruyère cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until just tender (about 15 minutes). Drain into a colander and allow the potatoes to steam for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, wipe out the pot, add the garlic and butter and return to the heat. Allow the garlic to turn golden, then add the half-and-half, salt, pepper, bananas, and potatoes.
4. Using a hand masher, roughly mash the potato mixture. You want to have a textural contrast of smooth and rough pieces. Season to taste, then transfer the potatoes to the baking pan and top with the grated cheese. Place in the oven to heat through and brown the cheese, about 15 minutes.
5. Serve at once or set the oven at 200ºF and keep warm until ready to serve.

Heavy cream, salt, cheese, starch and butter are the fuel that keeps healthy bodies frugging to “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” all day long. Live long et cetera.

Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.26.2018
10:19 am
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That time Bill Murray interviewed William S. Burroughs on Ken Kesey’s farm


Bill Murray, Ken Kesey, and the video crew at the First Perennial Poetic Hoo-Haw, 1976 (photo by Clyde Keller)
 
“Everybody with his fucking hand out,” William S. Burroughs slurs, deep in his cups. He and Bill Murray are discussing the custom of bribing officials when traveling south of the border.

Murray calculates how much it will cost to keep things friendly in TJ. “We figure we’d buy off everybody in Tijuana, just give ‘em two dollars every time they came by.”

Burroughs shakes his head. “No, listen—as soon as you give ‘em two dollars, the next time they come back, they want four dollars. It’s geometric!” He pulls another smoke from his pack of Senior Service. “See, you do not get rid of people by giving them money.”

The occasion, I learn from RealityStudio, was Ken Kesey’s First Perennial Poetic Hoo Haw, held on Kesey’s farm and the University of Oregon campus in June 1976. Photographer Clyde Keller says Murray was there as part of the crew from Eugene’s KVAL-TV, and the gig may also have been related to Murray’s work with the TVTV video collective. Too bad the clip of this historic meeting, with Murray in between The National Lampoon Radio Hour and Saturday Night Live, is only a minute long.

But wait—there’s more! Keep scrolling down for the full, hour long documentary Murray and crew shot at the Hoo Haw, which turned up on YouTube about a week ago. The video includes the moment Burroughs and Murray met in Kesey’s blueberry patch, Burroughs’ reading of “When Did I Stop Wanting to Be President,” and performances by Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsberg, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Watch it all, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.19.2018
10:46 am
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