“Rowdy” Roddy Piper story:

Piper's finest film

Piper’s finest film

Professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy piper came to my high school to speak to my world problems class. He gave a long blustering right wing tirade.

He was there to talk about his expertise vis-a-vis violence in society. He did not come in his work clothes but dressed in jeans and a dress-shirt. On the wall was a signed photo of the teacher’s hero: Ronald Reagan.

He did bring his rasslin’ bluster, somewhat toned down, as he launched into a tirade about how society was too lenient on youth and other crimes. As he worked himself into a boil he finally reached his crescendo with a statement that people should be beaten and shot for petty crimes and hijinks. The room laughed at him. He was taken aback and growled, “You laugh because none of you have ever been shot!” And the laughter exploded. You could barely hear him protest, “If any of you had ever been shot you wouldn’t be laughing.” He had the room rolling in the aisles.

In the center of the room, laughing, was a guy in a leg cast. He had been shot.

After Piper left, the teacher, a friend of Piper, gave a long blustering speech about how we were mean to Rowdy Roddy Piper.

 

I know what you’re saying. Roddy Piper died today. This is a terrible memorial. But I enjoyed the film They Live; just not as much as Hell Comes to Frogtown.

 

Podcast episode 2: Robot Pancakes with Gustav Hasford

DRRevPodThis second episode of the David Raffin podcast is both delightful and delicious. It’s about pancakes and war. And it has robots in it. And Stanley Kubrick. Yes, all that in a 10 minute package. For free. Almost like it was made by a robot. For robots.

And it was.

Hasford.jpg

“Hasford” by Unknown – en:Image:Hasford.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

This episode also offers a story about Gustav Hasford, author of the novel The Short-Timers, which became the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket.

If you want to know more about Gustav Hasford, you can track down some of his books. Perhaps visit
http://gustavhasford.blogspot.com

Which is maintained in his memory.

“The praise I seek from my readers is that they finish my books. After being alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content to trade fame for accuracy of interpretation. Fame, for a writer, is like being a dancing bear with a little hat on your head.”
– Gustav Hasford

Somewhere I have photocopies of his work as a young college student, copied from yellowing newsprint.

 

John Cleese’s favorite John Cleese joke

John Cleese says the best joke he ever wrote was inadvertently cut out of the film Life of Brian due to “camera angles.”
In the film Cleese’s character says, “There are two things you have to know about the meaning of life. The first is that people are not wearing enough hats. The second is that there are several paths to enlightenment but they all involve a lot of work, time, and concentration. Unfortunately people get bogged down by things that don’t really matter and concentrate on them above all else.”
At this point one of the listeners says, “Wait… What was that thing again about the hats?”

Movies for the seeing impaired

Jodi: Sometimes your facial expressions don’t match the situation. At all.
Me: Oh, no, they are always correct expressions. We are just out-of-sync.
***
Seeing a movie at the Capitol theater a week or so ago. The movie starts. WB logo comes on screen. A woman’s voice says, “LOGO, CENTER SCREEN.” It is a strange choice, I think, esthetically. The voice reads the text appearing on screen. “In space, survival is impossible.”
The voice starts to describe the action on screen. People float in space. One dances to music. One is frustrated. I am pleased the voice will be explaining facial expressions as we go.

The film stops cold. The blackness of space is replaced with the blackness of nothing. Two completely different blacknesses.
Someone says, “They are fixing the sound. It was playing the soundtrack for the visually impaired headsets.”
The film begins again at the beginning.

I watch the film regretting what could have been. As the film passed the previous stopping point I am left to wonder what the narrator would say. Probably information to enrich my moviegoing experience. In space narration is possible, but optional and limited.

***
By the way, I prefer the version of Charles Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” that he re-released after sound came in. Chaplin narrates the silent film all the way through. Critics revile this version. I love it.