Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Falling Short Of Sainthood

Happiness cannot be built 

                         To suite

                    This one guy I knew
                    He was always sure he was close

                    To breaking through
                    And becoming one of those


                                                             Full of insight 
                                                             And an inner light
               He talked of the emancipating compassion
               And the universal laws of attraction
               While taking little or no action

                                                             To make it happen

                   Never lent a single hand 
                   To lighten the load
                   Of his fellow man

                  Never could seem to understand
                  Why Nirvana eluded his grasp


Monday, October 29, 2012

Your Favorite Is Not As Good As My Favorite

Everybody's got a personal all-time favorite song
Or book, movie, show or joke
That nobody else ever gets

You may have been asked to sing along
Or prodded into listening to obscure electro disco folk
And told to wait, because here come the good bits

                    Possibly you've been handed a novel 800 pages long
                    With the claim that you'll love the emotions it will evoke
                    Except for the middle chapters, they'll give you fits

                                          Here, you can borrow the DVD
                                          It's one you really must see
                                          The Director is really clever
                                          The cast is first rate
                                          This one scene you won't believe
                                          You're sure to agree
                                          It should have won best picture
                                          Due to become a classic, you just wait

Did you see last night's episode?
You don't watch it? Oh, you're missing out!
It's the only thing really good on the tube

Okay, okay, so a salesman's car broke down along a country road
The farmer said he better not mess about 
The only cock he wants near his daughter is in the chicken coop!
               Oh come on! What have you got that's any better?
               What's that? That song? No, no it's way to jangly
               That book? I heard the author is derivative
               I hate that actor, I couldn't bear to watch anything he's in
               Seriously, that's on basic cable, how good could it be?
               Man that was lame, it's tragedy plus time for good comedy

                                 Your tastes leave a lot to be desired


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Implausibility, Improbablity, And Impossibility Of Time Travel

So, I was chatting with a friend about television shows when I mentioned the classic Irwin Allen '60's Sci-Fi show, The Time Tunnel.

My friend became fairly animated and started going on about how much he loved that show and has even watched episodes via the Internet recently.

Then, in all seriousness, he said; "I can't wait until some scientist makes a real time tunnel and we can go back and correct all the big mistakes that humans have made."

Needless to say, I stared at him a bit dumbfounded for at least a full minute. I carefully weighed what my response should be to that statement, then decided against saying anything at all, just shrugged my shoulders and said "Uh, yeah."

Later, as I do on occasion, I started thinking about what I should have said to him.

Maybe something along the lines of "Well, if time travel were to somehow be made practical sometime in the future, doesn't it make sense that somebody would have already gone back and done just that? Wouldn't the world's history books now have nothing but page after page of disease, war and disaster-free recounting of the development of civilization?"

Except I don't think that would be clear enough for this particular friend. Not that he's stupid or slow, it's just that...lets just say he reads a lot of Science Fiction and doesn't fully grasp that it's just that, fiction.

Hmmm...if he reads this blog someday, I hope he doesn't get offended. Probably will. Just a chance I'll have to take.

Admittedly, the prospect of time travel is an intriguing one. But even the most fanciful of Physicists doubt that moving through time is plausible, probable, or possible.

Of course, thousands of incredibly intelligent people have hypothesized theories that claim time travel may be possible, most notably the general and special relativity theories of Dr. Einstein.

But what Dr. Einstein suggested is what is commonly known as Time Dilation, not time travel.

Short, quick explanation - Time Dilation is the difference that an observer will note or experience time elapsing at depending on proximity to a gravitational mass and relative to the observers traveling velocity.

If you've seen or read any Sci-Fi about space travel, you've no doubt heard references made to how space travelers return from a deep space voyage having aged only 10 years or so, while thousands of years have passed on earth -that's Time Dilation at work.

Of course, Time Dilation in those scenarios requires traveling at speeds close to or even faster than the speed of light, which isn't going to happen. Prove me wrong Mr. man from the future reading this blog!

Astronauts who have stayed on the International Space Station have reportedly come back to earth younger than the staff at Mission Control as a result of Gravitational Time Dilation.

Seven thousandths of a second younger. How they measure that is beyond the keen of my intellect.

That's not what the Time Tunnel was about though. The Time Tunnel was about two scientists in a secret underground lab (all scientists work in secret underground labs, so if you're claustrophobic, better not opt for science as a career field) who jump around in time, almost always landing in the middle of some historical tragedy or disaster about to go down.

For anyone born after 1980, think of the show Quantum Leap - except these guys didn't jump into people in dire situations, just into the dire situations.

But I have digressed quite a bit from what I wish I had  stated to my friend, which is, not only do I believe traveling through time backwards is flat out implausible, I believe it is flat out improbable, and yeah, flat out impossible as well.

Yep. Implausible, improbable, and impossible.

Primarily because I do not believe time exists as a place. And by that what I mean is, I don't believe there is a place where the last minute or so I spent typing this sentence is being stored, and I can go back and visit it, watch me type away.

Of course just because I don't believe it, doesn't mean it isn't so. Feel free to believe whatever you like...I swear I won't laugh at you.

Me, I believe time is a measurement of intervals between when things happen or how long things last. It is not a physical place that can be visited. 

As I mentioned near the beginning of this little diatribe, if traveling backward in time was to be discovered sometime in the future, logic dictates that someone would have gone back in time and made a few changes, such as eliminating Hitler before he became Chancellor of Germany.

Since we know Hitler did in fact become Chancellor of Germany, obviously time travel was never invented in the future.

There are those who say (my friend most likely would be among them) that the answer to that one is simple - the scientists who make time travel possible in the future are also intelligent enough to know not to interfere with anything in the past, as the consequences on the future are unpredictable.

Ah, but what about Schrodinger's cat in a box, hmmm? The whole bit about observation itself having an affect on the results?

A lot of really big brains have come up with some serious theories to explain time travel paradoxes such as the classic Can I be my own grandfather? or What if I prevented my own birth?, but I have to believe those big brains are just having some fun with the rest of us average IQ types.

It's not like we all haven't seen those episodes of the Twilight Zone and we've all read H.G. Wells and a hundred other fantasist spin fantastic tales of time travel. They are all great fun and sometimes even thought provoking.

Hell, time travel has been used in Fantasy and Science Fiction for so long now it has become something of a relic in the way of plot devices, almost a MacGuffin.

But being as how scientists from the future haven't come back and corrected any of mankind's mistakes, well...wait a minute...unless...unless not preventing the tragedies we are aware of, keeping Hitler alive and all the other wars, disease, tragedy, etc...prevented something that was far, far worse!

Scary thought, that. Good idea for a movie though.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Keep A Leary Lookout For Lecherous Llamas

All they offered for dinner was blistering barnacles
With a side of sufferin' succotash
Bob asked, perhaps, if there were any pepperoni particles
No, he was told, only some gangrenous goulash

Somebody asked if Kim would like to see the leapin' lizards
Or maybe play with the diggity dog
Stromboli claimed to be in league with wonderful wizards
And if she didn't believe him 
He'd turn Kim
into a fantasic frog

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy To Play Fair When You're Winning

What could we possibly have had in common?

                     Beer, a few movies, trivia and a little music
                     Couldn't possibly be enough 

You had a few marriages under your belt
And a few kids as a result
Along with a bitterness towards men

                     A man with sharper instincts 
                     Would have recognized the demon
                     Without needing to witness the metamorphosis

That came when I called your bluff
How was it so hard for me to discern?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Something To Look Forward To

If you beat the odds and your own stupidity
You will look in the mirror someday
And see crows feet
Small circles around your eyes

That is when you begin to realize there is no infinity
Everybody eventually stares at the grey
Nature is rarely indiscreet
The wrinkles are hard to disguise

The best we can hope for is accepting the reality
Of our youth gracefully fading away
On shuffling sore feet
Time to revel in being worldly and wise

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Memories and Merriment At The San Diego Comic Fest 2012

As most pop-culture aficionados are well aware, the city of San Diego annually plays host to San Diego Comic-Con International, a massive gathering of fans of comic books, science fiction, movies, television, cosplay, steampunk, animation, and on and on. 

While it attracts over 100,000 fans nowadays, it wasn't always such a big deal. In the mid '70's, the Comic-Con was fairly small - averaging a few thousand fans at best.

The very first Comic-Con I tried to attend was held at the El-Cortez Hotel in 1972, but I missed it by hours - my Mom and I showed up as the last of the dealers were leaving. My 9-year old heart was shattered.

I attended the Con held on Harbor Island the following year though, and again at the El Cortez the year after that one. However, all I ever went for was to find and purchase cheap comics. I was a poor kid and being able to purchase .20 cent comics for half price was a godsend. Nothing else mattered to me at that young age.

It wasn't until the 1975 Comic-Con in the early summer that I remember anything other than buying cheap comics in dealer bargain bins. That was the year I started to appreciate the fact that the very people who had created the books I loved so much were all around me.

That summer I started attending Con Committee meetings - at first somewhere out in Clairemont (I cannot recall where, exactly), but later in a small room at the El Cortez.

Eventually, Rick and I got voted in as committee members, though our only function was as gophers - running errands and watching doors, sleeping on cots in the art room to keep an eye on Steranko's original oils of The Shadow, etc.

Being a gopher also meant we got to stay in the gopher room during the run of the Con, which, as I think I've mentioned in a previous blog, was pure heaven for my teen self.

The Comic-Con was the bright spot of my life until I left San Diego in '81. I cannot understate just how much better my life was and is because of that one week a year I was able to get away from a world wherein I was considered a geek (and not in the "isn't he a cute geek" way that is the current interpretation) and be among others like me.

Which is the primary reason I drove 1200 miles back to San Diego last Thursday. Sure, I was going to see my family and friends who still reside in San Diego, but I was also going to attend San Diego Comic Fest.

Comic Fest was spearheaded by Mike Towry, one of the original organizers of the San Diego Comic-Con, as a way to bring the Con back to it's roots, not only in scale, but in atmosphere and intention - fans of comics and related genres sharing in a mutual love for a hobby.

Rick and I arrived at the Town & Country hotel fairly early Friday morning. The signage directing attendees to registration and events had yet to be put up, and the registration area itself was still being readied.

However, being as how this little reunion of a Comic-Con was being run by the people who put on the very first San Diego Comic-Con and they knew exactly what they were doing, we were able to get our badges in minutes, and, after grabbing a few schedules we set out to look around the grounds and get the lay of the land.

Our first stop was the dealers room, naturally, but there were not too many dealers in attendance yet, so we asked where we might find some coffee and were directed to the re-creation of Cafe Frankenstein on the 9th floor of the Regency tower. 

Cafe Frankenstein was a European-styled coffee house that folk musician Doug Myers, writer George Clayton Johnson & artist Burt Shonberg opened in Laguna Beach, California in 1958. It was only open a short two years, but it had a lasting influence on many creative types.  

I mistakenly believed it was the place Ralph Hulett had taken us on the return trip from the Hollywood Fanfare convention back in '77 or '78, but I was grossly mistaken - Cafe Frankenstein had closed down before I was even born.

The recreation of Cafe Frankenstein was impressive. There were posters from nearly every Frankenstein movie ever made all about the room, along with statues and tiki's of Frankenstein's monster, and impressive displays on every table that gave bits of history on the SoCal Beats who frequented the Cafe in it's short life.

The re-creation also included some interesting short biographies of noted luminaries of the underground scene of the day in table-top displays and flyers, and even an incredible re-creation by Wendy All of Burt Shonberg's faux stained-glass window featuring the Frankenstein monster that filled a bay window near the entrance of the original cafe.

The coffee operation was not quite up and running yet though, so Rick and I decided to go out and find a place to grab a bite for breakfast and get coffee. However, before we took off we ran into early S.D. Comic-Con pioneers Mike Towry, the wondrous organizer of the Comic Fest, and Wendy All, the talented artist who had toiled for endless hours to put together the awesome recreation of Cafe Frankenstein.

Though we have shared a few emails, I couldn't remember if I had ever met Mike before - I'm not sure if he was still involved with the S.D. Con in 1976. I did recall Wendy though. It was actually a thrill to see them both, as that somewhat put faces to all that was going on.

     Rick Thibodeau, Mike Towry, Wendy All & Chris Bakunas at the SDCF, October 2012

After we had breakfast and got some good, strong coffee off site, Rick and I made our way back to the Comic Fest. The first order of business was to be the dealers room now that it was up and running at full strength.

The dealers room was small, smaller that any I could remember from the Con's we had attended in the '70's. 

However, it made up for what it lacked in volume with friendly vendors who had brought a wide variety of books and related memorabilia, and really great prices.

Being able to buy four comics for a dollar was, adjusted for inflation, an even better deal than the ten for a dollar comics I'd buy from dealer bargain bins at the '70's Cons.

There were a number of rooms set up for seminars and symposiums. For the remainder of Friday, and much of Saturday, Rick and I sat in on several great panel discussions.  

Artists Alley and the art show were both on the same floor as Cafe Frankenstein. The artists and the artwork featured represented everything from the accomplished professional to the bright-eyed, ever hopeful amateur. It was refreshing to be able to interact with both in a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere. 

George Clayton Johnson and Doug Myers related the mis-adventures of the denizens of Cafe Frankenstein in the late '50's. The Beat culture has intriqued me ever since I read On The Road when I was in my late teens.

Listening to them relate tales of run-ins with the establishment in the early days of the counter-culture was funny. Times change, but people and their reaction to change doesn't seem to.

        Doug Myers and George Clayton Johnson (sporting a bandage covering a head wound he got in a minor Friday morning mishap) share memories of Cafe Frankenstein. I think I used a potato to take this pic.

Michael C. Gross hosted  a little seminar on the comic-book and sci-fi & fantasy artists he recruited for National Lampoon's Funny Pages and how he was able to get Frank Frazetta to create covers for National Lampoon back in the early '70's.

That was fun - Mr. Gross was art director of National Lampoon when he was 25, and he shared some amusing anecdotes and insights that had me wishing I still had some of my older brothers copies of National Lampoon, and not just for pics of the delectable Danielle who was featured topless in the photo funnies. 

A remembrance of Dave Stevens and a celebration of his life and work featured Steve Ringgenberg, Mark Evanier, Henri Mayo and Jackie Estrada. I can barely recall knowing Dave back then, my only memories being his working with Clayton Moore on the art show, and for some reason I always think of him wearing a vest - a suit vest, not a leather biker vest.

That discussion was somewhat emotional on occasion, which is to be expected when the panel membership consists of friends and not Academics. Jackie Estrada had brought a number of pics of Dave taken at various cons in the late '70's, and I was surprised at how skinny he was in the pics.

Another panel that I enjoyed immensely featured Barry Alfonso, Wendy All, Ron Turner and Pete Von Sholly recalling Dr. Timothy Leary's visit to the Con in 1976. 

Dr. Leary had just been released from prison and was at the '76 Con as a guest and to promote a new book, "What Do Women Want." I have clear recollections of Dr. Leary being in the dealers room, and I'm fairly certain I was scared as hell of him (my Mom had filled my head with storys of him being a drug pusher).

That was all Rick and I could handle Friday (getting old sucks). We left to get dinner in P.B., and then relax and recharge for the next day.

First thing Saturday morning I sat in on the Spotlight on Murphy Anderson. Gary Carter asking Murphy Anderson about working as a comic book artist in the '50's and '60's was both interesting and revealing.

It was great hearing stories of how fantastic Silver and Bronze age stories and art were created - there was quite a bit more rushing to met deadlines that I had imagined. Gary Carter is a great interviewer. He brought along a large number of books Murphy Anderson had worked on from his own collection, and his knowledge of Mr. Anderson's work was amazing.

Rick had acquired a few comics trading with a dealer, and that somewhat sparked the desire for me to pick up a few books too. I went back to the dealers room and not only picked up a few more books, but ran into a lot of people I had yet been able to talk to - Clayton Moore and his wife romance novelist Terry Moore, Scott Shaw!, Jim Cornelius, Mark Evanier, and Jim Valentino (who I had last seen in Greg Pharis' Golden State Comics store near 30th and Adams about 33 years ago).

The early years panel featured original S.D. Comic-Con committee members Jackie Estrada, Mark Evanier, Roger Freedman, Greg Bear, David Clark, Wendy All, Mike Towry and Scott Shaw!. There was a lot of history at that long table, as I believe every single participant was present at the very first San Diego Comic-Con.

    Jackie Estrada, Mark Evanier, Roger Freedman, David Clark, Wendy All, Mike Towry, and Scott Shaw!. Greg Bear was sitting between Roger and David, but had to leave early. Pic taken with a waffle, as I forgot my real camera Saturday.

The El Cortez days discussion in the Cafe Frankenstein with Phil Yeh, Clayton Moore, Roger Freedman, and Jackie Estrada was fun. Clayton recounted his adventures as an amateur stuntman climbing up the fire escape of the El Cortez, something I had completely forgotten about.

I will confess to becoming a bit sentimental at times. Seeing people I had not seen in over thirty years (like Clayton Moore and George Clayton Johnson, who both looked exactly the same!).

Walking about the dealers room amongst people who were, like me, part of a sub-culture that has literally come out of the basement and is now part of the pop-culture mainstream, was a little like taking a big step back in time. There were not too many people in costumes (Costumes were almost always reserved for the Masquerade back then), and people were walking around with stacks of comics in their hands.

Even the site of the Comic Fest, the Town & Country hotel, reminded me of being at the El Cortez in the '70's. Except it was much, much cleaner.

It still amazes me that My mom and Rick's parents allowed us to stay at El Cortez for the Con. Fortunately, everyone involved in the Con was basically a good person, and my Mom had no apprehensions about them - except maybe for Captain Sticky - My Mom was always a little suspicious of that guy.

The San Diego Comic Fest was a great time. I got to meet up with a lot of people I hadn't seen in over three decades, some I remembered well, some I did not.

If Mike decides to make this an annual thing, I'll be there every year. Back in Colorado, a little tired and worn, I reflected that it might be nice to actually get a room at the venue next time - save on driving, and allow me to enjoy the late night festivities.

Oh, and I wish I had bought more bargain bin comics. Man I love reading books I don't feel compelled to treat like museum treasures.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Driving Through Utah In The Middle Of The Night

                                           Utah...nowhere near as bland as this picture.

Afflicted as I am by an annoying compulsion to take a picture of nearly everything I see that is in any way remotely interesting, driving from Denver to San Diego can become quite the torturous ideal.

For passengers, that is.

Me, I love it. This time out, which was trip number 26 or 27 in the past decade, I was flying solo. However, I was on a fairly strict schedule, so stopping to take what would possibly be the 1,000 pic of the view from the Capital Reef rest area was not going to be practical.

Which is why it was a godsend that I had to work late, as that led to me leaving Denver at 6:30 in the evening, and that, of course, meant I was driving the 230 mile stretch of I-70 from the Colorado border to the interchange with I-15 in the middle of the night.

I-70 out of Colorado west through Utah is a very lonely stretch of road. Remember those old cartoons featuring vultures perched on signs in the desert, sloppily painted warnings advising that the last chance for gas within 100 miles was just ahead?

This stretch of the Federal Interstate system is the inspiration for those cartoons, and they are based on reality.

I drove straight through, not stopping until I reached the rest stop on I-15 just beyond Parowan. At 4:30 am.

       A far better representation of the area of Utah along I-70/I-15 (This pic was taken along I-15)

I had hoped to have the stamina to make it to Vegas before needing a rest, but that was not to be. I pulled into a parking spot as far away from a light cam as I could get, adjusted the seat back as far back and flat as I could, and was asleep in seconds.

The noise of long-haul truckers firing up their rigs to get back on the road woke me less than two hours later. I lay back in that half-awake, half-asleep state we all know for about a half hour before finally getting up and out of the car and staggering to the rest stop facilities to splash some cold water on my face.

Only two hours from Vegas. I would eat breakfast there. Casino buffet food - yum.


                                       Uno, oil, 20 inches X 30 inches, 2010

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Got Tree?

                                       The Tree, Oil, 75 inches by 67 inches, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gentlemen of Urban Leisure

                                       Fred, Ron, Darrell, Tom, Chris, Brad & Tim, April  2012

I always remember where I was when I met a particularly good Soul
Though sometimes the circumstances aren't always 
The reasons why the friendship formed never 

When you find yourself with a kindred spirit it's easy to Appreciate 

Who they really are

Even the most unfavorable of habits are 
When your idiosyncrasies and fallacies are  

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Canvas Is At Times A Torturous Bastich

      Crew Moving Onto The Wind is a painting I finished in 2006. It's a personal favorite

It would really be something else altogether
To create a work that would be both original and clever

That would please the sensibilities of all who viewed it
Even those who disdain all art for the sake of being hip
Would not be able to suppress their awe, not one single bit

So it is with dogged persistence
And bull-headed, stubborn insistence

That brush continues to attack canvas without restraint
The desire to create is sometimes so overwhelming
But brother, between you and I, sometimes it ain't

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Something That Isn't Real Cannot Be Broken

Some people think poetry is sacrilegious
Especially if it doesn't rhyme
Some people think poetry is irrelevant
Equatable with the most heinous crime

Those people, they have the right to their beliefs
Just as anyone else has the right to believe they are wrong
Who can judge what is or isn't entertaining
In a world where gargled, synthesized gibberish 
Is considered song

                              The kids like
                              Repetitive chants
                              And effective

Some people think time is of the essence
And rush around all day long
Some people think time is a contrivance
Meant to confuse and string 
All of us along

If you're happy chanting a mantra
To a god you've never met
Enjoy yourself as if this is the only chance you have
No one's come back to refute that yet


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thirty Days Of Hard Time Or Worse

           Ohioans know that getting your pet fish drunk

   Will probably get you thrown in the clink
          It's best to think twice and again before you offer up that drink

                   Similarly, most Canadians are well aware

            That painting your front door deep purple is a crime
                  It may not get you prison but you'll probably pay a fine

     If you're not wearing underwear when you leave your house in Thailand

Be ready to be made poorer by quite a few hundred Baht
    Though if you're wearing trousers it's probably difficult to get caught

            Apartment dwellers in Switzerland learn to carefully time their poops

     500 hundred years of neutrality doesn't mean they won't call the police
           As flushing a toilet after 10 pm is considered disturbing the peace

              While in Venice it is wise to be aware

       That the feeding of pigeons is never, ever encouraged
              The fines are stiff enough that even the celebrities in PeTA are discouraged 
                Not everyone in the world is a fan of funnyman Jerry Lewis
        But in Cannes, France the residents still revere him as a comic genius
               And wearing a mask that mocks his appearance is an offense fairly serious

   In Italy where fashion is king there is no law against polyester

Unless you are obese and you're caught in a suit made of that  
   They'll charge you with public indecency (I wonder if that includes a wrinkle-free hat)    
             It's difficult to imagine how the Chinese enforce this
          But being as how the policy in place is one child per couple
             If you're born a twin how do they decide which one's the criminal double?                    

Friday, October 12, 2012

Who Needs A Document Shredder When You Have A Cat?

Ninja Larry, guilty, guilty, guilty

  The cat is trying to make like it has a decent alibi
    For the hours between ten and four
    The facts though, remain unimpeachable
Little bits of today's news cover the floor

It must be assumed the dog didn't partake
   In this little bit of vandalism
For the Kibbles & Bits and other doggy treats
Were untouched by this act of terrorism

No matter where I looked, all over the room
  The shredded remains of the paper lay
The sports, the comics, the editorial opinions
All terribly slain like some helpless prey

With one wary eye open the guilty party
Wakes up from his innocent nap
He stretches and then struts over to throw
Himself on the mercy of the court's lap


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Art Of Sculpture In Dravidian Architecture

Bas-relief seen at Detroit Institute of Art

On the Indian subcontinent there are hundreds of stone temples built with multiple stories of bas-relief or fully realized structural component statues of voluptuous maidens, ferocious warriors, revered deities, and elaborately ornamented members of the aristocracy.

These temples were created by the Dravidian peoples primarily in Southern India. The carvings which cover nearly every square inch of these generally massive complexes give the impression that the buildings are supported by row after row of people and animals standing on one another's shoulders.

Reportedly, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva in the city of Madurai in the Tamil Nadu state of India that features individual sculptures that number in the tens of millions.

Which supposedly pales in comparison to the Hindu and Jain temple complex in the city of Khajuraho in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The temples there are said to feature millions upon millions of carved idols. 

Millions. That's a lot of sculpting by a lot of sculptors for a very, very long time.

See what can be accomplished when you shut off the TV?

Indian statues are impressive. Nearly every major museum I have ever visited has an example or two of the graceful, sensual, extremely curvilinear sculptures. The forms almost always are carved out of sandstone or some other fairly easy to work mineral.

The Hindu gods and symbolism that dominate the carvings found on the walls of the Dravidian temples are incredibly detailed, and remarkably there is very little exact repetition.

Depending on when and by whom the temples were built, the most often represented god is Shiva, which makes sense as he is considered the most powerful of the Hindu gods.

However, there are also depictions of ample bosomed women with wide hips gracefully dancing, playing with their hair, posing seductively,and even engaging in sexual activity, right alongside pious disciples offering gifts to the Siva saints and multiple-armed deities in yoga-like poses, on temples all over India. 

There are also some well-known rock-cut temples in the Dravidian style that feature smooth, round-faced Buddha sitting in serene contemplation, but those don't hold as much interest for me.

Hindu sculpture seen at Detroit Institute of Art

What amuses me (and admittedly, attracts me as well) about the sculptures that depict women is that they are all somewhat plump with very large breasts, without exception.

I've known a few women who trace their ancestry to the Indian subcontinent. During my travels in the U.K and in Europe, I have met a number of Indian and Pakistani women. With one exception, none of those women looked anything like those statues. 

The proportions are greatly exaggerated, as almost all the women I have encountered who hail from that corner of the world are count-every-rib thin (the one exception is Yaz, and though her father, who looks eerily like Ghandi, is Pakistani, her mother is Dutch).

It must be a rule that, just as found in the statuary carved by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and nearly all other civilizations new and old, any depiction of the human form, especially the female, must almost always be idealized.

Small Hindu sculpture seen at Detroit Institute of Art

Which I have absolutely no problem with.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rewriting Songs For The Contemporary Radio Audience

Today I'm going to take a stab at re-writing a song from the early days of rock 'n' roll radio for today's more, uh, worldly audience.

The song is "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers

At first I thought about re-naming the song "Get Out Little Susie", but then I realized that sounded a bit 1980's-ish, so instead I'm going with "You Need To Go Lil' Shawty"

The song "Wake Up Little Susie" opens with the lyrics:

Wake up little Susie, wake up
Wake up little Susie, wake up
We've both been sound asleep
Wake up little Susie and weep
The movies over, it's four o'clock
and we're in trouble deep

Now, in the year 2012, the lyrics would reflect the age of sexual enlightenment  strangers waking up with strangers in strange beds, the prevalence of misogynistic attitudes (esp. in Rap), etc., so the words would be more like:

Lil' Shawty, you got to get your ass out
Lil' Shawty, you got to get your ass out
'cause we done playing farmer and plow
Lil' Shawty, you got to sack off now
That vadge was fine but I ain't got time 
So you know, see ya, sayonara, ciao

The original song continues with:

Wake up little Susie
Wake up little Susie
Well, what are we going to tell your mama?
What are we going to tell your pa?
What are we going to tell our friends 
When they say ooh-la-la?
Wake up little Susie 
Wake up little Susie

Which would be replaced with:

Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
I ain't 'bout s'plainin' to my big sis
I don't need FA from fastards getting in my biz 
I don't need to be playin' Q & A with the homies
About who the Freakyfreak of the week is
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out

Again, the original lyrics:

Well I told your mama that you'd be in by ten
Well Susie baby looks like we goofed again
Wake up little Susie 
Wake up little Susie
We gotta go home

Wake up little Susie, wake up
Wake up little Susie, wake up

The movie wasn't so hot
It didn't have much of a plot
We fell asleep, our goose is cooked
Our reputation is shot

Wake up little Susie
Wake up little Susie, well
What are we going to tell your mama
What are we going to tell your pa
What are we going to tell our friends
When they say ooh-la-la

Wake up little Susie
Wake up little Susie
Wake up little Susie 

And the 2012 radio-friendly update:

It's cool you were down with playin' some mattress hockey
I ain't lyin' saying you is one fine sausage jockey
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Yo ass got to go now

Lil' Shawty, you got to get your ass out
Lil' Shawty, you got to get your ass out

That bar was such a village
You caught my eye with that cleavage
We bumped uglies, and we can be friendlies
So don't be thinking this is a dumpage

Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
I ain't 'bout s'plainin' to my big sis
I don't need FA from fastards getting in my biz 
I don't need to be playin' Q & A with the homies
About who the Freakyfreak of the week is

Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out
Lil' Shawty, get yo ass out

I think I've got a hit on my hands here. Might have to get a Grammy acceptance speech ready....

Be sure to join me next week when I update "Oobie Doobie" (Or Day Tripper...naw, that would be waaaay too obvious)

*The lyrics to Wake Up Little Susie" were written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1957 and the song was banned in numerous cities as it was considered risque!

**The lyrics are used here purely for satire/parody purposes as defined under the fair use doctrine codified in 17 USC § 107.