Friday, August 15, 2008

The China Thunderdrome

My apologies for not having posted in quite a while. The fact is that, while The Olympics have been running, I've been glued to my TV. This was most inconvenient during the flight to China. I had to buy two seats, and who flies appliances first-class? Take my advice darlings: never try to carry a television and an open tube of SuperGlue downstairs at the same time. That's what staff are for. Just my luck that that was when that damned earthquake hit. (Normally I can detect earthquakes by the fact that, for a few moments, I am walking steadily.) If it weren't for the fortunate fact that, since turning 100, I find I now annually shed my skin like a snake, I might have had that flat screen welded to my flat chest forever. (My chest isn't really flat; it's just that my milk bar now hangs so low, I look flat in profile. I might add that there's little point to buying a high-definition television when your eyes don't really focus all that well anyway.)

I'm traveling on my latest honeymoon. I mentioned in an earlier posting, Speak Up!, that I would be marrying whoever won this year's edition of So You think You Can Prance. Needless to say I was relieved when the last of the female prancers was eliminated. With gay marriage now legal in California, I would have been stuck. There are enough gay rumors about me as it is. You wouldn't believe how many people think I'm a dyke simply because I hold back water, have had sex with a number of women, and little Dutch boys are always sticking their fingers in my chink. (If my chink doesn't object, whose business is it? Ironically, digitally plugging my orifice starts the moisture flowing rather than the reverse.) Let me make this perfectly clear; I am not a lesbian, and neither are any of the women I've slept with.

Anyway, gorgeous Joshua Allen, the 19 year old street dancer who can do any style (I intend to put him to the test on that score!), with a butt that can feed four (That butt inspires my own unsychronized cleft-diving!), won the show, and found marrying me, an experienced woman a mere 92 years his senior, was the best part of his prize. Now we're off to China together to enjoy The Chinese Propaganda Olympics. Joshua is my first black husband, so far as I know, and ladies and gays, IT'S TWUE! IT'S TWUE! Our wedding night sex in Asia was The Great Ball of China!

Is it just me, or does the symbol above for the Beijing Olympics look like what The Great Wall would look like after they shot a fleeing dissident as he ran for his life past it? I'm sure they meant their bloody symbol nicely. "We're China. We won't kill you unless you force us to. (By, you know, speaking your mind, or something evil like that.)"

Did you see me in the opening ceremonies? When you're a star as glittering as I, you can stand out even in a cast of thousands.

That was some show, wasn't it? What could be more comforting than seeing a show staged by a brutal, repressive, inhuman regime which includes goose-stepping soldiers carrying their flag about? How about seeing them bring out giant globes and show themselves swarming all over it? Even the sight of people running upside down pales next to the overall image of China over-running the whole world. Somewhere the Dalai Lama is saying, "They're not kidding folks. Trust me."

At one point they had dancers in unitards (Tropic Thunder protesters, please don't picket me because I used the term "Unitards".) rolling about on the giant Liquid Crystal TV screen I had brought over from America SuperGlued to my boobies, causing a painting to be created in front of our eyes, and as they did so, some sportscaster narrating on NBC explained that, in China, art isn't judged by how realistic it is, but by how expressive it is. I found myself thinking "A sportscaster is explaining 'Art' to ME? Excuse me? I've forgotten more about art than that boob ever knew! Gee, painting doesn't have to be photo-realistic. There's a headline!" Maybe I should explain athletic competition to them. "You see, sports builds character. Just ask OJ Simpson." Hey Costas, why not just SHUT THE HELL UP AND LET US WATCH AND HEAR THE SHOW! Why doesn't NBC offer an SAP alternate soundtrack with NO commentators? When someone is singing in a show, I want to hear them sing, not listen to that prize idiot Bob Costas run his mouth.

Speaking of singing in the opening ceremonies, how about that small child version of Milli Vanilli? (If I were tasteless and racist, I would have called them Mirri Vanirri, but fortunately, I'm above such a crude, stereotyped joke.) They didn't let the real girl sing on camera because she didn't fit the Chinese image of perfection, on account, apparently, of having had Chinese dental work, and also, she'd never crushed Tibet. So they have no problem telling a very small girl who can sing like a dream that she's basically too ugly to be seen singing for China. Check her out. What a monstrosity, an adorable monstrosity.

Gee, a repressive, freedom-crushing Regime of Evil staging an Olympics to try and make their country look like just the sort of swell place you wished you lived in, no matter how much fakery and censorship it requires. Where have we seen that before?

Ah Berlin, those Nazis bastards really knew how to throw a propaganda Olympics, letting us see for ourselves that there just happened to be no Olympic-level Jewish athletes in Germany. Actually, nine years later, there really weren't any, as all the ones who hadn't fled to other countries had been murdered. Just think what Hitler could have done with NBC and Bob Costas trumpeting their gamey games all over the world. As it was, we got stuck with Sonja Hennie, the meanest ice queen in the movies. Well, I'm sure the Beijing Olympics are nothing like the Berlin Olympics. Just ask Chairman Palpatine, or Vice-Chairman Vader.

Well, I'm sure that President Dubya has better things to do than show up at the Chinese Propaganda Bonanza Ceremonies. After all, Russia just invaded Georgia, and with the communist invasion of Atlanta that the conservatives have been warning us of for 50 years finally happening, the president must be busy in the Washington War Room, trying to head off ---- DOH!

Seeing Dubya rocking out and having a great time while Savanna was being overrun with Russian tanks, all I could think was: "What a dickhead!" But then, what else is new?

Now Dubya's dad, the old, slightly-less incompetent President Bush, was at the ceremonies also, as he is an old friend of the Chinese government, dating back 30 years. You know, that's the same George Bush who sold the armaments to Saddam Hussein that Soddy used to kill our boys when Georgie's son sent them into Iraq for no good reason. You can always tell when a man is Extremely Evil, because he'll be buddy-buddies with George Herbert Walker Bush.

But to be fair, Dubya did issue a stinging statement about the Russian Invasion of Georgia. He said "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state, and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st Century." That will certainly be good news to Iraq. But then, was Soddam elected? Or was he just someone who illegally seized power away from the person actually elected? Oh wait. That was Dubya. Well anyway, Dunya sent Cuntasleeza Rice to Russia. That'll teach 'em. (Oh and Russia, when Dr. Rice-a-Phony is done, you can keep her.)

Back to the opening propaganda ceremonies. I loved when the ocean-like waves passed over all the boxes with people under them. (It looked lovely until you learned they all live in those boxes full-time.) The sportscaster boobs said this represented ConFuManchucius's axiom that a good government passes over its people like a breeze over grass. Okay, but what about the Chinese government, which rolls over its people with tanks?

Oh well, the fake, CGI fireworks were pretty impressive. Were they nuclear?

This part of the fireworks I particularly liked.

Speaking of Mickey Mouse: Do you know about "Hidden Mickeys"? They are three-circle shapes representing Mickey Mouse that are stashed all over Disneyland, and all the other Disney parks worldwide, like a global version of Where's Waldo? Here's some examples of Hidden Mickeys.

Well, this moment in the opening ceremonies looked to me, more than anything else, like a colossal pair of fiery Hidden Mickeys.
I thought the Chinese Disneyland was in Hong Kong, not Beijing.

On to the games themselves. I don't watch all the sports. I just like men's gymnastics, men's diving, and men's swimming. I fell madly in lust with adorable Rowdy Gaines when he won the gold back at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. What a shock to see on NBC what he looks like now, a mere 24 years later. I haven't changed. Why has he?

Now when I watched goofy Michael Phelps start acquiring more gold than there is in Fort Knox (No wonder the Red Chinese wanted Goldfinger to raid Fort Knox. They needed all that gold to make Phelps's medals.), Rowdy told the story of how my beloved Ian Thorpe, "The Thorpedo," (Last month's Studly Hunk of the Month.) had said that he didn't think Phelps would win 8 gold medals, and how Phelps posted this comment in his locker to motivate himself. It was a very interesting story...


However, by the time I'd heard him tell it 327 times (Which was just in the first hour.), I was - what's the word? - SICK of hearing it! Now, a week later, I've heard this tale told over 7000 times. Rowdy my former darling, find something else to say, or else shut the hell up!

I adore men's gymnastics. (I understand women do it too, though I can't think why.) Well little Tim Daggett, another Olympic gold medal athlete who distinguished himself in Los Angeles in 1984 and is now commenting for NBC, mentioned in passing that the extremely adorable little Indian-American gymnast Raj Bhavsar (As opposed to an American Indian, which is what they also call a "Native American," Although I am a native American, and I'm no Indian. I'll have to ask the Headless Indian Brave to explain this to me in his quaint sign language some time.) only got put on the American Gymnastic team at the last possible minute, when Paul Hamm had to pull out.

That was a very interesting tidbit the first time I heard it. However, Tim feels it necessary to retell that fact every single time Raj appears. And not just when he's competing. If they have a shot of Raj strolling about Beijing, Daggett will tell it again. And anytime Raj is onscreen, Daggett will tell this anecdote every 37 seconds. He'll finish it by saying, "For those of you who weren't listening 25 seconds ago, here's what I just said 42 more times."

Tim dear, when you have nothing to say, SHUT UP!!!!!

Anyway, here I am giving poor, unprepared little Raj a helping hand. I give and I give and I give, but Raj darling, I take it as well. (Did you know that Raj wasn't on the American Olympic Gymnastic Team until the very last minute, because poor little Paul Hamm had to pull out? Oh, you did? Well then I won't mention it again for another 30 seconds.)

This magnificent specimen is American gymnast Jonathon Horton. Horton was already on the team before Paul Hamm had to pull out, so he's not a last minute addition to the team like little Raj Bhavsar, nor has Ian Thorpe ever said a word about how many, if any, gold medals Jonathon will win (He's already got one as of this posting, as has Raj, who was a last minute addition to the team, because Paul Hamm had to pull out. Had you heard that before?), the way he did about Michael Phelps, although Phelps posted Ian's remarks in his locker, to help motivate him.

Who guessed that at these Red Chinese Olympics, the real Hidden Mickey Mice would be NBC's commentators?

Gotta go. It's time for the Men's Synchronized Rhythmic Prancing About With Streamers Event.

Cheers darlings.


Little Dougie asked for some space for a message of his own here. Reading it is not mandatory. Cheers again.

"Engineer Bill" Stulla died this week, at 97. If you weren't a kid, living in Los Angeles between 1954 and 1966, you will have no idea who I am talking about. Engineer Bill hosted the Cartoon Express, a kid's TV show on KHJ-TV (Now KCAL-TV) in Los Angeles five days a week for an hour at 6PM for all of those years. For most of them, I was watching him.

Engineer Bill wasn't particularly funny, wasn't zany, wasn't high energy. He was just a guy in a railroad outfit sitting with a couple kids behind an elaborate model train layout who hosted really bad cartoons. But he was warm, friendly, and he never talked down to kids. He just talked to us straight on, like we were intelligent people. He was like the interesting uncle you wished you had. I loved him.

He was the first celebrity I ever met. I was five years old when I stood in line at a Torrence supermarket at the corner of Crenshaw and 190th Street in 1955 (That's how memorable it was. 53 years later, I remember exactly where the store was.) to shake Engineer Bill's hand, and have him hand me a signed picture and an engineer's hat just like his. It was a thrill.

He was most famous for Red Light/Green Light, a silly Simon Says type milk-drinking game. "Freight Train Wayne," actually staff announcer Wayne Thomas, would call out "Green Light" and you drank from a glass of milk. When he said "Red Light" you stopped. He would try to fake you out, calling them out real fast, or saying stuff like "Yellow Light" which had no application (Later in life, I learned that "Yellow Light" means "Floor it."), or "Reeeeeee - Green light!" If you got through the game with no goofs, you got the "Real Bell." Then Engineer Bill would say, "And now the Lead Bell for me and those who missed." (I wonder if the exposure to lead-poisoning from receiving the lead bell every nightwas what killed him.) You see, Engineer Bill always goofed it up. He never played a perfect game. Never. It wasn't until years later that I realized that an intelligent man in his 40s who played this simple game I had no trouble with five times a week for years, was fouling up deliberately, so the kids could be better at it than this avuncular adult was.

These days Tallulah plays Red Light/Green Light with vodka, but she smashed her red light.

In the 1970s, I wrote a weekly TV show called Fright Night With Seymour, which was also on KHJ. You can read a long piece I wrote about it here: Mister Halloween. Our staff announcer on that show was the same Wayne Thomas who had been Freight Train Wayne, and the studio we shot my scripts in was the same studio Engineer Bill had done his show in. In honor of this fact I wrote an episode where Seymour hypnotizes Wayne and makes him regress:

Seymour: I'm speaking to the being inside Wayne. Who are you?

Wayne: I'm Freight Train Wayne. I play Red Light/Green Light with Engineer Bill.

Seymour: No, no. You've gone back too far. Who are you now?

Wayne: I'm the star of Fright Night, with What's-his-name.

My grandfather was a real railroad engineer and his name was William McEwan, so I always enjoyed telling other kids my grandpa was Engineer Bill.

A career tidbit: Before becoming Engineer Bill, Bill Stulla was Rudy Vallee's announcer for a while. That must be where he learned to handle unruly children.

Another regular feature of Engineer Bill's Cartoon Express was The Bad Habit Express, which was supposed to help you break bad habits like biting nails, being messy, chronic masturbation, voting Republican, etc., with a little choo-choo that pushed the bad habit a little way up a hill each night, and dumped it out on Friday's show, leaving you supposedly cured of your bad habit. It had no effect of course. I did eventually stop biting my nails, and I have never voted for a Republican in my life, but the masturbation thing still persists.

About 7 years ago Bill appeared live in a KCET old-L.A.-TV documentary's pledge break, and he looked great, not really even looking any older and obviously in good health. I actually teared up, I was so glad to see him alive and well.

The big kid's show hosts in Los Angeles in those days were Engineer Bill, Skipper Frank, Bozo the Clown (I made my TV debut on Bozo's show.), and Tom Hatton, who wore a sailor outfit and hosted Popeye cartoons. Bozo, Skipper Frank, and Engineer Bill are all dead now. Tom Hatton must be either sweating bullets, or dancing about, singing "I WON! I WON!" Actually, there was a guy on at noon (so I only got to see him when there was no school.) called Sheriff John. John Rovick, who was Sheriff John, is still alive also, but he's living in Boise, Idaho, which is indistinguishable from being dead.

I'm gulping down a glass of milk in Bill's honor right now, running all the red lights. This is a Lead Bell event.

1 comment:

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I like this post because is funny, i laughed a lot when i read it.