Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mouse Blanche - 1962 Pilot Short

1962 Krazy Kat cartoon from Paramount Cartoon Studios. Ignatz has purchased all sorts of stuff with his Mouse Blanche credit card, including stuff to throw a party and friends to party with. But Ignatz has them thrown out when he discovers they like to smoke his cigars. And of course he still has to pay that credit card bill.

King Features TV print with crown open/closing. This was also theatrically released by Paramount. Directed by Seymour Kneitel. This was the last one to use the white-bellied version of Krazy. Voices: Penny Phillips, Paul Frees, and Howie Morris.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Krazy Kat Goes A-Wooing

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse

Krazy Kat, a critically acclaimed comic strip by George Herriman, was published in American newspapers between 1913 and 1944. It first appeared in William Randolph Hearst's New York Evening Journal, and Hearst was a major booster for the strip throughout its run. The characters were seen earlier in a side strip with Herriman's The Family Upstairs, where the phrase "Krazy Kat" is said by the mouse toward the said cat.

Set in a dreamlike portrayal of Herriman's vacation home of Coconino County, Arizona, Krazy Kat's mixture of surrealism, innocent playfulness and poetic language have made it a favorite of comics aficionados and art critics for more than 80 years.

The strip focuses on the curious "love" triangle between its title character, a carefree and innocent cat of indeterminate gender (referred to as both male and female); the cat's antagonist, Ignatz Mouse; and the protective police dog, Officer Bull Pupp. Krazy nurses an unrequited love for the mouse; however, Ignatz despises Krazy and constantly schemes to throw a brick at Krazy's head, which Krazy takes as a sign of affection. Officer Pupp, as Coconino County's administrator of law and order, makes it his unwavering mission to interfere with Ignatz's brick-tossing plans and lock the mouse in the county jail.

Despite the slapstick simplicity of the general premise, it was the detailed characterization, combined with Herriman's visual and verbal creativity, that made Krazy Kat one of the first comics to be widely praised by intellectuals and treated as serious art. Art critic Gilbert Seldes wrote a lengthy panegyric to the strip in 1924, calling it "the most amusing and fantastic and satisfactory work of art produced in America today." Poet E. E. Cummings, as another Herriman admirer, wrote the introduction to the first collection of the strip in book form. Though only a modest success during its initial run, in more recent years, many modern cartoonists have cited Krazy Kat as a major influence.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Are You Ambiguity Tolerant?

Ambiguity tolerance is the ability to perceive ambiguity in information and behavior in a neutral and open way. Ambiguity tolerance is an important issue in personality development and education.

In psychology and in management, levels of tolerance of ambiguity are correlated with creativity, risk aversion, psychological resilience, lifestyle, orientation towards diversity (cross-cultural communication, intercultural competence), and leadership style.

Wilkinson's Modes of Leadership is largely based on ambiguity tolerance. Mode one leaders have the least tolerance to ambiguity with mode four leaders enjoying and preferring to work in ambiguous situations. In part this is due to what Wilkinson calls 'emotional resilience.'

The converse, ambiguity intolerance, which was introduced in The Authoritarian Personality in 1950, was defined in 1975 as a “tendency to perceive or interpret information marked by vague, incomplete, fragmented, multiple, probable, unstructured, uncertain, inconsistent, contrary, contradictory, or unclear meanings as as actual or potential sources of psychological discomfort or threat."

-- to oversimplify for the education of the concrete and narrow minded: this is why progressive people have open minds and reactionary people have closed minds.

One type embraces new ideas and change while the other type cowers in fear and terror.

This is also why the ambiguity intolerant views a person who examines new evidence and changes their mind as a "flip flopper."

This is why the ambiguity intolerant desire a return to some fantasy past and can only endorse simplistic slogans that don't tax their brains and confuse them.

This is why the ambiguity intolerant HATE, yes HATE, different cultures and lifestyles, intellectuals, artists, higher education, and any form of abstract thought.

Just recently I was in a debate with an ambiguity intolerant person who defended their position by confessing that my communication was making them dizzy. This "keep it simple, stupid" person thought that the mere complexity of my conversation proved me wrong.

First of all, my communication wasn't that complex. Secondly, this person was admitting that it hurt for them to think. This person earnestly believed that their inability or lack of desire to think beyond the concrete and simple was a proof that my ideas were wrong.

I cannot tell you how many ambiguity intolerant people I have met in my life, particularly in my youthful religious years. Even in my religious youth, I didn't believe in the voodoo of religion. I didn't believe in creationism or Noah's Ark or the superiority of my religion over others. I was drawn to the ideals of social justice I saw in the "sacred texts."

As I grew in age, education, and experience I saw that the ideals of social justice in my religion were merely MASKS most (not all) followers wear to hide their petty, small-minded, selfish, greedy, control freak, backwards thinking minds. Once I found myself on the wrong side of history, I washed the dirt of ignorance off my feet and have never looked back.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jones & Smith on Global Warming

smith and jones huddle in a snow filled D.C. alley, conspiring on ways to get the concrete thinking vote.....i know, smith says to jones...let's continue to call climate change "global warming"...that way, the concrete thinkers who can only deal with the literal and the black and white of reality will decide a wicked snow storm disproves global warming instead of realizing it actually does prove climate change...shhh! jones says to smith, and don't mention the glaciers melting...we best be quiet...if they hear us thinking it may make them dizzy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So, Thinking Makes You Dizzy?

Unfortunately, concrete, black and white, absolutist thinkers aren't really thinking. The synapses may be firing, but the connections aren't connecting. The small minded have always had problems with humor. To truly appreciate the multiple dimensions of comedy, it takes a mind that can handle the abstract without feeling that the sky is falling, contemplate the grey areas between polar absolutes without fearing the loss of equilibrium, and welcome the seemingly absurd as an opportunity to learn something new. To understand wit, one has to have wit, not be a half-wit.

The willfully ignorant don't understand satire or irony or sarcasm. These concepts are too demanding. Matter of fact, they can't even define satire or irony or sarcasm. But they'll belly laugh when a fellow ignoramus ridicules the intelligent, the complex, the unknown. They'll always giggle madly at a cruel insult towards that which they find difficult to understand. "Keep it simple, stupid" is their favorite mantra.

But that isn't us. No, we're brilliant. Sure we eat big macs, smoke cigarettes, toke meth, watch meaningless sports programs, never read anything but a fast food menu, and can't handle change, but we know we are the center of the universe and everyone else is just stupid.

Good for us. We're Americans after all! We don't need to think hard or read or do anything. Providence will protect us because we think we are the best, not only in the whole world, but in the whole universe! We're the real chosen people. Hooray for us!

Nah, we don't want a smart person running the country. Can't have that, you betcha! We need an oil rich boob, frat house bully and dry drunk failure who can talk macho and bankrupt the country or an anti-education boobette and irresponsible, opportunistic quitter who spouts empty cliches that make us feel good and superior.

That's what we like in a "leader," someone who appears as dumb as we are, but makes us feel happy, safe and secure in the status quo. It doesn't matter if they are rich and don't really understand the working person or if they are a political puppet who parrots the party line, we want someone who reinforces our ignorance dammit.

These cardboard heroes say what we want to hear and that makes us feel good without having to exercise our brains. After all, it makes us dizzy to think beyond a sound byte. We want our "leaders" to stick to their narrow minded positions even if new evidence proves them wrong. How can we believe in a "leader" who can change their mind? We don't even want to think about that.

We're too busy being overworked and underpaid to spend any time researching history or science. But we've accepted that and it has proven to be a good excuse. We can't learn from the lessons of the past to inform and equip our future. Nah, we prefer a nice slogan that seems to summon up what's in our empty minds. You betcha!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lou Reed's "Strawman"

I don't go to a lot of concerts. But I went to see Lou Reed at the Greek Theatre twice in the 90s for concerts that featured his albums NEW YORK (1989) and MAGIC & LOSS (1992) respectively. Both times were glorious. I missed his last concert here in Los Angeles, but I plan to go see his next one. So, when is old Bus Riley coming back to town?

Lou Reed

We who have so much to you who have so little
to you who don't have anything at all
We who have so much more than any one man does need
and you who don't have anything at all, ah
Does anybody need another million dollar movie
does anybody need another million dollar star
Does anybody need to be told over and over
spitting in the wind comes back at you twice as hard

Strawman, going straight to the devil
strawman, going straight to hell
Strawman, going straight to the devil

strawman, yes

Does anyone really need a billion dollar rocket
does anyone need a 60,000 dollars car
Does anyone need another president
or the sins of Swaggart parts 6, 7, 8 and 9, ah
Does anyone need yet another politician
caught with his pants down and money sticking in his hole
Does anyone need another racist preacher
spittin' in the wind can only do you harm, ooohhh

Strawman, going straight to the devil
strawman, going straight to hell
Strawman, going straight to the devil


Does anyone need another faulty shuttle
blasting off to the moon, Venus or Mars
Does anybody need another self-righteous rock singer
whose nose he says has led him straight to God
Does anyone need yet another blank skyscraper
if you're like me I'm sure a minor miracle will do
A flaming sword or maybe a gold ark floating up the Hudson
when you spit in the wind it comes right back at you

Strawman, going straight to the devil
Strawman, going straight to hell
Strawman, going to the devil

Strawman, strawman
strawman, ...., ah

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bob Dylan's "Things Have Changed"

We have a cd of the "Wonder Boys" soundtrack in the car. Bob Dylan's "Things Have Changed" rolls over the final credits of the film and appears on the soundtrack album. Sometimes, when I'm alone in the car, perhaps while taking one of my drives along PCH up to Ventura or across Mullholland through the Santa Monica Mountains, or both on the same day, one direction north and the opposite on the return trip, I'll put this song on repeat and let the poetry send my mind wandering. The best poetry does that. It helps you explore yourself. It points you in different directions you might not have thought about. You reflect on your past and create hopes for your future. Sometimes, if you want to, you can exchange meta-narratives for reality.

The first You Tube clip presents the studio version of the song that appears on the soundtrack album. The second clip presents a live performance of the same song by Bob Dylan at the Academy Awards. Watch how a master musician can manipulate his own work to make it something new and different.

Things Have Changed
Bob Dylan

A worried man with a worried mind
No one in front of me and nothing behind
There's a woman on my lap and she's drinking champagne
Got white skin, got assassin's eyes
I'm looking up into the sapphire tinted skies
I'm well dressed, waiting on the last train

Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose
Any minute now I'm expecting all hell to break loose

People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

This place ain't doing me any good
I'm in the wrong town, I should be in Hollywood
Just for a second there I thought I saw something move
Gonna take dancing lessons do the jitterbug rag
Ain't no shortcuts, gonna dress in drag
Only a fool in here would think he's got anything to prove

Lot of water under the bridge, Lot of other stuff too
Don't get up gentlemen, I'm only passing through

People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

I've been walking forty miles of bad road
If the bible is right, the world will explode
I've been trying to get as far away from myself as I can
Some things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much
You can't win with a losing hand

Feel like falling in love with the first woman I meet
Putting her in a wheel barrow and wheeling her down the street

People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

I hurt easy, I just don't show it
You can hurt someone and not even know it
The next sixty seconds could be like an eternity
Gonna get low down, gonna fly high
All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie
I'm in love with a woman who don't even appeal to me

Mr. Jinx and Miss Lucy, they jumped in the lake
I'm not that eager to make a mistake

People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

Copyright ©1999 Special Rider Music