Friday, December 8, 2017

The Latest "Thrust Home" Award

Award drawn and "donated" by Skip Simpson,
based on a poster he found on the internet.

As stated in my title, here's the latest award I'm... well... awarding.

But first, here's the obligatory reminder as to what "The Silver Fox's THRUST HOME Award!" is all about:

Bloggers like to give each other awards. One of the drawbacks to these awards is that they're usually given with a set of conditions. Quite often, one of these conditions is that the awardee must first jump through a few select hoops, and then "pass on" the award to a pre-ordained number of other bloggers, which has the unfortunate effect of turning the award itself into more of an internet chain letter than a true honor.

In response to this, I created my own blasted award.

One of my all-time favorite stories is Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano often used the expression "Thrust home!" when fatally piercing an opponent during a sword fight. I've appropriated that phrase for... "The Silver Fox's THRUST HOME Award! -- Given to the Author of a Single Outstanding Blog Post."

And my rules for the award -- and the rules for its recipients -- are:
  • This award will be given by me, and no one else, and generally to only one recipient at a time.
  • I'll only give the award to those whose posts have truly "thrust home" with me, so even my best friends on the 'net might never get one.
  • The award will usually go to a post of what I deem to be of general import and interest, but that may be fudged once in a while to reflect my own biases. (My award, my stupid rules. Deal with it.)
  • There will be no set frequency for the giving of the award.
  • Theoretically, a recipient of "The Silver Fox's THRUST HOME Award!" may win once, twice... or forty-seven times! This is an award for individual blog posts, not for blogs!
  • Recipients would be asked to mention their receipt of said award on their own sites, along with a corresponding link to my own. And a little blurb on your sidebar -- feel free to copy and paste the graphic, of course! -- would be greatly appreciated.
  • Winners are not allowed to give this award to others.
  • Other than that, awardees are not asked to do anything else. You've already done it!
The latest recipient is (Clicking on the blog's bold-faced title will bring you to its latest post, while, as you've probably surmised, clicking on the italicized title of the "winning" post will bring you to that post itself.):


Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke (my thoughts on that here), dozens of women (and men) have accused various celebrities, politicians, and other powerful individuals of varying degrees of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, everything from sexual innuendos and off-color jokes to forcible rape. Some of these people have been silent for years, but are finally emboldened to make these accusations. And all in all, I believe it's a good thing that these people are finally being taken seriously.

Having said that, I always feel uncomfortable when I'm reading about some past or current actor, composer, comedian, whatever, whose work I've enjoyed or admired, but whose personal life shows that he or she isn't or wasn't a very nice human being. Today's award-winning post by Colin D. Smith shares my mixed feelings concerning the accused and their accomplishments, and he no doubt discusses the problem better than I could have. Just click on the above link and read Colin's post.

Congratulations, Colin!

And thanks for your time.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Some People Believe Anything! (A "David'Z RantZ" Post)

I've been kinda busy lately, so I'm still working on my three-part article about the creators of Batman. So no "Comical Wednesday" entry this week! Hopefully Part One will post next Wednesday. Wish me luck.

*  *  *  *  *

Ever hear the following joke?

A strikingly handsome young man walked into the office of a Hollywood agent with his resume and portfolio in hand. The agent reviewed the young man’s slim resume and small portfolio with the care that was deserving of his fine young specimen.

“You have the very obvious good looks and excellent demeanor of an actor. Tell me, have you had any roles that I might be aware of?”

“Other than the requisite high school and college plays, no sir,” said the handsome young man.

“I dare say I know the reason why, with a name like yours,” said the agent.

“Sir?”

“Your name. Penis Van Lesbian. That’s not a name that will go far in Hollywood. I’d love to represent you, but you’ll have to change your name.”

“Sir,” the handsome young man protested. “The Van Lesbian name was my father’s, my grandfather’s, and his father’s name. We have carried this name for generations and I will not change it for Hollywood or any other reason.”

“If you won’t change your name, I cannot represent you, young man.”

“Then I bid you farewell — my name will not change.”

With that, Penis Van Lesbian left the agent's office, never to return.

Five Years Later: The Hollywood agent returned to his office after lunch with some producers and shuffled through his mail. Mostly junk mail, trade journals and the like. There was one letter. He opened the envelope and removed the letter. As he unfolded the fine linen paper, a check dropped from the folds and onto his desk. He looked at the check. It was for 50,000 dollars! He read the letter:

Dear Sir: Several years ago, I entered your office determined to become an actor. You refused to represent me unless I changed my name. I objected, saying the Penis Van Lesbian name had been carried for generations, and left your office. However, upon leaving, I chanced to reconsider my hastiness and after considerable reflection, I decided to heed your advice and endeavored to change my name. Now I am a famous actor with many roles and known to millions worldwide.

Having achieved this fame and fortune, it is often that I think back to my meeting with you and your insistence that I change my name. I owe you a debt of gratitude, so please accept this check with my humble thanks, for it was your idea which has brought me to such wealth and fame.

Very Sincerely Yours,
Dick Van Dyke

Personally, I think it's a cute little joke, but a bit long for something with a punchline that's rather predictable and only mildly amusing.

But do you wanna hear something that's even funnier?

There are people who believe that this story is real.

I swear.

A few weeks ago, I was doing a Google search for a full version of this joke -- don't ask me why -- and I found a link to Snopes.com, a well-known website that confirms or debunks various rumors.

The Snopes article was entitled "Is 'Penis Van Lesbian' Dick Van Dyke's real name?" First, it related the entire joke, and then the article took up its very little remaining space saying that the rumor was not true, but was an obvious joke which, to some people, evidently, was not so obvious after all.

But my favorite part of the Snopes article said that the Penis Van Lesbian joke was repeated on a 1990 episode of David Letterman's show by none other than... Mary Tyler Moore.

By the way, you may have noticed that this post doesn't have any photos or illustrations. That's because I couldn't think of one that wouldn't spoil the joke for anyone who didn't see its punchline coming!

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

"Separated at Birth?" Once Again


My sister's birthday is Monday, December 4th, so I'll be giving her her birthday present when I see her on Sunday (the same day this article posts). She's a big fan of TV's The West Wing, so she'll be receiving the boxed set of the complete series on DVD, as pictured above. As it happens, my friend John has the same set, so the last time I visited him, I asked if I could look at the contents of the box so I'd have an idea of what my sister would be getting.

One of the things that caught my eye was a photo of actress Janel Moloney (pictured below), who portrayed the character of Donna Moss. I wasn't thinking that the photo I was looking at was more than ten years old. I only looked at John and said, "Is this who I think it is?" I showed him the picture.


"Who do you think it is?" he asked.

"Isn't this Karen?" By "Karen," I meant Deborah Ann Woll (pictured below), the actress who plays the character of Karen Page on three Netflix series:  Daredevil, The Defenders, and The Punisher.


Well, as becomes obvious when you have photos of both actresses in front of you, they're not the same person. And, like most people that prompt you to say "Hey, he/she looks exactly like so-and-so!" they don't look exactly alike.

But for a brief moment, I sure was fooled.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

$1.56 ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post


Assuming that all goes smoothly, fellow babies, next week's "Comical Wednesday" post will be the first of a three-parter talking about the creators of Batman! Therefore, today's post -- a  relatively short one, text-wise -- is about one of the more eventful nights in my checkered childhood!

Seven years ago, long before I even had a "Comical Wednesday" designation for my comic-related articles, I wrote a post entitled My "Golden Age". In it, I told how I started reading Marvel Comics when I was about seven years old.

Up until I was 712, however, I'd only read a handful of Marvels: Fantastic Four Annual #1 (which my sister had bought for herself, but let me read it), Tales to Astonish #49 (the issue where Ant-Man first became Giant-Man), and Amazing Spider-Man #10.

One night, somewhere around March of 1964, my mother was going to the local pharmacy for one reason or another, and, as my mom usually did, she asked me if I'd like her to get anything for me. It shouldn't surprise any of you that my answer was "comic books." (This, of course, was long before the advent of comic book stores, when newsstands were pretty much the only place you could buy comics.)

Well! I was extremely lucky that night. Evidently, the pharmacy/newsstand had just received their shipment of Marvel Comics, and the clerk must have informed my mother of that. My mom didn't know what I liked, so she bought every single Marvel that had arrived! (Well, except for the obvious "girl" titles, like Millie the Model, Patsy and Hedy, and the like!)


And now, I'll show you exactly which comics I received that night, with only a small caption to accompany each!

This was the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man that I ever owned. It was the second
part of a two-part story. I didn't get to read the first part until a couple of years later!

I pretty much overdosed on the Avengers that month! I'd never heard of them before (although
I did know Giant-Man and the Wasp). Not only did Thor, Giant-Man, and Iron Man appear
in their own titles, but the Avengers also showed up in that month's issue of Fantastic Four!

I had seen Daredevil #1 advertised a month or so earlier, but didn't find it on the newsstand.

Another conclusion of a two-parter where I'd missed part one! This comic and Avengers #5 introduced me to
Captain America, who quickly became one of my favorite heroes of all time! What a great all-around battle issue!


Part two of another freakin' continued story. Need I bother to say that I missed part one?

One of three Western titles Marvel produced. This was my introduction to Western comics, though!

Another Marvel Western. I quickly discovered that Marvel's Westerns
were written much like their superhero titles, which won me over.

Sgt. Fury called itself "The War Mag for People Who Hate War Mags!" And it was! Again,
Marvel made this war comic more like its superhero titles, so I was immediately hooked!

I knew the Human Torch from Fantastic Four, but this Dr. Strange guy? He was new to me! And
I soon realized he was drawn by the same guy who drew Spider-Man's adventures, Steve Ditko!

I was immediately impressed by Iron Man, who was also an Avenger.
And this was the Black Widow when she looked like a "real" widow!

I'd first encountered Giant-Man six months earlier. This issue
and Avengers #5 were my second and third exposures to him.

Yep, a cowboy with a secret identity, fighting an honest-to-God super-villain.
Didn't I tell you Marvel's Westerns were like superhero comics?

My first exposure to the X-Men, a group which wasn't truly popular until a newer version of the team came
out in 1975! The person who colored this comic book cover was pretty clueless, by the way. Quicksilver's the
guy with the white hair; his blue costume is supposed to be green. And the young lady with the green suit and
the goofy headgear? Why, that's the Scarlet Witch, who, as you may rightly assume, should be outfitted in red!

By the way, I have absolutely no idea why books dated May, June, or July -- and in one case, February -- arrived on the same night!

And now the punchline, dear readers: I no longer have any of the comics my mother brought home that night. And at today's collectible prices, these books list for a total of anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on their condition. But guess what? They cost my mom a whopping $1.56!!!

(And even allowing for inflation, that's quite a bit less!)

As the Fantastic Four's Thing would say, "What a revoltin' development!"

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mean, Nasty, Horrible, Miserable, Evil, Scathingly Vituperative... and Just Plain Vicious. I Love It! ~~ Reprinted Without Editing from "David'Z Rantz," 12/04/08

Well, fellow babies, as the title above says, the following post is being presented exactly as it was first posted on my old blog almost nine years ago... but with a little surprise from Yours Truly in a postscript at the very end. So dive right into it!

*  *  *  *  *


From the late 1960s until the middle 1970s, a Canadian rock band called The Guess Who (fronted by the incomparable Burton Cummings, pictured above in lieu of the entire band 'cause I felt like it) had several Top 40 hits: "These Eyes," "American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight," "Clap for the Wolfman," "Undun" [sic], "Laughing," and many, many more.

But they also had a whole slew of material on their albums which equaled or surpassed their output on 45 RPM singles. One of those classic cuts is a tune that absolutely screams for "anger management" classes, a lengthy musical diatribe called "Long Gone," from their 1974 LP, "Flavours."

I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty, so to save time, I Googled the lyrics on the 'net with the intention of doin' the ol' copy-and-paste...

However...

I was absolutely flabbergasted to discover that virtually every single lyrics website on the freakin' internet has incorrectly transcribed the first line of the song! That's right! Every single site lists the line as "Who in the Hell are you to criticize?" although the lyrics are "Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?" which is plain as day from simply listening to the song!

And I know that no one got it right, because I did a second Google search utilizing the terms "Guess Who," "Long Gone," "lyrics," and the correct phrase, "try and criticize!" Nothing! Zip! Nada!

How could this possibly have happened, I wondered? Especially when the lyrics to all the songs on "Flavours" are printed on the freakin' album sleeve itself?

So I went to my shelves of 2,000 or so LPs, pulled out the album in question, and...

Oh.

The offensive -- and incorrect -- lyrics are actually printed on the album's inner sleeve. But they're wrongListen to the song! They're wrong!!! They must have composed the song, written the lyrics down, sent them to the printer (or whatever), and then changed them to something that flowed better musically, before -- or even while -- recording the tune!

If I ever meet Burton Cummings -- and I hope I do, so I can tell him how much his singing style influenced my own -- I'm going to ask him about that. I'm also going to ask him why he and Mr. Troiano wrote "Long Gone" in the first place, because it's a killer!

See for yourself. (And yes, I've corrected the mistake... on this RantZ page only. Another exclusive from the people at "David'Z RantZ," meaning... me.)

Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?
Every day and every night you're just a drag
You've been long gone, long gone...

You are working from a point of depression
Isn't it amazing when you find you're slipping
You've been long gone, long gone...

I guess you've always been a power-hungry specimen
You were raised with rank in mind
I'd gladly give away everything I've ever owned
For the chance to stab you from behind
Cause I'm tired of what you're saying
It's not worth the paper it's printed on
It just doesn't cut it anymore.

Each time the sun greets the new dawning
I'll try to kick you while you're down
Welcome to the Kingdom of Hatred
You'll find out soon that I wear the crown.
I'm tired of what you been sayin'
It's not worth the time to discuss it
You just don't cut it anymore.

Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?
You're still learning how to form an opinion
You've been long gone, long gone... *

Whew! I'd hate to be the person who inspired that little ditty! Isn't it great? Kinda peels the skin right off your back with a dull knife, dunnit?

(By the way, I absolutely love the line "I'm tired of what you're saying. It's not worth the paper it's printed on." Isn't that some kind of Goldwynism?)

Unfortunately, -- Damn! -- as my (bad) luck would have it, it figures that there wouldn't be a YouTube video for this gem, eh? (Oops. Sorry about that "eh." Told you they were a Canadian band.)

And as for the reason why "I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty," I...

Umm...

Hmph!

I guess, to quote Sam Kinison, "I'm just in that kinda f**kin' mood, folks!"

Well (he asked defensively), whattya expect from a guy who writes a column called "David'Z RantZ," anyhoo?

Nope. No real point to all of this, in case you were wondering. So it goes.

Thanks for your time.

*Lyrics to "Long Gone" by Burton Cummings and Domenic Troiano, ©1974 Cummings-Troiano Associates

P.S. ~~ Guess what, fellow babies? Nine years later, the song "Long Gone" IS on YouTube! So here it is!

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