ANOTHER NEW EPISODE! “Seeds from the Suicide Tree”

We had a short circuit a couple of days ago that lasted, at it’s peak of operations, I wanna say three days. That’s what results if you overload a power conduit, a wire or a serial bus. The wire or the bus melts and we see some smoke, and that one broken link disrupts the communication, and the power goes out. When I started observing the behavior, I wondered if it was possible this was the cycle of conditioning being interrupted by the short circuit that caused what I can only call “shared madness.” I know emotions can run high. We’re human. I know that. In those three days, I was surrounded by people who … this is hard to say. I was surrounded by people who turned into … monsters, or maybe monsters is too harsh a word. Maybe they were robots, given the contradictory result of a calculation they were told was solved.

Now, we have the misdirected anger, the first stage. It’s like a laser in a mirror ball, with destructive energy indiscriminately aimed at everything and everyone, even friends and loved ones. How did it become so personal? Isn’t this a struggle between two candidates? Join us for a lively discussion of how it happened, and why seeming normal, reasonable people went mad on that chilly Wednesday last week.

Recorded November 12, 2016

Artwork by Regan Lawler

http://www.blissville.net
http://www.blissville.net/

© BlissVille, David Lawler copyright 2016 for all original vocal and audio content featuring David Lawler and selected guests each episode. This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended.

Running Time: 53:47

Advertisements

BRAND-SPANKING-NEW EPISODE! “A Confederacy of Douchebags (Part Three)!”

BRAND-SPANKING-NEW EPISODE! A couple of things. Jay-Z needs to seriously shut up. You shot your big brother because he took your chains. Anthony Weiner needs to seriously stop showing us all of his short-comings. Your wife is an idiot. Liberals need to stop being frightened. Nobody’s gonna stop you from having abortions. Conservatives need to stop being paranoid. Nobody’s gonna take your guns away from you. Beyonce envisions a future where her multi-millionaire children will have as many opportunities as white people. I have an unofficial rule as part of our social contract. Blacks get to be bald, and whites get to have tattoos, and never the twain shall meet. We all look better that way! As Mos Def would say, “Fuke dot sheet!” Don’t get me started on Trump! I’m done.

This incredible album art was designed by Bronwyn Knox!

Recorded November 5, 2016

http://www.blissville.net
http://www.blissville.net/

This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended.

New Episode! “A Confederacy Of Douchebags (Part One)”

Douche1

“We are, we are, we are but your children
Finding our way around indecision
We are, we are, we are rather helpless
Take us forever, a whisper to a scream.”

“Tiddy Bear”, “We’ve Only Just Begun” (Roger Nichols/Paul Williams) by The Carpenters (from the 1970 album, “Close To You”), “America” (Neil Diamond) by Neil Diamond (from the 1980 album, “The Jazz Singer”), “Hail To The Chief” (James Sanderson/Albert Gamse), “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)” by The Icicle Works (Ian McNabb).

New Episode! “The White Album, Disc Two”

Disc-Two

Blind Dog, Blind Cat : Tribulus terrestris : And The Oscar Goes Too… :
Driving in the Snow : My Mama Said
Birthdays and Star Wars : Healthcare and Taxes
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump : English Berry Trifle

“Martha My Dear” Perfect Piano Intro Tutorial by Christopher Stovakovic from YouTube (Lennon/McCartney), Sally Field winning an Oscar® for “Places in the Heart”, “Sexy Sadie” by pianojohn113 from YouTube (Lennon/McCartney), “Good Night” (Lennon/McCartney) by Linda Ronstadt

NEW PODCAST: “The Johnny Carson Show”

Shatner-and-Carson

Welcome to BlissVille, Misadventures in BlissVille, and tonight we’re discussing Johnny Carson, the “King of Late Night”. Andrew asked me to watch the American Masters documentary about Johnny Carson, produced by PBS for Channel 13, here in New York City. It’s a very well-made documentary narrated by the actor Kevin Spacey.

This was a different time, perhaps a stranger time that young people may not be able to understand, or grasp, where a performer had to work very hard to make money. I remember reading an article, I think it was an interview in Life Magazine with Johnny Carson, and the article made reference to Carson starting out as a magician, really quite a talented magician. The documentary makes great play at showing the first book he bought, which was about card tricks and magic. You ever see the magician who got on the train the City every now and then? He would whistle to get everybody’s attention. Most New Yorkers keep their heads down, try not to make an eye contact, but this guy would come in – he had a big, funny hat, he wore a little cape and a tuxedo, and he had a big suitcase, from which would emerge some pretty awesome tricks. He would conjure birds from inside his hat, from up his sleeve. People always want to know how you can accomplish those tricks, and that spoils the fun for me. I don’t want to know how they do what they do.

The article didn’t do much to shed light on Carson’s personal life, and this documentary takes a brave stab at it, but it essentially tells the same story – Carson’s mother appeared to be a dominating, judgmental presence in his life, and he did everything he could to please her, but she remained completely unimpressed throughout his life – even to becoming the King of Late Night. He married four times, had children. One item I was not familiar with was Carson’s drinking problem, and I think we all sort of figured that Ed McMahon was the drunkard of the two. Imagine my surprise when I find he was sober through most of the shows, for 30 years even!

This is the end of our “William Shatner Letter Exchange” series of BlissVille episodes, and it has been incredible fun!  In a little under two weeks, we go back to a Shatner-less version of BlissVille.  We’ll talk the Monkees with Denny Spangler and Bronwyn Knox, and KISS with Mark Jeacoma!  After that, a well-earned Winter’s break and “The Twilight Zone”!

Vintage Cable Box: “Psycho II”, 1983

New VCB Logo

“It’s starting again.”

Psycho II, 1983 (Anthony Perkins), MCA/Universal

psycho_ii

On occasion, you would have dual premieres of movies. HBO and Cinemax, at the time, aired new releases on the same night, usually a Saturday. One such summer Saturday, HBO debuted National Lampoon’s Vacation and Cinemax aired Psycho II. We couldn’t decide what we wanted to watch, and back in those days, you couldn’t Tivo your troubles away, so we went with Psycho II. I had not seen the original Psycho but was well aware of the famous shower scene. It would be a couple of weeks later that I finally watched the original Psycho, and to this day, nothing scares me more than Mrs. Bates. That goes for Michael Meyers, Charles Manson, and Donald Trump. I repeat: nothing scares me more than Mrs. Bates!

I remember a few years ago, somebody made the point (maybe it was me) that Norman Bates never truly existed; that whatever Norman was, only appeared to be an extension of his mother, the famous Mrs. Bates. When you look at Norman, even in advanced years, played by the extraordinary Anthony Perkins, he’s nothing more than a “man-child”, consumed in fear of disappointing his mother and telegraphing an all-consuming shyness around women he deems attractive, women he is driven to be attracted to – starting in 1960’s Psycho with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane.

Norman’s mother had gained a peculiar form of immortality by being so endemic an image in her son’s mind that she devoured him whole and implanted her own personality. It has taken 22 years for Norman to become his own man, and sadly, there are those who still wish to destroy him. Once released from the custody of the State, Norman tries to pick up the shattered remains of his life and run his motel. He fires sleazy manager Mr. Toomey (a hilarious Dennis Franz) and makes a new friend in Meg Tilly.

Of course, all of this is a veneer; a curious effort to drive Bates mad so that he will be taken away again. Meg Tilly is the niece of Marion Crane and she and Crane’s sister (a shrill Vera Miles) take turns phoning Norman and dressing up as his mother to make him crazy. Meanwhile, very real murders are being conducted by a mysterious third party, who is revealed at film’s conclusion. As with the original Psycho, you can’t help but feel for Norman as his mask of sanity slips away gradually.

psycho202

Meg Tilly (at first) sides with her mother in discrediting Norman, but as she sees the struggles he tries to cope with, she develops an affection and attraction to him, ultimately protecting him from her mother’s cruel scheming. Anthony Perkins’ promising career was destroyed by Psycho. He was forever type-cast, as either yet another psychotic personality, or a borderline “heavy” in most movies after Psycho. Like Leonard Nimoy before him, he decided to wholeheartedly embrace his legacy by directing 1986’s Psycho III and appearing in the promising, but ultimately illogical Psycho IV.

Richard Franklin does an admirable job directing this first sequel to the horror classic, and having to weather the storms of vicious film critics, who bemoaned a lack of originality in Hollywood they perceived had to rely more and more on sequels to make easy money. As we know, this was only the beginning, but Psycho II is a well-crafted, labyrinthine thriller with elements of mystery and suspense worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Tom Holland’s script is intelligent, sympathetic, and thought-provoking.

Next up: Amityville II: The Possession

Our first cable box was a non-descript metal contraption with a rotary dial and unlimited potential (with no brand name – weird). We flipped it on, and the first thing we noticed was that the reception was crystal-clear; no ghosting, no snow, no fuzzy images. We had the premium package: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN, The Disney Channel, and the local network affiliates. About $25-$30 a month. Each week (and sometimes twice a week!), “Vintage Cable Box” explores the wonderful world of premium Cable TV of the early eighties.

“You Can’t Kill What You Don’t Understand”

You-Can't-Kill-What-You-Don't-Understand

 

Tonight, Andrew and I discuss the candidates, Democrats and Republicans, but as with every conversation about this topic, we eventually talk Trump, and nothing but Trump!  This is the second take of the conversation because our first talk got so heated we had to re-record it just for the sake of getting our divergent view-points on the record.