PG was in the Kroger parking lot, waiting for his brother to buy groceries. To pass the time, he read
Porcelain. This was a memoir, written, allegedly, by Moby. The copyright goes to “Moby Entertainment, Inc.” There is a modern notice below.
“Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to publish books for every reader.” Should PG say you’re welcome?
Page 360 was the focus. Moby was in Portland, at the last gig of a bad tour. He is flying home to Connecticut the next day. His mother is going to die in a couple of days. The christian-vegan-performer is drinking Jack Daniels with strippers. A fan asks him to autograph a bible.
This was 1997. PG saw a few parallels with his life. In late 1997, PG’s mom was still alive, but clearly near the end of her life. 1998 would see the cancer diagnosis, the surgery, the radiation treatment, and finally, the death.
PG quit drinking at the end of 1988, and never looked back. Moby was an alcohol enthusiast, who went straight edge in 1987. Eight years later, Moby gave into temptation, and started drinking again. Evidently, he tried to make up for lost time. His drunken adventures are described in great detail here. How does Mobes remember all that?
Moby continued to call himself a christian, even with more and more doubts crowding into the picture. PG quit going to church at 17. Jesus is impossible to ignore, and only marginally tolerable. Whatever the temptation, and the social rewards, PG has never called himself a christian. In the southern baptist tradition, you walk down the aisle, shake the pastor’s hand, and get baptized. Then you call yourself christian. PG, for various reasons, never took that walk.
The trip to Connecticut did not end well. Moby apparently woke up in the night, and set his alarm clock ahead three hours. As a result, his missed his mother’s funeral. Porcelain starts with young Moby sitting in the car, while his single mom is paid to do laundry for neighbors. While in the car, he heard “Love Hangover,” by Diana Ross, and was impressed.
Page 378 was a few days after the funeral. Moby goes to a party at Windows on the World, on top of the World Trade Center. Few imagined what would happen to that space four years later. (Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby, was born September 11, 1965.) Moby got very drunk, and had sex in a ladies room stall. After the act, Moby was staring out the windows, looking at New York, and crying. The DJ played Downtown, by Petula Clark.
On January 23, 1965, Downtown, was the number one hit in America. When Moby was born, eight months later, the number one hit was Help, by the Beatles. PG turned eleven in 1965. Thousands of drafted young American men were sent to Vietnam. The techno dystopian world of nineties New York was a few years down the road.
The last few pages see Moby driving, without a license, through the Connecticut of his youth. He is listening to a rough cassette. The tunes on that cassette will become Play, sell millions of units, and make Moby a star. All this will be in the second volume of his memoirs, currently in production.
While waiting for the next part of this story, maybe a few one star reviews will be amusing. John The most depressing book I’ve read in a while. I used to love Moby. When it was announced he was writing a biography I was very excited…that is until I read it. Moby has always had the reputation of being arrogant and rude. Well it won’t disappoint the critics. This is the worst autobiography I have ever read. Self indulgent and pretentious from start to finish. … Startlingly transphobic. I gave up. I will admit, I didn’t get through the entire book. But that’s the reason for this review. I put up with seven chapters filled with tales of death, drugs, and destitution, all with way too much specific detail to be totally true. In chapter 8, Moby starts getting into some pretty blatantly transphobic territory, repeatedly calling people the derogatory “tranny” and using pronouns like “his/her”…
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Pictures were taken in Louisiana, August 1940. The photographer was Marion Post Wolcott
John Byrne Cooke, the son of public television star Alistair Cooke, had gotten a liberal arts degree from Harvard. He stumbled into a job filming the Monterrey Pop Festival. Like the rest of America, he was impressed by Janis Joplin. Soon, Mr. Cooke got a job as the road manager for Big Brother and the Holding Company. One result is a book, On the Road with Janis Joplin.
The management of Big Brother did not want the band filmed at Monterrey. After their saturday afternoon show, the film makers realized that Miss Joplin was important to the film. A second show was arranged for sunday night. This show was filmed. When you see Cass Elliot saying oh wow, that was saturday afternoon. The film crew filmed the crowd during that show.
Mr. Cooke arrived in San Francisco as the summer of love was playing out. Many old timers on the scene were already getting out. At first it was an uneasy fit with the band… the eastern bluegrass player, and the hippies. There was one meeting, where Mr. Cooke thought he was going to be fired. Things were patched up, and the show went on.
There were a lot of people who knew each other. Mr. Cooke had been trying to romance a California girl. It turns out she was a friend of someone, possibly Linda Gravenites, the roommate, and close friend, of Miss Joplin.
Peggy Caserta was another connection. Supposedly Miss Caserta had a lesbian thing going with Miss Joplin. Whatever did, or did not, happen, Miss Caserta wrote an awesomely trashly book, Going Down With Janis. The opening line: “I was stark naked, stoned out of my mind on heroin, and between my legs giving me head was Janis Joplin.”
The year spent with Big Brother was 1968. Miss Joplin was staying in an apartment on Noe Street. Robert Kennedy made a campaign appearance on nearby Castro Street, with Miss Joplin in the crowd. When Mr. Kennedy was killed, after winning the California primary, the band was in Los Angeles. Mr. Cooke sought solace with Judy Collins that night.
Around this time, some people convinced Miss Joplin that she should leave Big Brother. There was three weeks between the last Big Brother show, and the first show as a solo artist. The Kozmic Blues band never really worked. Miss Joplin felt she was a failure. Miss Joplin started to use heroin frequently. Except for a European tour, 1969 was a bad year.
In 1970, Miss Joplin quit using heroin, and started to play with Fult Tilt Boogie. Things wer going well. The band was in Los Angeles recording an album. One night, Miss Joplin got some extra strong heroin. Mr. Cooke found the body.
This book report leaves a great deal of the story out. Miss Joplin broke a whiskey bottle over Jim Morrison’s head, and got into a fist fight with Jerry Lee Lewis. There were three appearances on the Dick Cavett show, 1969, 06-25-70, and 08-03-70. At 1:12 in this video, Miss Joplin observes “you’re a real swinger I can tell by your shoes man.” (Here is a screen shot from 1969, with heroin, next to another from clean 1970.)
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The 1927 pictures were taken at “California Beauty Week, Mark Hopkins Hotel, July 28 to Aug. 2, auspices of San Francisco Chronicle.”
Towards the end of Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen has another fit of alliteration. Somebody doesn’t care is a lady is “bisexual, bi-polar, or bio-hazard.” Those three buys sum up the plot nicely. Key West makes the first part redundant. Florida makes the next two necessary. Quote marks were not used.
Mr. scary last name (Carl heAHSin) writes fun books. There is a formula. The hero is a man, with a checkered past. He falls for a damsel in distress. The bad people are New Jersey refugees baking in the sun. As Hunter S. Thompson might have said, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
CH said, in a promotional interview: What’s next for you? “Right now I’m working on another book for young readers. I can’t say much about it because it’s early, and I have no idea where the plot is going at the moment. But the characters are pretty smart, so I’m sure they’ll figure things out.”
There is a plot innovation. The damsel in distress is one of the criminals. Merry Mansfield is paid to crash cars into other cars. When the crashee goes to investigate, they find a red haired lady, shaving her pussy. One early participant is Andrew Yancey. He is a former detective, who was demoted to inspecting restaurants, i.e. the roach patrol. This does not reefer to the end of a marijuana cigarette.
Since chamblee54 avoids spoiler alerts, we will not say whether razor girl does the bone dance with roach patrol dude. There are crimes to solve. A mid eastern man falls off the conch train, and is stabbed to death by a ceramic dolphin. A sleazy lawyer begins to use Pitrolux®, the deodorant/testosterone combination. The attorney has TV commercials promoting his class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of Pitrolux®, where he claims to be a fellow victim. He was telling the truth. Just because the lips are moving…
Razor Girl has a few plot twists that make no sense whatsoever. The reader learns to roll with it, and enjoy the fun. A certain morality exists. The book is slick commercial product, designed by Soonyoung Kwon. Pictures, for this chamblee54 book report, are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”
With one day before it was due, PG finished reading Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor , by Brad Gooch. The author is a professor of English at William Patterson University in New Jersey. He spares no citations, to show where he gets his information. This is a repost.
Chamblee54 has written before about Miss O’Connor , and repeated the post a year later. There is a radio broadcast of a Flannery O’Connor lecture. (The Georgia accent of Miss O’Connor is much commented on in the book. To PG, it is just another lady speaking.)
Mary Flannery O’Connor was born March 25, 1925 in Savannah GA. The local legend is that she was conceived in the shadow of St. John the Baptist Cathedral, a massive facility on Lafayette Square. Her family did leave nearby, and her first school was just a few steps away. This is also a metaphor for the role of the Catholic Church in her life. Mary Flannery was intensely Catholic, and immersed in the scholarship of the church. This learning was a large part of her life. How she got from daily mass, to writing stories about Southern Grotesque, is one mystery at the heart of Flannery O’Connor.
Ed O’Connor doted on his daughter, but had to take a job in Atlanta to earn a living. His wife Regina and daughter Mary Flannery moved with him, to a house behind Christ The King Cathedral. Mr. O’Connor’s health was already fading, and Mother and Daughter moved in with family in Milledgeville. Ed O’Connor died, of Lupus Erythematosus, on February 1, 1941.
Mary Flannery went to college in Milledgeville, and on to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She dealt with cold weather, went to Mass every day, and wrote. She was invited to live at an artists colony called Yaddo, in upstate New York. She lived for a while with Robert and Sally Fitzgerald in Connecticut, all while working on her first novel, “Wise Blood”. In 1950, she was going home to Milledgeville for Christmas, and had been feeling poorly. She went to the hometown doctor, who thought at first that the problem was rheumatoid arthritis. The illness of Flannery O’Connor was Lupus Erythematosus.
Miss O’Connor spent much of that winter in hospitals, until drugs were found that could help. She moved, with her mother, to a family farm outside Milledgeville, which she renamed Andalusia. She entered a phase of her life, with the Lupus in relative remission, and the drugs firing her creative fires, where she wrote the short stories that made her famous.
Another thing happened when she was recuperating. Flannery was reading the Florida “Market Bulletin”, and saw an ad for “peafowl”, at sixty five dollars a pair. She ordered a pair, and they soon arrived via Railway Express. This was the start of the peacocks at Andalusia, a part of the legend.
During this period of farm life and writing, Flannery had several friends and correspondents. There was the “Bible Salesmen”, Erik Langkjaer, who was probably the closest thing Flannery had to a boyfriend. Another was Betty Hester, who exchanged hundreds of letters with Miss O’Connor. This took place under the stern eye of Regina O’Connor, the no nonsense mother-caregiver of Flannery. (Mr. Gooch says that Betty Hester committed suicide in 1998. That would be consistent with PG stumbling onto an estate sale of Miss Hester in that time frame.)
The book of short stories came out, and Flannery O’Connor became famous. She was also dependent on crutches, and living with a stern mother. There were lectures out of town, and a few diverse personalities who became her friends. She went to Mass every day, and collected books by Catholic scholars. Flannery was excited by the changes in the church started by Pope John XXIII, and in some ways could be considered a liberal. (She supported Civil Rights, in severe contrast to her mother.)
In 1958, Flannery O’Connor went to Europe, including a trip to the Springs at Lourdes. Her cousin Katie Semmes (the daughter of Captain John Flannery, CSA) pushed Flannery hard to go to the springs, to see if it would help the Lupus. Flannery was reluctant…” I am one of those people who could die for his religion sooner than take a bath for it“. When the day for the visit came, Flannery took a token dip in the waters. Her condition did improve, briefly. (It is worth speculating here about the nature of Flannery’s belief, which was apparently more intellectual than emotional. Could it be that, if she was more persuaded by the mystical, emotional side of the church, and taken the healing waters more seriously, that she might have been cured?)
At some point in this story, her second novel came out, and the illness blossomed. Much of 1964 was spent in hospitals, and she got worse and worse. On August 3, 1964, Mary Flannery O’Connor died,
PG remembers the first time the name Flannery O’Connor sank in. He was visiting some friends, in a little house across from the federal prison.
Rick(?) was the buddy of a character known as Harry Bowers. PG was never sure what Harry’s real name was. One night, Rick was talking about Southern Gothic writers, and he said that Flannery O’Connor was just plain weird. ”Who else would have a bible salesman show up at a farm, take the girl up into a hayloft, unscrew her wooden leg and leave her there? Weird.”
Flannery O’Connor was recently the subject of a biography written by Brad Gooch. The book is getting a bit of publicity. Apparently, the Milledgeville resident was a piece of work.
PG read some reviews of this biography, and found a collection of short stories at the library. The book included ” Good Country People”, the tale about the bible salesman. Apparently, this story was inspired by a real life incident. (Miss O’Connor had lupus the last fifteen years of her life. She used crutches.) And yes, it is weird. Not like hollywood , but in the way of rural Georgia.
Some of the reviews try to deal with her attitudes about Black people. On a certain level, she is a racist. She uses the n word freely, and her black characters are not inspiring people. The thing is, the white characters are hardly any better, and in some cases much worse.
The stories are well crafted, with vivid descriptions of people and places. The reader floats along with the flow of the story, until he realizes that Grandma has made a mistake on a road trip. The house she got her son to look for is in Tennessee, not Georgia. She makes him drive the family car into a ditch. Some drifting killers come by. Grandma asks one if he prays, while his partner is shooting her grandchildren. Weird.
In another story, a drifter happens upon a pair of women in the country. The daughter is thirty years old, is deaf, and has never spoken a word. The drifter teaches her to say bird and sugarpie. The mother gives him fifteen dollars for a honeymoon, if he will marry her. He takes the fifteen dollars and leaves her asleep in a roadside diner.
There was a yard sale one Saturday afternoon. It was in a house off Lavista Road, between Briarcliff and Cheshire Bridge. The house had apparently not been painted in the last forty years. Thousands and thousands of paperback books were on the shelves. The lady taking the money said that the lady who lived there was the friend, and correspondent of, the “Milledgeville writer” Flannery O’Connor. This is apparently Betty Hester, who is mentioned in many of the biography reviews.
PG told the estate sale lady that she should be careful how she said that. There used to be a large mental hospital in Milledgeville, and the name is synonymous in Georgia with mental illness. The estate sale lady had never heard that.
This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. It was written like James Joyce. An earlier edition of this post had comments.
Fr. J. December 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm I am glad you take an interest in Flannery, but to say baldly that she is a racist is to very much misunderstand her. For another view on Flannery and race, you might want to read her short story, “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”
chamblee54 December 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm “On a certain level, she is a racist.” That is not the same as “baldly” labeling her a racist. (And I have a full head of hair, thank you). As a native Georgian, I am aware of the many layers of nuance in race relations. I feel that the paragraph on race in the above feature is accurate.
PG is reading Razor Girl, by Carl Hiaasen. The unpronounceable one specializes is Florida crime stories. Criminals are mustache twirling dastardly. Damsels dwell in fallen angel distress. Lawmen are a citizen complaint away from being criminals. Mr. H, a newspaper dude, says he never makes up anything, but waters down the technicolor reality.
Which brings us to Pitrolux®. This is a combination of deodorant and testosterone. The “refreshing juniper scent” caused teenage girls to steal it out of daddy’s medicine cabinet, and grow beards. Is Pitrolux® a real product? If you google “combination of deodorant and testosterone,” you might find out. Do you know what TMI means?
ClinicalTrials.gov scores with A Study of Effect of Deodorant and Axillary Hair on Testosterone Absorption in Healthy Participants. “This study will evaluate the effect of deodorant and antiperspirant use and the presence of underarm hair on the absorption of testosterone. Each participant in this study will receive 6 single doses of 30 milligrams (mg) testosterone applied as a solution to each underarm. … Deodorant spray applied to unshaved axillae. At least 2 minutes wait time. Then, single 30 mg dose of testosterone applied topically to each axilla…”
The Journal of Sexual Medicine gets down and dirty with “Effect of Deodorant and Antiperspirant Use and Presence or Absence of Axillary Hair on Absorption of Testosterone 2% Solution Applied to Men’s Axillae.” … PG did not know that axillary hair is the stuff that grows under your arms. He never axed about it…. The spell check suggestion for axillary is Hillary.
Conclusions: “Absorption of testosterone 2% solution was unaffected by use of deodorant/antiperspirant or by the presence or absence of axillary hair. Testosterone solution was generally well tolerated…. Key Words: Antiperspirant, Bioequivalence, Deodorant, Pharmacokinetics, Testosterone Solution, Hypogonadism”
A reasonable person might ask, why would anyone want to study the effect of deodorant on absorption of testosterone? It seems as though this is one of the methods used by female-to-male transpeople. “In FTM testosterone therapy, testosterone (often called “T” for short) can be administered into the body in a number of ways. … Esterification of testosterone is done in order to improve the solubility of testosterone in oil, which in turn slows the release of the testosterone from the site where it enters the body.”
Does High Testosterone in Women Increase Body Odor? “Offensive body odor can cause embarrassment and self-consciousness in women. … There is no “normal” amount or smell for body odor … Although men generally have higher testosterone levels than women, women actually have more sweat glands than men.”
10 Best Deodorants and Antiperspirants for Men is an article at BEARDOHOLIC. Right Guard, longtime foe of macho B.O., did not make the top ten. None of the ten deodorants reviewed contains testosterone. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These men fought in the War Between the States. This was before the invention of modern deodorant.
The Weekenders turned up at the Chamblee library. A fresh book by Mary Kay Andrews is always cause for celebration. This one has a twist. In addition to the star crossed lovers, there is a murder. Miss Andrews used to write detective stories. An old talent came to visit.
The story hums along for a couple of hundred pages. Riley Griggs goes to her island house. On the ferry, she runs into a hated former boyfriend. Readers instinctively know that he is going to hook up with with our heroine.
When Riley arrives on the island, she finds a foreclosure notice on the house. The next day, Riley’s about-to-be-divorced husband’s is found face down in the water. His financial shenanigans soon become apparent. The cast of characters springs into action.
The plot gets a little fishy after a while. Riley has a gay brother, Billy. In the first part of the book he is drinking, along with everyone else. Foreclosure, and murder, have that effect on people. We eventually learn, with no advance warning, that Billy is a serious drunk. This leads to a couple of contrived plot twists. While the story is still fun to read, it gets less believable as we move along.
At one point, the old boyfriend, Nate, breaks into an old house on the island. Nate is a dot com millionaire, and wants to buy the house. He is surprised to find Riley in the house. Riley finally admits that Nate isn’t so bad after all. The two have a reunion kiss. They are on, and off, again for the rest of the book. One split up is the result of a diabetic suicide attempt by Riley’s daughter, Maggy.
Towards the end of the story, MKA drops all attempts at reality. All sorts of plot issues come together on the island, and are met by a hurricane. Since chamblee54 avoids spoilers, you will have to find out for yourself whodunit, and whodunwho.
If you don’t think too much, The Weekenders is a fun way to spend 451 pages. This connection to the sci-fi book is a coincidence. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
Jack Thomas Chick is someone you know, but have never heard of. He created the gospel tract. Go to his site, and you can read his story. Born in California in 1924, he seemed an unlikely candidate for religious superstardom. After a turn in the Army, he became a Jesus Worshiper. In 1948 he married Lola Lynn Riddle, who he describes as being ” instrumental in his salvation”. He hit on the idea for the palm sized comic book for Jesus, and an artform was formed.
The tracts are the result of a rather narrow view of Jesus. The King James Bible is the perfect word of G-d. The tracts have a last page, with instructions on how to be “saved”. Anyone who disagrees is going to go to hell. Many of the tracts tell a story. A kid trusts a drug dealer, only to be disappointed. The Titanic is going to the bottom of the sea, and what will happen to the passengers. A man is about to commit suicide, and Jesus comes to the rescue.
Mr. Chick has a special distaste for the Catholic Church. He had an associate named Alberto Rivera. Mr. Rivera claimed to be an ex bishop of the church, who had been privy to some unsavory secrets. Many of his tracts proclaim conspiracy theories about the Church. Other targets of his scorn include Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and anyone @ChickPub does not consider “saved.”
Jack Chick is his real name. Any drag queen using that name is probably not the same person. He is reclusive, is rarely photographed and does not give interviews. He drew his early tracts, until he hired a man named Fred Carter in 1972. Mr. Carter is a much, much better artist than Mr. Chick. An advanced search of the Chick website does not show a mention of Mr. Carter.
Mr. Chick has sold hundreds of millions of his tracts, translated into over 100 languages. The tracts sell for sixteen cents each, or a 25 pack for $4.00. This is one cent a tract more than in 2008. Arguably he has sold more copies than any author working today.
This feature was originally posted in 2008. Through the miracle of spare time, aka the devil’s workshop, more information will be added today. A photograph has emerged, that reportedly is the image of Mr. Chick. HT to Dangerous Minds.
Jack Chick is still alive. This obituary is a hoax. movie about him has been released, God’s Cartoonist:The Comic Crusade of Jack Chick. (Here is the trailer.) His website has been updated, with a trendy emphasis on Islam.
Bible tracks have kept up with the times. You can buy an android application with ten popular titles. “Here are 10 more tracts to take with you to view on your phone! … Everyone is talking about Global Warming. Show them this popular title and get a REAL discussion going! With over 800 million Chick tracts in print, they are used by Christians all over the world to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16). Make sure your friends don’t miss out on eternity!”
The internet has had mischief makers poking fun at Mr. Chick. Someone named Psycho Dave put up the Jack T. Chck parody archive in 2000. It inspired an exchange of lawyer letters. More recently, Topless Robot supplied us with The 10 Most Awesomely Insane Jack Chick Mini-Comics.
Not everyone is impressed. Many people who consider themselves Christian disagree with the POV presented in the Chick Tracts. Here are a few Amazon reviews of Chick Tract Assortment.
RACIST, CULTURALLY INSENSITIVE, EXTREME November 3, 2011 “virtuous10” (somerset, NJ) There may be around 10 out of the 100 that were acceptable, but the vast majority of the others were so off the wall it was crazy. If they weren’t weird they were racist and culturally insensitive. To name a few, theres a black man in jail named Leroy who is super sexual and angry, you have Native Americsns drunk, white missionaries who came back from Africa pale faced after there were attacked so often by “those poeple”, you have the catholic church being called evil and the vatican trying to control the world, you have an angry Arab muslim man saying we’re taking over America like we did England, a tract which consisted of scene after scene of a little girl being brutally beaten by a man then left to live on the street….I mean on and on.
Maybe these are popular because you still have pockets of the country that are not diverse, and where churches that don’t believe in interracial marriage abound. Maybe these awful stereotypes or extreme messages are not a big deal there. However I live in the Northeast (and the 21st century) and I dont find this acceptable. I don’t understand how this organization can believe offended people will be open to the gospel. The pure gospel message is unicversal and powerful enough and filled with love to change the heart of any person from any culture. Why add all of this mess? Do a search for “chick tracts offensive”. So many non believers are using this to show Christians are crazy. Thank God I spent only 30 dollars. They will not receive another red cent from me. And AMAZON NEEDS 0 STARS!!! This would be the perfect candidate.
Hate for the Lord August 4, 2011 Matthew Sanborn “Monsterfashion” (Arkham, MA)
Nothing really says religious intolerance like a good Jack T. Chick tract. Molesting your daughter, killing for money, robbing, rape and torture can all be forgiven by God if you simply check “yes” you belive in Jesus at the end of one of these amazing comics. But be warned, if you are Catholic, Musilum, Jewish, gay, play role playing games, have relgious tolerance, read Harry Potter, have any money, or are a Protestant who reads anything but the King James Bible, then there’s a myriad of demons just waiting to throw you in the pit. Well worth the money for the sheer hilarity as you won’t belive anyone, even the insane, could possibly take this stuff seriously. The only problem is that Chick will get some cash from you. But if you want to see religious bigotry and misguided hatered at its best, look no further than here.
spread the good news! July 5, 2011 Provident Savings “bible man” (spring valley,ny usa)
I personally would like to thank Jack Chick for his wonderful work in ministry,by providing the resource the christians to help spread the good news to the lost.The package arrived on time.I highly recommend this seller!
This repost was written like Raymond Chandler. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Jack T. Chick ” died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday evening, according to a Facebook posting Monday by Chick Publications, based in Rancho Cucamonga, California.” The facebook posting is no longer available. The penultimate tweet from @ChickPub reads “@ChickPub Dear ones in Christ, Is your tummy upset over our political circus? Are you fearful about the way everything is…”
It is a happy moment to find an unread Mary Kay Andrews book at the library. The pages of the story turn themselves. Beach Town is more of the same. A book like this is your friend.
The plot is a touch better than recent MKA stories. Greer is a location scout for a movie. She stumbles onto a forgotten town in Florida. Cypress Key seems to be all the Old Florida you can handle. The real life inspiration is Cedar Key, FL.
There are multiple sub plots. Families come together, and blow up again. Small town politics get ugly. A movie set comes to town, with some of the chaos that naturally occurs. Greer only gets fired from the movie once. She was ready to go.
There is lots of “adult activity,” some of which involves a minor. A one star amazon traveler, APNM is dismayed. “So disappointed by this book. I was completely shocked by the gratuitous graphic sex scene between the main characters early in the book, not at all typical in her earlier works. Not sure why the author feels like she must include this kind of stuff now.” One of the players lives on top of his grocery store. When things started to heat up, he went downstairs, and returned with a 40 pack of condoms. He was an optimist.
Him and her kiss for the first time on page 118. They spend most of the book mad at each other. Somehow, they manage to get back together, and then fuss a bit more. Since chamblee54 does not do plot spoilers, you will have to read the book to see how it turns out.
The plot gets a touch unbelievable about three quarters of the way through. In one sequence, Greer sees Allie, the teen aged nephew of the grocery store dude. Allie is horribly upset, at Greer, and the rest of the world. Despite all that, Allie gets in the car. Greer’s long lost father has wrecked his car in a swamp. Allie helps Greer find her dad, with assistance from law enforcement, and cell phone GPS.
Despite, or maybe because of, the insane plot twists, Beach Town is tons of fun. There is no redeeming social value whatsoever. This is reading to enjoy yourself… forget your troubles by worrying about fiction. Pictures for today’s digital entertainment are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
PG found Archival Atlanta: Electric Street Dummies, the Great Stonehenge Explosion, Nerve Tonics, and Bovine Laws : Forgotten Facts and Well-Kept Secrets from Our City’s Past at the Chamblee library. There are always more stories to be heard. This repost has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. It is written like Margaret Mitchell.
In the 1840s, the Western and Atlantic railroad wanted to hook up with the Central of Georgia railroad. The spot for the meeting was called Terminus. One idea was to name the town for William Lumpkin, a former Georgia Governor and a railroad executive. Lumpkinville sounded bad in the mouth, and the new town was named “Marthasville”, after the daughter of the Governor. (Martha is buried in Oakland Cemetery.) Few people liked this name, and someone decided that the feminine form of Atlantic was Atlanta. Unlike the state flag, this is unlikely to change.
The new town prospered, and recovered from the unpleasantness of 1864. In 1875, there was a problem with stray cows. The answer was the “1875 Cow Ordinance”. The law required that cows be kept in a pen at night. A fine of two dollars was assessed for every stray cow that was caught.
About this time, there were a few very busy railroad tracks going through downtown. People were getting tired of waiting for the trains to go through. One by one, viaducts were built over the tracks, creating a forgotten ground floor. This was built up into Underground Atlanta in the sixties, which was red hot for a while, then cooled off, and is now so so.
In 1897, J.W. Alexander was the first person in town to own a “horseless carriage”. One day, he decided to take a ride to East Point. A mule objected, and kicked man and machine into a ditch.
It is a rule that all history books about Atlanta have to discuss Coca Cola and Gone With The Wind. There are only so many stories to go around. This book tells of an Alpharetta farmer who bought the Tara set from MGM. He stored in a barn, the location of which was a secret. Betty Talmadge wanted to buy it, and the price went from $375k to $5k. After a while, the sale was finalized. There was only one problem…the farmer died, and never told anyone where the barn was. Mrs. Talmadge got the money from her husband’s overcoat, went to Alpharetta, and found the barn. The set was moved into another secret location, where it was in 1996, when Archival Atlanta was published, at an undisclosed local location.
Sam and William Venable owned Stone Mountain, and had a quarry there. (The Ku Klux Klan held meetings on the mountain.) (The spell check suggestion for Ku Klux is Kook Klutz.) Sam built a large granite house at 1410 Ponce de Leon Avenue, and stocked it with ammunition. He thought a race war was on the way, and wanted to be prepared. One night, a chimney overheated. The roof caught on fire. The explosives in the attic exploded, and took the roof off. The house was repaired, Mr. Venable died, and the house became part of a Lutheran church.
One of the few ante bellum houses in Atlanta is near Grant Park. It was once owned by Lemuel Grant, who donated the land for the park. He stays in a large marble house in Oakland Cemetery now. The Grant Park house was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John Marsh, in partnership with Boyd Eugene Taylor. After the death of Mrs. Marsh (also known as Margaret Mitchell), she was known to visit the house. “Margaret just wanders through the house, looking things over. She never talks, and she always carries jonquils. The first night she came I was very shocked. I went out to her grave at Oakland Cemetery the next day. I’d never been to the house before. But I was almost certain of what I’d find. The plot is covered by a bed of jonquils.”
PG found a copy of Snuff at a yard sale. The story was written by Chuck Palahniuk, pronounced paula nick. This book report may have spoilers.
The 197 pages recount an attempt to break a world record. Aging porn star Cassie Wright is trying to take on 600 men in one session. The plan is to die, in a blaze of gooey glory. The story is told by four characters: Mr. 72, Mr. 137, Mr. 600, and Sheila. Each of the four feels a connection to Miss Wright. It is a case of four wrongs making one Wright.
The story gets weirder and weirder. Mr. 72 is convinced that he is the son of Cassie Wright. Mr. 137 became an Okla-homo after being diddled by daddy. Mr. 600 is said to be Miss Wright’s baby daddy. Sheila, original name Zelda Zonk, was another possible Wright baby. After a while, the reader just plows ahead. When PG pays a dollar for a book, he wants his
money shot money’s worth.
Snuff has a couple of gimmicks that are repeated to the point of no return. The talent is known by a variety of names, like pud puller, wiener wrangler, page paster, fist flogger, white washer, and sherbet shooter. The movies made by Cassie Wright all had satirical titles, like World Whore One, and The Asshole Jungle. It was funny the first twenty times.
Another gimmick Mr. Nick works us with is the “true fact.” Someone will throw out a chestnut, and say “true fact.” Many of them are Hollywood beauty secrets, like Lauren Becall, and Tallulah Bankhead, drinking eggshell tea. Here is an example.
“… Hitler … was disgusted by seeing his fellow soldiers visit French brothels. To keep the Aryan bloodlines pure,and prevent the spread of venereal disease, he commissioned an inflatable doll that Nazi troops could take into battle. Hitler himself designed the dolls to have blond hair and large breasts. The Allied firebombing of Dresden destroyed the factory … “
Mr. Google has more. “But in 1942 the project was halted when German soldiers refused to carry the dolls because of the potential embarrassment if they were captured by the enemy. Author Graeme Donald uncovered Hitler’s secretive “Borghild Project” while researching the history of Barbie, which was based on a postwar German sex doll.”
“I was actually researching the history of the Barbie doll that was based on a German sex doll of the 1950s. Ruth and Elliot Handler from America visited Germany in 1956 and saw the Lilli dolls that were sold in barbers’ shops and nightclubs – and were not for children Ruth didn’t realise this and bought one and realised later they were not toys. But Ruth and her husband used the doll as a foundation for what became Barbie.”
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
This is the second, and final, part of a chamblee54 book report on Another Roadside Attraction, by Thomas Eugene Robbins. The book is due back at the chamblee library today. There are two possible reasons to hurry up, and finish reading the book. A overdue fine from the local library is less of a burden than a failing grade. The effect can be the same… not stopping to smell the verbal roses, but shovelling the animal product that facilitates growth. FWIW, part one is available for your perusal. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
The first note is page 177. John Paul Ziller, and his wife Amanda, decline to get drunk. They consider alcohol to be an imperfect drug. This is a line that PG remembers from the 1978 reading of ARA. What was forgotten was Marx Marvelous, the narrator of the tale. He proceeds to get sloshed, and quotes Bertrand Russell: there is little difference between a man who eats too little and sees heaven, and a man who drinks too much and sees snakes.
Amanda replies that one of the men sees snakes. She says a lot of things in ARA. It is probably quite charming in person, especially when one is warm for her form. In the text, forty five years later, it can be rather annoying. On page 336, Marx Marvelous learns two things about Amanda: she loves him deeply, and it totally indifferent as to whether, or not, she sees him again. The concept of sexist condescention, germinating when ARA was written, has come to politically correct fruition in the age of Obama. If one is of the mind to do so, they could judge ARA harshly for this.
There is an order of renegade monks down the road from the Zillers. An associate, Plucky Purcell (more formally known as L. Westminister Purcell III) is a visitor at this facility. This residency is a marvel of totally unbelievable fiction, and is essential to the plot of ARA. The monks are a Vatican hit squad, and Purcell fits right in. In a stroke of impossible to forsee synchronicity, two *good* nuns stop by for a visit. They are Sister Elizabeth and Sister Hillary. They make two appearances… on page 183 and page 283. Amanda decides it is nun of her business.
The Zillers have a roadside zoo, and hot dog stand. It does not sell coffee, which is disappointing to many road warriors. “they stop for coffee, and feel cheated when they learn the meaning of meaning.” PG first heard the phrase “meaning of meaning” in an eleventh grade history class. It was presided over by a basketball coach, who was not interested in the dribbles and shoots of wars and civilizations. For the first test, “Dudley Doo Right” asked the class to write three pages on the meaning of meaning.
As second time readers know, the essential character in ARA is the body of Jesus. It was in the Vatican, until Plucky Purcell found it, and brought it to the Ziller’s hot dog stand. In this edition of ARA, the mummified savior appears on page 222. This is one third of the anti christ. There is something cosmic about a dead Jesus having a numeric value equal to one third of beelzebub. Or maybe it is merely comic, and the author had an extra s that he had to use before the expiration date.
One of the joys of google era reading is easy access to fact checking. (The proposed french word for google was a palindrome, googelegoog.) On page 280, TER reports that Carmen Miranda wore size one shoes. The page wikiFeet for Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha has pictures, which appear to be larger than size one. The Celebrity Shoe Size List has Carmen Electra (size 7) and Carmen Kass (size 8.5,) but no Carmen Miranda. PG thinks the diva detail to be an apparition of overactive imagination.
As ARA rambles on to the uplifting conclusion, a council of war is convened in the hot dog stand. The Zillers, Plucky Purcell, Marx Marvelous, and Mon Cul (John Paul Ziller’s pet baboon) try to decide what to do with the holy remains, known by now as “the corpse.” On page 290, there is a typo, unless “insited” is a scrabble approved word. On page 288, someone is called “utopianist.” This may
reefer refer to utopia. A more whimsical vision sees a keyboard musician working for the United Thank Offering. Those Episcopals think of everything.
There are several sides in this debate. Amanda takes the historic approach, and washes her pretty hands of the corpse. Pontius Pilate hands her a bar of soap. Plucky Purcell wants to publicly display the corpse, with the idea of destrying the Catholic church. Marx Marvelous says that lots of Catholics are good people, and telling them that Jesus is dead would hurt their fee fees. Sister Elizabeth, and Sister Hillary, are used as examples.
In truth, the fictional debate has been rendered moot in the post Nixon, but not post racial, world. The Catholic church soldiers on. The revelation that *some* priests like to forcibly sodomize pre adolescent boys has barely mattered to the masses. The church has taken a (catho) licking, and kept on ticking. Co-dependent Protestantism does even better.
Page 290 was where PG had to throw down the book in disgust. Plucky Purcell, backing down from his plan to destroy the church, admits that *Jesus* was a pretty good guy after all. Never mind that the story he quotes is from the Bible… written by hundreds of anonymous authors, hand copied by anonymous scribes, compiled and edited by the Romanized church, translated by a queer English king. How can you trust a book like that? And yet, the PR of Jesus persists. Even the most vicious critics of the modern Jesus worship church have a soft spot for the old boy.
One *page 69,* John Paul Ziller warns against anthromorphizing, or assigning human emotions to non-human animals. And yet, 222 pages later, the text anthromorphizes the cult of Jesus. It must work, because the conclusion of ARA leaves the Roman Pedophile Church intact.
The idea was to read the book, sit down at the machine, and have the text flow effortlessly out. That was five weeks ago, when the library copy of Another Roadside Attraction arrived. Now the book is due back in six days. The bookmark … a library handout about taking the GED … is in front of page 163. Marx Marvelous is having his job interview with Amanda Ziller. The body of Jesus has not appeared, although second time readers know it will.
One place to start is with an internet comment. “… For you see, I have discovered something terrible: Tom Robbins has almost no re-read value. Seriously. It is almost nonexistent. … The man really does have a gift. But that gift is a one term president. It just doesnt have what it takes to be re-elected.”
The fine print page in ARA says “Copyright © by Thomas E. Robbins.” It was written during the Richard Nixon administration. Tricky Dick won a thumping re-election in 1972, but resigned under pressure in 1974. PG first read ARA in 1978, or maybe 1977, when Jimmy Carter was POTUS. Smiling Jimmy did not play the game well, and was sent back to the peanut farm by Ronald Reagan. This led to Daddy Bush, Slick Willie, Idiot son Bush, and the current occupant.
TER novels hold up well to second helpings. PG has redone Cowgirls and Woodpecker, the books that made TER a star. (Bad rhyme alert) There is the fun of seeing bits of verbal derring do that you remember from the first go round. If you are looking for plot subtleties to show up, good luck.
ARA has a different feel from the novels that followed. It was the first TER book that PG read, not knowing what would happen in the next 38 years. There is an optimism to ARA… Marx Marvelous is currently predicting the rise of a new religion, to replace obsolete Christianism. Oh, if only. Christianism is, at the core, a marketing scheme. It has adapted to the changing realities of the past four
decayed decades. Jesus worship is a day glo mall of ideologies, with something for everyone. The salvation centerpiece at the heart of the bonanza reamains eternal and unchanging. If the product sells, then trust the marketplace.
Another fun idea is to fact check. TER likes to throw “facts” out at rapid speed. One such incident is on page 82. Amanda is discussing some of her ideas for the roadside zoo. (Baby Thor is nowhere to be seen, and is possibly being raised by Mon Cul the baboon.) JPZ is barely listening, being occupied by rubbing his pecker against her belly. Amanda will not quit talking insect trivia. JPZ counters her by saying that bald eagles have bad breath. Before long, JPZ is one twelth of a fathom into Amanda.
With the internet, and too much free time, we can fact check this claim. The first result for “Do bald eagles have bad breath” is a facebook event, “Ranger Talk – Do Bald Eagles Really Have Bad Breath? · Hosted by The San Gorgonio Wilderness Association.” The next result is a 1997 style web page full of Bald Eagle Characteristics. While the halitosis issue is not settled for sure, it sure does sound likely. Since few of us are going to be within range of a bald eagle mouth, this will have to do.
“Q. Do bald eagles have the same digestive system as humans? A. Now there’s an interesting question! The answer is, no. … part of their stomach has turned into a gizzard, which we don’t have, in which food is ground down to a fine consistency to permit rapid digestion. In eagles, this is also the place where pellets are formed. These are masses of material from prey that cannot be digested, such as fur, feathers, and occasionally bone, that then travel backwards from the gizzard up to the mouth and are cast (like vomited) out the mouth. … Another major difference is that eagles (and other birds) have something called a crop, in the upper alimentary track (esophagus) where food can be stored for days.This is extremely beneficial to eagles…”
The first chapter of ARA has relatively little action. The verbal wizardry that TER is known for is not on display. The first chapter is where we meet Amanda, and see her wedding to JPZ. Plucky Purcell, who is possibly the real life stand in for TER, makes an appearance. Amanda says a lot of things, which are either charming or irritating, depending on the reader.
One way to crunch the verbiage is taking notes. Whenever the reader sees something noteworthy, he writes down the page. (The reader here is PG. Masculine pronouns will be used. There is enough confusion already without gender neutral designations for third person humanity.) The book serving this project is “Bantam trade paperback reissue / May 2003 … ISBN 0-553-34948-1.”
Plucky Purcell made his living selling dope and facilitating abortions. In 1971, this was a dodgy enterprise. Baby killing was not yet legal, and the political squalling not yet begun. (College freshman PG attended a lecture about abortion.) On page 66, it is said “His fees are more than fair: he seeks to make a living, not a killing.” Get your irony fix on page 66.
Page 67 has a spelling mistake…Babylonain is not a real word. Both page 70, and page 98 feature the n-word, in all its six letter glory. On page 79, Amanda is said to smell like the leftovers at an eskimo picnic. TER evolves, and some say matures, as his novels progress. It is fun to go back to the start.
Page 114 is a quote that PG remembers from 1977. It struck PG as being very profound, a thought that would confound the cynical fuddy duddy of 2016. Here, through the miracle of internet quote copy paste is the passage. Profound, or confound? Let the reader decide. “The principal difference between the husbandryman and the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such and the latter breeds (assumed) facts. The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future, the historian uses his to enrich the past. Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit.”
Page 141 … the square root of two with, a similar digital inventory to page 114 … is where the synchronicity sweepstakes announces a winner. Marx Marvelous overhears Amanda Ziller ask if Roland Kirk is indeed the Count Basie orchestra in drag? Little did the fictional Lady Ziller know that PG would see a concert by Rahsaan Roland Kirk on August 9, 1974. This was the night Richard Nixon announced his resignation. Mr. Kirk, aka the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone, passed away December 5, 1977, which is roughly when PG was reading ARA for the first time. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Part two of this book report is now available.