Sunday, November 05, 2006

Women at fault; Sore loser; Buster Keaton; Nelson Bond

The InHuman Comedy

I’m not sayin that bitch is TOTALLY responsible but…

(Huffington Post)

Pastor Driscoll blames Pastor Ted Haggard’s WIFE for Haggard’s indiscretion:
Writing in his personal blog, Driscoll offers his fellow pastors "some practical suggestions" on how to avoid the type of temptation that consumed Pastor Haggard. And near the top of his list?

"Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either."

I remember when Tony Bennett did this to Andy Williams in `63
(From the AP)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark Rap star Kanye West was named Best Hip Hop artist but still came off as a sore loser at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Kanye apparently was so disappointed at not winning for Best Video that he crashed the stage Thursday in Copenhagen when the award was being presented to Justice and Simian for "We Are Your Friends."

In a tirade riddled with expletives, Kanye said he should have won the prize for his video "Touch The Sky," because it "cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons."

"If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility," Kanye said.

The rapper grabbed the Best Hip Hop award earlier in the night in a star-studded event hosted by Justin Timberlake in the Danish capital.

Good Folks

I salute Mark Evanier and News From Me

Mark has one of the three or four best blogs of any kind on the web. His subject is generally show biz in all its aspects.

Here he’s found some Buster Keaton commercials from the Fifties. These are sensational. As a major Keaton fan (a far more important comedian-director than Chaplin, in my book—but then I like Harold Lloyd more than I do Chaplin anyway)

I could watch Buster Keaton in anything...though some of the work he did late in his career makes that rather difficult. Not so with a batch of Alka-Seltzer commercials he did in 1958 and 1959, when he was in his early sixties. Your link today will show you six of them in a row, and the best one is the last of the six.

The first five also feature the voice work of Dick Beals, who has been mentioned before on this, for instance. And here and here and a few other times, to boot. Dick is still working and still sounds just like he did then when he did the voice of Speedy Alka-Seltzer and every adolescent boy in all of animation. He and Buster make a great team, as you'll see. And doesn't Buster have the perfect face to be selling an antacid?

From Locus:
SF/fantasy writer Nelson S. Bond, born 1908, died today at the age of 97 following complications from heart valve problems. He sold stories beginning in 1935, writing extensively for Amazing Stories, Fantastic Adventures, Weird Tales, and other magazines. His books include collections The Remarkable Exploits of Lancelot Biggs, Spaceman (1950), Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies and Other Fantastic Tales (1946), Nightmares and Daydreams (1968), and Other Worlds Than Ours (2005), and he published one novel, Exiles of Time (1949). He was a rare book dealer for several decades, and was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1998.

Carol and I had a fine fun dinner with Al (Max) and Barb Collins Friday night. Abut the time we were wrapping up, Al and I started talking about how full-time midlist book writers like us would soon be no more. The exception will likely be romance. I think that’s become a staple by now.

The generations coming up now (my son is 40, Al’s is 22) have video games, graphic novels, anime etc. and etc. to sustain themselves as writers and creators. Those fields ain’t exactly looking for 60 year olds.

I was reminded of this when I saw the Nelson Bond obit in Locus the other day. This guy sold fiction from 1935 through 2005. And supported himself. He was one of the few who survived the death of the pulps and moved smoothly (or so it appeared) into paperback originals.

A very snotty guy I had the misfortune of knowing once said of a Rex Stout novel he’d read, “Of course, this isn’t literature it’s show biz.”

I basically told him to fuck off, something I’d wanted to do for a long time. But years later I ‘ve come to think he’s right about the context we work in. Most literary writers have teaching jobs to support them. And/or grants. But popular fiction full-timers live and die by the market. So in that sense it is show-biz.

Bill Pronzini once wisely said that all of us who aren’t stars are the character actors of the writing business. If we’re lucky and good enough we rise to the level of a Robert Duvall as a character actor. We can make a book a lot more interesting just by our slant on things.

But the market is so bad we’re really functioning the way actors do today. We have to audition in ways we’ve never had to before. At least some of us. I remember that DeNiro wanted Charles Grodin for Midnight Run. Grodin (despite DeNiro’s angry objections) had to audition thee fing times. Can you imagine that picture without Charles Grodin in it? But he wasn’t bankable they said and so they put him through what to me was a pretty humiliating process.

I say this because a friend of mine who had three NY Times bestsellers was told by his publisher that he’d have to write his next novel completely before they’d look at it. A full ms. With no guarantee they’d buy it.

Nelson Bond, you were a man among. So long, friend.

1 comment:

I. Michael Koontz said...


Your comments on Buster Keaton were right on. Just caught THE GENERAL on TCM, and was blown away by Keaton's inventiveness and timing. And it's just as funny today as it was when it came out in 1927--which I can't say for Chaplin's films, aside from MODERN TIMES (and even that suffers in the multi-generational translation).

I don't know what to make of Adriana Huffington--a clay pot, perhaps? Maybe a lampshade. The only difference is that even a lampshade sheds a little light every now and then.

Ian Koontz