Posts Tagged ‘70’s’

William O. Douglas – enigma?

Mon ,26/11/2018

So just finished my second Justice Douglas biography, Independent Journey by James F. Simon (1980), published not too long after Douglas’ passing in 1975. I had read Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas by Bruce Allen Murphy (2003) immediately prior.

I had heard about the later book originally via a New Republic article some years ago, a book review by Judge Richard Posner. But after having read it, and the second book having mentioned the earlier bio in the end credits, I really felt I needed to read the earlier book. You see, while certainly Murphy’s book is an amazing example of dedicated scholarship – it largely focuses on Douglas’ personal shortcomings – and while there are many, many such egregious examples of them, Simon’s earlier book provides a much better balance of the actual SUPREME COURT activity Douglas engaged in and in some cases, led. Murphy spends so much time uncovering all the personal flaws, problems and misdeeds of Douglas that he largely blows off most of the Court stuff (why he wrote the book, hello?). Unlike Simon’s book, which tells a lot of detail behind two huge cases for example (Brown v. Board of Education in the 50’s and Roe v. Wade just before the end of Douglas’ career) – Murphy doesn’t really deal much with either one, if at all.

Ultimately, The Nation sums it up best for me in talking about both books and then about Douglas the man. Because so many of the *results* Douglas wanted to see (or helped bring about as part of the Warren Court or earlier as Chairman of the SEC) – are still RIGHT. So as bad a human being as he was in many, many circumstances, The Nation still makes the best final statement of him to me: “If more present-day Justices and judges embraced William O. Douglas’s ideals, constitutional liberties would be far safer than they are.” (and throw in environmental protection too, because while not part of his jurisprudence, he was d*** right on that one and way ahead of his time.

candybowl

The Face of Winter: Warren Miller – RIP.

Tue ,20/11/2018

So one of the true pioneers and icons of the ski industry, Warren Miller, passed away this past January at 93(!) years old. We went to see the latest film from his company (he hadn’t been filming with them for many years now), The Face of Winter. I’ve been to WM movies off an on over the years but not for some time, but this year wanted to go again in tribute to the man and his amazing career.

The movie was pretty good – while there were a couple tiny #MeToo moments in it (IMHO) and a few too many ‘fake sly’ product placements, it was still good – the usual mix of heli-skiing crazy extreme glaciers and remote mountains (this time mostly in AK, Chile, Iceland, France and Switzerland), with classic clips and WM testimonials throughout. I did not realize he was making movies as far back as the 50’s – crazy stuff.

anyway, here’s the trailer, it’s still touring around the country if you get the chance to see it:

candybowl

great show!

Sat ,10/11/2018

saw this tonight, gotta love The Man In Black….

Tricky Dick and The Man in Black

ReMastered: Tricky Dick & The Man in Black: 2018 TV-MA 58m

This documentary chronicles Johnny Cash’s 1970 visit to the White House, where Cash’s emerging ideals clashed with Richard Nixon’s policies. (trailer at link above)

candybowl

Ah, Norm….

Fri ,14/09/2018

Funniest bit is at the 12 minute mark – Burt Reynolds, RIP.

candybowl

RIP, wild man….

Thu ,23/08/2018

While in the car today, they said it was Keith Moon’s bday, and that he would have been 72 years old (he only made it to 32, sadly, he passed in 1978).

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While I don’t think he was the absolute greatest in rock (nor is Ginger Baker, although HE certainly thinks so) – he’s definitely one of the all time greats – not for many of the same reasons as most, though – he’s fairly unpredictable, and manic, and undisciplined to boot. But in the crazy world of The Who – he was a perfect fit.

RIP, Keith – somewhere I hope you are looking down from the biggest set of drums any cloud ever tried to hold aloft, and still driving everyone crazy along the way….

candybowl

Wheeler Dealers – ’73 VW Thing

Tue ,21/08/2018

Thanks to mein vater for the tip on this one – what a great episode and sure wish that car had been mine (barring that it was a ’73 – I like ’74s a bit better due to the back scoop)…be warned – this link will likely open a number of popups on you, that you’ll have to minimize or close….

candybowl

old school…

Fri ,13/07/2018

Man, Neil Finn is young in this:

candybowl

Gorillaz, eat your heart out.

Fri ,27/04/2018

From The Seattle Times:
ABBA says it records 2 songs, first new material in 35 years

candybowl

The Challenge of….the Superfriends! Episode 1 – Wanted: The Superfriends.

Mon ,26/02/2018

So in achieving a somewhat dubious milestone yesterday – turning 51 – I received a special DVD set, one that contains significant wisdom and lessons for our future – the first season of Challenge of the Superfriends, circa 1978.

A classic in renowned, highly regarded animated cinematography, this series not only challenges our intrepid heroes of series seen earlier in the 70s (DC Comics heroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.), but challenges many aspects of the viewer’s sense of reason and world view, to boot.

For you see, not only are our heroes confronted with the biggest assortment (well, as of 1978, anyway) of ‘super’ villains in one place, at one time (the Legion of Doom), but commensurate with this threat, both our heroes (and the viewer) now is threatened by a set plots and one-liners both ridiculous and entertaining at the same time.

Together, dear reader, we will now examine these episodes under a closer lens, providing scrutiny, skepticism, and comic relief where needed, as needed.

We begin with Episode 1 – Wanted: The Superfriends.

As always with these shows, it opens with the usual shot of the Hall of Doom rising out of a remote swamp somewhere. As this is the first episode, Lex Luthor sets the stage by introducing all the villains in the room, some of which who show off by blasting out a lamp (Captain Cold); creating a huge, levitating snake (Sinestro); smashing a huge hole in the table (Solomon Grundy); and scratching huge gouges in the same table (Cheetah). So already they’re causing societal damage! And of course Luthor introduces himself in the third person as the most intelligent and dangerous of them all, natch.

He then proceeds to show off a hovering, dronelike ‘dream gun’ that he uses one by one to infect the Superfriends’ dreams so they will commit crimes and get blamed for it (of course).

So Superman, caught sleeping at his desk at the Daily Planet, flies off to steal all the gold at Fort Knox (after binding up the guards in the wrought-iron fence and tying a tank into a pretzel and throwing it into the street (with unintentionally funny background sound effects);

Batman and Robin (I was previously unaware they lived together) are commanded to drive/fly the Batmobile and Batcopter to the US Mint (in apparently only about 5 min – Batman must live in Alexandria or somewhere nearby – convenient!) where they ignore the bell-bottomed guards yelling at them and steal pallets of freshly printed dollars, lifting them through the roof into the Batcopter and then taking off – what’s impressive here is that Robin uses what seems like a lightsaber to cut into one of the vaults – but I guess they did in fact have that technology, given Star Wars was in 1977, over a year before this came out :);

They then show Flash ripping off Big Ben and the British Crown Jewels (apparently just running by the cases at super speed is enough to get them); Black Vulcan takes all the sarcophagi and treasures from The Great Pyramid in Egypt, and Wonder Woman lassos (really?) all the paintings out of the Louvre, among other crime sprees.

Cut back to the Hall of Doom, and the Legion of Doom with a couple scenes of gloating, then to the Hall of Justice, with the Superfriends discussing (in fairly nondescript, objective ways despite now being ‘super criminals’?) their crime sprees of the night before with Hawkman pointing out the gold and other crap in a storage locker. Hmmmm..

But it gets better. The ‘police’ now ask them to turn themselves in – but it’s not really the police – it’s Cheetah and Bizarro, who (after the requisite gloating – I think we’re seeing a pattern here) – press a button on what looks like an oversized 70’s TV remote, and a mind-control ray kicks in to immobilize them (save their ability to complain) and then the jail cell (literally) blasts off, headed into orbit, straight for the sun (yes, you heard both of those right).

Cut back to the Hall of Doom, for the obvious cliffhanger, begun by yet another round of Luthor gloating, then Black Manta leading off to take the Hall of Justice (and rename it the ‘Hall of Injustice’ – apparently the Hall of Doom isn’t good enough) so they can then use the Justice League computers to REALLY amp up the crime spree themselves! Cue the announcer ‘can the Superfriends escape…?’ etc.

Resume with the second act – while the Superfriends continue their space-based whining as they plunge towards the sun (while I’m still wondering what air they are breathing and how the Legion of Doom managed to get a rocket-powered jail cell capable of travel all the way into orbit and the sun built into a local Washington DC jail in advance of capturing them, but these are minor details) Luthor (after yet *another* round of insults at the SF’s expense – ‘Superfools’ seems to be a crowd favorite) hooks up some ridiculous mind control device to the computer, which then hooks in the Justice League Satellite to beam rays all over the Earth and turn everyone (?!) into Cheetah and Bizarro clones, who then proceed to rob literally ‘everything’ (I’m not kidding) and turn it in to the Legion of Doom, now camped out in the Hall of Justice.

But our heroes aren’t beaten yet. Superman spots a meteor nearby, and Wonder Woman saves their asses by mind-controlling her magic lasso to adjust the rocket to make the jail cell collide with the meteor, knocking off the Doom control device. Then Superman jumps out into the vacuum (which I realize doesn’t affect him but what about the rest?) and steers the jail cell back to Earth.

Superman, Batman and Robin (Batman looking fairly fat as he runs along with them, apparently his time in jail wasn’t calorie-challenged), seeing a bunch of Bizarros standing on the lawn, objectively evaluate the situation in a matter of seconds (smart) and then Superman takes on the Bizarro-driving some big street sweeper truck who is attacking them (Bizarros apparently forget that Superman could actually fly OVER such a truck). But Superman cuts them a break and uses his arm (with requisite Skil-saw sound) to disable the sweeper brushes – then verbally admonishes the Bizarro, and flies him over to a phone booth and eye-laser seals him in.

In typical illogical fashion, the Superfriends now spend their time flyins all over the place trying to prevent more crime (instead of of just going to the Hall of Justice to stop Luthor directly) – this despite Superman already having **said out loud** what the likely cause was in the previous scene (a Luthor mind control device)? No prize for brains in these cinematic masterpieces, to be sure.

We now see Batman and Robin in the Batcave, running endless calculations on the Batcomputer to “figure out what’s going on” (again, see previous comment) – Robin notes they are low on power, and his a button to ask Alfred for a ‘nuclear power pack’ (yipes) – but excellent plot twist! Alfred is a Bizarro now, and mid-series of one liners, attacks them with a double-electric lasso, then explains (after throwing them in the Batmobile) how he’s set it to drive them off a cliff (cue maniacal laugh). It blasts out of the cave, Robin starts the inevitable whining, but despite them flying off the cliff, Batman hits the rocket button somehow in his belt and the car blasts upward into the air.

Cut back to the Hall of Justice for yet another round of gloating by Luthor, Captain Cold and The Riddler. Then, Batman and Robin (now safe and driving around in the country somewhere) complete the ‘calculations’ on the Batmobile mini computer – a dot-matrix computer printout tells Robin how to fix the problem (on Bat-paper?), and radios Superman, who, using a huge walkie-talkie, answers and then heads into orbit to fix the satellite.

After he jiggles the satellite around a bit, Superman calls Batman back on the same Radio Shack walkie-talkie – which apparently works well even in space – to tell him to now go after the Legion of Doom (phase 2).

The Superfriends sneak back into the Hall of Justice disguised as Bizarros and Cheetahs (carrying more money), then the inevitable final battle (which is mostly comprised of one-liners yelled at one another) begins.

Grod throws a large computer at Green Lantern, which he ‘catches’ using a big catcher’s mitt (and then employs a stupid baseball comeback), then Wonder Woman lassos Cheetah with a similar lame verbal rejoinder;

Bizarro (literally) wraps up Batman and Robin with a steel girder he rips down from the ceiling, but Batman makes a snide comment and casually lobs out his Batarang, which loops back and saws through the girder, then shoots some sort of ‘plastic bag’ at Bizarro, who gets caught AND has to endure more taunting from Batman to boot!

Ah, but the inveitable conclusion, something of an anticlimax – Luthor, yelling more threats, tries to use the mind-control drone on them again, but Superman grabs him and then aims it at the Legion of Doom, who supposedly go to jail. But then when the Superfriends are sitting around later, patting themselves on the back, Luthor appears on the big screen and brags yet again how they have escaped, and how they are already back at the Hall of Doom, planning more crimes! Superman of course gets in the last word, warning them they won’t succeed. Whew!

Until next time…..candybowl

pretty wack..

Tue ,06/02/2018

yet, cool.

Willy Wonka dialogue as a sax and drum jazz duet

candybowl