OBJECT Z (1965): FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

Object ZOBJECT Z (1965) – Directed by Daphne Shadwell and written by Christopher McMaster, this was one of the many six-episode science fiction serials from British television of the 1950s and 1960s. The Quatermass serials are among the best remembered of those programs but there were also items like The Trollenberg Terror, a serial later adapted into the B-Movie The Crawling Eye.

If you’ve seen any of the other British programs like this you’ll know what to expect and whether or not you’ll enjoy this one. Personally I find them fun AND fun-bad all at once so to me they’re more than worth watching.

The storyline in Object Z involves the sighting of a distant space object which, as it draws nearer to the Earth, is determined to be at least six miles long and made of either stone or metal. Soon it becomes clear that it is going to collide with the Earth. Continue reading

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EVEN A POLITICO WRITER ADMITS BIDEN TEAM IS LYING BY CLAIMING TRUMP LEFT NO VACCINE PLAN

Democrat rat

DEMOCRAT PARTY

I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO SPEND SEVERAL DAYS IN A ROW NOT WRITING ABOUT POLITICS BUT THE DEMOCRATS AND THEIR MEDIA OUTLETS STILL INSIST ON PUSHING LIES ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP.

Democrat media outlets, quoting “sources” (LMAO!) lied and claimed President Trump left behind no vaccine distribution plan and that Joe Biden is starting “from scratch.” We all know the pattern. If Big Tech fascists like Jack Dorsey want to, they will start banning accounts that point out what a lie that is. Democrat “Fact-checkers” (LMAO!) will insist those lies are the truth as well.

Tens of millions of doses were already distributed by the Trump Administration, as just one indicator of what a lie that is. 

Even anti-Trump Sam Stein from the Democrats’ outlet Politico, noted how untrue that was:

 

 
Sam Stein
 
@samstein
Biden folks are spinning here or trying to lower the bar strategically. There was, indeed, a plan from Trump. I listened in on govs calls on vaccine distribution. The plan had obvious shortcomings. but to say there’s nothing to rework is not true.
Ross Levitt
 
@cnnross
Great SCOOP from ⁦@mj_lee⁩ on how bad this situation is with vaccine distribution: “There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch,” one source said. cnn.com/2021/01/21/pol

Even the ghoulish “Grim Reaper” Fauci pointed out they are not having to “start from scratch,” yet as we all saw over the last five years Democrats never let the truth stop them from saying something.


Drew Holden@DrewHolden360
Replying to @DrewHolden360But it wasn’t just @CNN. Other outlets and their reporters piled on, too. Because you see, if people believe this, Biden’s job gets way easier: anything tied to the vaccine is a success. It wouldn’t be a chance for anti-Trump spin if @maddow and @MaddowBlog weren’t involved.7:08 PM · Jan 21, 2021569

Biden has called for vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his administration, which would be one million per day. Bloomberg Business data indicates that rate had already been reached as Trump left office.But as usual, Democrats will keep pushing any lie that puts President Trump in a negative light.

Ed Morrisey worded it well: “Maybe the Biden team would be better advised to start thinking outside the box rather than reflexively pre-empting criticism by complaining about their predecessors. That’s especially true when the only reason the vaccines exist in the first place is because their predecessors took unprecedented action to ensure their production.

And by the way, BIDEN HAS KIDS IN CAGES … Oh, that’s right, anti-Trump fascists only pretended to care about those kids in order to bash Trump. They won’t complain about Biden’s kids in cages.

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DUNE: AN OPERA CYCLE

Here at Balladeer’s Blog I love sharing my enthusiasms. My blog posts where I provide contemporary slants to Ancient Greek Comedies to make them more accessible have been big hits over the years, so I’ve been trying it with operas, too. Previously I wrote about how Philip Wylie’s science fiction novel Gladiator could be done as an opera. Then I looked at how an opera version of the 1966 Spaghetti Western Django could be done and then an opera based on the novel Venus in Furs.

This blog post starts a look at how the original Dune novel could be done as an entire cycle of operas.

DUNE

LANGUAGE: Spanish. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that most of my fellow English-speakers find English-language operas to be silly. The prosaic nature of the forced rhymes in a language we are well-versed in does seem to rob opera of its mystique and its grandeur.

SINGERS: Two Baritones, two Bass-Baritones, two Sopranos, one Mezzo-Soprano, four Tenors, a contralto and a Bass.

ACTS: FOUR ACTS 

STORY: My fellow Dune geeks may get annoyed with this change, but remember, adaptations for staged performances have to be made very tight. I would start out at the Arrakeen Great Hall as the family and court members of House Atreides have just arrived on Arrakis/ Dune, the desert planet. All the scenes that the book covered while the Atreides family were preparing to depart their home on Caladan would instead play out shortly after their arrival on their new planetary fiefdom. Continue reading

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BEST OF BIDEN GOOFS AND GAFFES

Biden art of the feelBIDEN HAS KIDS IN CAGES (like during Obama’s and Trump’s administrations). Oh, that’s right, anti-Trump fascists never really cared about kids being in cages, they just wanted to use those kids as a political stick to attack Trump with. Now those hypocrites are back to not even pretending to care about such things. Anti-Trumpers apparently won’t complain about Joe Biden’s kids in cages.

Already Articles of Impeachment have been filed against Biden, and the YT video of his make-believe “inauguration” has THIRTY-NINE THOUSAND DOWN-VOTES and only four thousand up-votes. Hilarious!

Well, as Senile Joe Biden launched his war on the working class by destroying thousands of jobs already and has alienated multiple U.S. allies  while tear-gassing peaceful protesters here’s a reminder of what a supreme dolt the Pretender is: 

The Best of Biden Infomercial – YouTube

 

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FLASHMAN OF ARABIA – LOST FLASHMAN PAPERS

Lee Horsley tubFor Flashman Down Under, Flashman in the Opium War & Flashman and the Kings click HERE   For Flashman on the Gold Coast click HERE  . Balladeer’s Blog now moves on to another Harry Flashman adventure referred to but never completed before George MacDonald Fraser’s death.

Lee Horsley Flashman

IF HE WAS BRITISH, LEE HORSLEY WOULD HAVE MADE A PERFECT HARRY FLASHMAN.

Projected Title: FLASHMAN OF ARABIA

Time Period: 1852-1854

The Setup: Sometime in the second half of 1852 Harry Flashman at last arrives back in England from his travels which began in 1848. The scandals he fled have fallen into relative obscurity and he’s getting some positive acclaim over his recent experiences during the Australian Gold Rush and earlier participation in a wagon train across America.

In addition he’s finally gotten to see his son “Havvy” (not Harry), the child his wife Elspeth was pregnant with when his travels began.

The Story: The one and only Richard Burton, viewing Harry as a kindred spirit, reaches out via correspondence and personally to encourage Flashman to write some papers and deliver public talks about his journey through America and Australia. Always ready to play to his public, and now discovering the raconteur side of his personality, Harry writes a (very) bowdlerized account of his adventures of the past four years and even delivers a few talks at which he meets Burton in person.  

Burton's bookThe duo enjoy diving into the darker and more forbidden side of life where sex, booze and other diversions are concerned. Flashman happens to be with Burton in Egypt in early 1853 when the famous explorer begins his journey to Medina and Mecca disguised as a Muslim.

We will learn he originally invited Harry to accompany him, since our protagonist was fluent in the necessary languages and was well-versed in Muslim customs from his military service in Afghanistan in the early 1840s. Flashman would have initially turned down the offer and stayed behind in Egypt until, getting into his usual trouble from boozing, whoring and gambling he would wind up fleeing for his life. Continue reading

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MOTHER JONES: PRESIDENT TRUMP IS BRUBAKER AND OTHER HEROES

mother-jonesI consider President Trump the best president for the working class and the poor during my lifetime. Here’s a take from a true working class heroine. Mary Harris Jones, the legendary labor organizer from the 1890s onward, also known as “the Miner’s Angel” and “Mother Jones,” spoke to Balladeer’s Blog yet again, despite being dead since 1930. 

BALLADEER’S BLOG: Well, hello again! I always enjoy our talks.  

MOTHER JONES: I’m glad to hear it, sonny! I continue to be very impressed with the way President Trump – the new FDR and the new Harry Truman – fought with the same kind of plutocratic oppressors I always fought.

Trump is SerpicoBB: I admit the stench from Washington, DC is amazing. “Draining the Swamp” as it were, demonstrated the depth of corruption and outright criminal activity the Democrats and Republicans are responsible for. It took a de facto Third Party President like Trump to peel back the curtain.

MJ: You know it, young man! No Democrat or Republican would have rocked the boat like this! I think President Trump is like many heroes in one.

BB: It will be interesting to hear the kinds of comparisons you make regarding all this, but –

MJ: Yes, yes, I know you like to talk, but I want you to just listen for awhile.

BB: Okay.

Franklin RooseveltMJ: First off, President Trump is like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR was looking out for the working class and the poor, so rich fat cat scum tried to destroy him like they’re doing with Donald Trump. They even tried the noted Businessman’s Coup plot against FDR.

Right now the way that rich pig Big Tech fascists are behaving is disgusting.   

SECOND, President Trump is like Harry S Truman. Harry gave ’em Hell every chance he could and weak-kneed sissy boys like today’s Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell clutched their pearls and reached for the smelling salts. Trump shocks more Republican and Democrat trash in one week than good old Harry did in his entire presidency!  

BrubakerTHIRD, President Trump is like that Robert Redford fella when he played Brubaker! Like Trump, Brubaker was trying to clean out a virtual sewer of corrupt officialdom. Even if the scumbags fighting Trump oust him, it will be like the ending of Brubaker, when the prisoners – or American citizens in Trump’s case – gathered around to pay him respect.

The prisoners giving the departing Brubaker a slow clap of good bye was an acknowledgement that the man had tried to help them and to fight the crooked politicians and rich pigs abusing them. President Trump’s departure might be SYMBOLICALLY like that if the Establishment criminals succeed in driving him from office.

BB: That’s a very profound comparison. Even if – like Brubaker – President Trump’s bottom line accomplishment is to raise awareness in all of us about the NEED to fight the white collar criminals who have hijacked our political system, there is a certain dignity in that. A dignity that people like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden could never understand.  

MJ: Good lad, Balladeer, but I have plenty more heroes to compare with President Trump, so pipe down.  Continue reading

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NICK CARTER IN PRAGUE (1978): MOVIE REVIEW

Nick Carter in PragueNICK CARTER IN PRAGUE (1978) – This film seems to like to hide from the millions of Nick Carter fans in the world by also going under titles like Adele Has Not Had Her Dinner or Dinner With Adele. I originally planned to review this movie last year but the passing of actor Robert Conrad prompted me to review his telefilm The Adventures of Nick Carter instead.

Created in 1886, Nick Carter was technically a private detective in New York City but really he was less of a sleuth and more of a forerunner of crime-fighting paragons like Doc Savage and Batman. Nick lasted through the end of the Dime Novel era and well into the age of Pulp Magazines, yet by the 1970s he was a much more popular character in Europe than in his homeland. Even before Nick Carter in Prague was released there had been a French-Italian animated series about Nick’s adventures.

This Czech film was directed by Oldrich Lipsky and starred Michal Docolomansky as Nick Carter. If you want a glib “pitch-meeting” style description of this movie think of it as a tongue-in-cheek effort like Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy but directed by Tim Burton and with a surreal, European arthouse feel.

Michal as Nick CarterThe approach is wry and knowing but without stooping to the overdone camp of 1975’s Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, starring Ron Ely. Nick Carter in Prague is often labeled a comedy but don’t go into it expecting laughs, just lots of smiles like during Dick Tracy or Tim Burton’s Batman. It’s more “comedy” as in whimsical fantasy touches, not hard belly laughs.

The film is set around 1905 judging by the automobiles, and the opening minutes provide a nice introduction to Nick Carter. He’s a world-famous detective/ crime fighter whose exploits earn him plenty of headlines. Police departments and Secret Services around the world bombard him with requests for help and he survives multiple attempts on his life by a variety of enemies as part of his daily routine at his office.

Nick has so many pleas for his services that he selects who he’ll help next at random. The “winner” is Countess Thun (Kveta Fiolova) of Prague, so our hero is off to then-Czechoslovakia. The countess has a lot of pull with her government and Carter is given a hero’s welcome. The tubby Commissar Ledvina (Rudolf Hrusinsky) is assigned to help Nick in every way. Continue reading

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DEMOCRAT SLOGANS: YESTERDAY’S JOKES ARE TODAY’S REALITY

democrat republican or awakeRemember when the following Democrat slogans were intended by me as humor? Well, the Democrats are proving they’re worse than any of us imagined. WE NEED THIRD PARTIES!

DEMOCRATS: YOU PEASANTS ARE ONLY AS FREE AS THE MOST INTOLERANT DEMOCRAT LETS YOU BE!

DEMOCRATS: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SIMPLE-MINDED FASCISTS IN LARGE NUMBERS!

DEMOCRATS: THIS DREADFUL DONALD TRUMP PERSON HAS FILLED THE WORKING CLASS RABBLE WITH THOUGHTS ABOVE THEIR STATION IN LIFE!

DEMOCRATS: WE NEED TO SAVAGELY BEAT ELDERLY AND HANDICAPPED TRUMP SUPPORTERS BECAUSE THEIR MERE EXISTENCE MAKES US FEEL “UNSAFE.”

DEMOCRATS: THE CAMPAIGN NEVER ENDS … AND NEITHER WILL OUR DISCOVERY OF BOXES FULL OF “UNCOUNTED” VOTES! 

DEMOCRATS: ALL OF OUR OPINIONS SHOULD CARRY THE FORCE OF LAW!

DEMOCRATS: WE OVERUSED THE WORD “RACIST” TO THE POINT OF MEANINGLESSNESS. NOW WE’RE DOING THE SAME WITH “WHITE SUPREMACIST.”

DEMOCRATS: A LOYALTY OATH TO OUR PARTY SHOULD BE NECESSARY TO QUALIFY FOR HEALTH CARE.

DEMOCRATS: WE ARE THE FASCISTS WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

DEMOCRATS: IF THE COUNTRY IS SPLIT ALMOST 50-50 THAT MEANS THAT ONLY THE PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH US ARE BEING “DIVISIVE” … NEVER US!

DEMOCRATS: WE RUINED LIBERALISM! WE RUINED THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM! WE RUINED THE COURT SYSTEM AND UNDERMINED THE ELECTORAL PROCESS ITSELF! PLEASE DON’T STOP US NOW!

DEMOCRATS: IT’S EASIER TO JUST CONSTANTLY TELL EVERYONE HOW COMPASSIONATE AND TOLERANT YOU THINK YOU ARE THAN IT IS TO ACTUALLY BE COMPASSIONATE AND TOLERANT!

ONLY THOSE PEOPLE OF COLOR WHO AGREE WITH US WHITE DEMOCRATS ARE AUTHENTIC. THE REST MUST BE HOUNDED FROM PUBLIC LIFE OR RECANT.

DEMOCRATS: FILING COMPLAINTS ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SAY SOMETHING WE DISAGREE WITH IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF ACTIVISM!

Continue reading

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DUCKWORTH DREW: RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1973)

rivals of sherlockFor Balladeer’s Blog’s review of the very first episode of this 1971-1973 series about London by Gaslight detectives from both the Victorian and Edwardian Ages you can simply click HERE

Duckworth DrewEpisode: THE SECRET OF THE FOXHUNTER (February 3rd, 1973)

Detective: Duckworth Drew of the Foreign Office, created by William Le Queux. The first Duckworth Drew story was published in 1903. Apparently the creative team on the television show found “Duckworth” to be too silly sounding so they instead gave the character the first name of his creator, William. 

Comment: In Drew’s adventures he wasn’t so much a rival of Sherlock Holmes as a detective, but more in terms of the handful of Holmes stories in which he served as a spy. Duckworth, or “Ducky” as he’s called by intimate friends, is the archetypal British spy whose diplomatic titles are just a cover for his espionage antics. Derek Jacobi shines as the intelligence operative.

Drew is often cited as one of the many, many supposed influences on Ian Fleming’s much later character James Bond. He does periodically use Q-style devices (Was Q a subtle nod to Le Queux?) like drugged cigars and drugged pins that can render people unconscious or paralyzed.

Duckworth Drew againSomething I found interesting about the Duckworth Drew spy stories was the way that, despite their national chauvinism in which it is just assumed that Great Britain is “the good guy,” the rival powers of Germany, Russia and France are not depicted as devils incarnate. Certainly they’re never presented in truly sympathetic ways but since these stories were written before the World Wars and the Cold War, they’re comparatively restrained in dealing with Drew’s opposition.     

That restraint is typical of the relative maturity of the stories. England would often adjust its policies to court support from one or two of those powers against the others. Therefore, it wouldn’t do to hysterically demonize those other nations since HMG is sometimes in league with each of them in turn. And – another refreshing element – it is taken in stride by Drew and his superiors that Germany, Russia and France do the same thing. There’s almost an air of the Mario Puzo attitude “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.” Continue reading

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ISLAND OF THE LOST (1967): MOVIE REVIEW

Island of the LostISLAND OF THE LOST (1967) – Directed by John Florea and written by Richard Carlson and Ivan Tors, this family adventure movie starred Richard Greene, known for playing Robin Hood in the 1950s television series and for playing Sir Denis Nayland Smith in a few of the Fu Manchu movies from the 1960s.

In addition to Greene, Island of the Lost provides additional cultural kitsch appeal: You’ve got producer Ivan Tors of Flipper fame dragging along Luke Halpin, the boy star of that series. Ivan also seems to have brought along a LOT of Flipper stock footage for the underwater scenes. Jose de Vega from Blue Hawaii is also in the cast as are soap opera queen Robin Mattson and the ubiquitous Irene Tsu. Plus the screenwriter is THE Richard Carlson, star of many b-movies.

Island of the Lost 2Richard Greene AND Richard Carlson? You know that with a couple of Dicks like them around we are in for some campiness and lame special effects that might have been acceptable in the 1950s … in black & white, not color. 

Greene portrays Professor Josh MacRae, a scholar who is convinced that there are undiscovered islands in the Pacific Ocean, islands on which live creatures long thought extinct. Like so many movie professors, he organizes his own expedition to try to prove his theory. And if he dies in the attempt he plans to take his whole family down with him! Continue reading

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