Monthly Archives: December 2014

THE MICRONAUTS: WHEN STAR WARS MET THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Micronauts 1Christmas time is largely about toys. Selling toys is largely what George Lucas, the man behind the Star Wars franchise, is all about. The Micronauts was one of those oddly-conceived Marvel Comics titles from the late 70s and early 80s that were about forcing a continuing storyline around an already-existing toy franchise. (Rom: Spaceknight was another example of this ultimate in ass-backward storytelling.)

And a young Joel Schumacher mused "Nipples on black armor, eh? Hmmmmm."

And a young Joel Schumacher mused “Nipples on black armor, eh? Hmmmmm.”

The above example of Six Degrees of George Lucas or whatever you want to call it was just my odd way of pointing out my reasoning for posting this item on Christmas Eve. The Micronauts (First Issue: January 1979) was mostly a strained imitation of the Star Wars universe but also had a few similarities with Marvel’s ORIGINAL Guardians of the Galaxy. Those Guardians – Vance Astro, Charley-27, Yondu and Martinex – were freedom fighters waging a guerilla war to free 30th Century Earth from the dictatorial rule of its alien conquerors, the lizardlike Badoon race.

Baron Karza horseThe Micronauts was set in the Microverse, a sub-atomic universe which was being ruled by the evil, black-armored Baron Karza, one of the most blatant Darth Vader ripoffs this side of Japan’s Swords of the Space Ark movies. Karza could detach his arms and legs and could transform the lower half of his body into that of a black horse (think of Centaurs) for no better reason than the fact that THAT was the gimmick of the Baron Karza toys. Kids could move around the arms and legs or replace his regular body with the horse-like lower body. Oh what fun! (?) Continue reading

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COLLEGE HOCKEY RANKINGS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG

St Norbert College1. SAINT NORBERT COLLEGE GREEN KNIGHTS     ###      2. OSWEGO STATE LAKERS     ###      3. UW- STEVENS POINT POINTERS     ###      4. BABSON COLLEGE BEAVERS     ###      5. GENESEO STATE BLUE KNIGHTS     ###      6. UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS TOMMIES     ###      7. TRINITY (CT) BANTAMS      ###      8. NORWICH UNIVERSITY CADETS     ###       Continue reading

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SCROOGE (1983)

Gospel According to Scrooge 2This entry for Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2014 is a true oddity. It’s not so much a “love it or hate it” version of the Dickens classic so much as it’s a “like it or ridicule it” version, due entirely to the forced religious slant.

The Gospel According to Scrooge is a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol – one which continues to be performed to this very day at various Christian venues around the country. This very first performance was televised in December of 1983 on the Trinity (as in Holy Trinity) Broadcasting Network.

Gospel According to Scrooge 3I have a hard time forcing myself to be as rough on Christianity as I used to be, given the atrocities committed by Muslim fanatics on a daily basis and the way in which the world grovels for those same Muslims, all the while the world pretends to be “daring” and “iconoclastic” by relentlessly bashing Christians and Jews. Uh. Yeah. Gutless hypocrites.

At any rate since I’m a non-believer in all the world’s religions I laugh my ass off whenever I watch The Gospel According to Scrooge, but committed Christians will probably like this Carol for all the same reasons that someone like me laughs at it.   Continue reading

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AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS CAROL (1979)

An American Christmas Carol 2Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2014 continues! At the height of Fonzie-mania in the 1970s Henry Winkler had so much pull he could have insisted on a side-deal in which he got to play every D’Ascoyne in a televised remake of Kind Hearts and Coronets if he had wanted to. Mercifully he instead chose to star in this adaptation of A Christmas Carol.   

Eric Till directed this telefilm which sets Dickens’ story in Depression- Era America. Winkler, so heavily made-up he looks like a zombie instead of an old man, portrays Benedict Slade, the Scrooge stand-in and R.H. Thompson plays Slade’s man-bitch Thatcher, the Bob Cratchit counterpart. David Wayne has the Jacob marley role as Merrivale and Susan Hogan barely registers as the forever-irritating Belle stand-in.

"I'm not gonna pay a lot for this makeup job!"  ... Henry Winkler IS a zombie Scrooge in An Undead Christmas Carol.

“I’m not gonna pay a lot for this makeup job!” … Henry Winkler IS a zombie Scrooge in An Undead Christmas Carol.

This version of the Carol pulls the annoying maneuver of pretending the visits from Merrivale and the other ghosts are all a dream. There’s even an in-world reference to the Dickens novel A Christmas Carol. On the plus side the visits of each of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come are cleverly heralded by time period appropriate music and news broadcasts airing on Slade’s bedside radio. The old tight-wad is especially discomfited by the outre 1970s music blaring from the radio before the arrival of the black Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.   Continue reading

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COOL-NAMED SPORTS TEAM: GOLDEY-BEACOM COLLEGE

Goldey Beacom Lightning newGOLDEY-BEACOM COLLEGE LIGHTNING

Location: Wilmington, DE

Conference Affiliation: Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference

Comment: This highly-regarded educational institution from Delaware is also known for its cool-named sports teams. The Lightning stand out tall and proud in a collegiate sports landscape littered with WAY too many teams called Eagles, Tigers, Bulldogs and Wildcats.  Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES EIGHTY-TWO TO EIGHTY-FOUR

Death Rides the Midnight PatrolBalladeer’s Blog resumes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super- natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American spy/ nurse whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed.

damned will fly again82. THE DAMNED WILL FLY AGAIN (July 1940) – Grun (“Groon”) the Primeval strikes again! To nobody’s surprise Grun survived his apparent death at the end of his previous appearance. 

The green-skinned mutant is still pretending to work with the Central Powers while secretly furthering his plans to eliminate all “normal” people on Earth, allowing him and his fellow mutants to take over the world.

As always Grun’s ape-like strength, massive intellect, telepathic abilities and sheer savagery make him one of G-8’s deadliest foes ever! Grun steals the invention of Germany’s Dr Geinor – a Gatling gun-sized machine that shoots electric bolts which kill dozens of men with each shot. The green-skinned villain also made off with the accompanying handguns Geinor created – handguns that shoot the same deadly bolts. Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RESULTS FROM DECEMBER 19th AND 20th

* NAIA *

Southern Oregon RaidersCHAMPIONSHIP GAME – From Daytona Beach, FL this year’s 59th Annual NAIA Championship Game pitted the SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY RAIDERS against the MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS, who were trying for their 2nd title in the past 3 years. The Raiders capitalized on every Marian mistake and by the end of the 1st Quarter led 24-7. That dominance extended into the 2nd Quarter as SOU seized a 38-10 advantage by Halftime.

In the 3rd Quarter the Knights shut out their opponents and pulled to within 14 points at 38-24. In the 4th Southern Oregon’s record-setting QB Austin Dodge simply pressed down on the accelerator and extended his team’s lead again. When the dust settled SOU had won the game 55-31.  * CONGRATULATIONS TO SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY, THE CHAMPIONS OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS! * 

* NCAA DIVISION TWO * Continue reading

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ISLAMIC STATE ARMY BUTCHERS 150 MORE WOMEN AND IS STEALING ORGANS

Islamophobia posterMore atrocities from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the “Caliphate” formed because of Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq and the failure of his Syrian policy.  

These darlings of American Liberals have slaughtered ONE HUNDRED FIFTY more women – this time for the “offense” of not submitting to forced conversion to Islam followed by forced marriages to their Muslim captors. In addition to that the international press has revealed that the Islamic State is also REMOVING ORGANS from their various captives and POW’s and selling those organs on the international black market.

But hey, the cowardly hypocrites of American Liberalism adore ISIS and would rather dwell on actions committed by the Western World HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO when the entire world had a different value system. Gutless Liberals (are there any other kind) also love to ignore the abuses the Muslim World was inflicting on Africans and Asians during that same period. Continue reading

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SCROOGE (1970)

Scrooge 1970 2Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2014 continues here at Balladeer’s Blog with a look at the 1970 musical version that starred Albert Finney. The only – and dubious – advantage to having such a young man portraying Ebenezer Scrooge is that he could realistically play Scrooge’s younger self in the Christmas Past scenes.

Big deal. In reality it meant that the portions with Belle get dragged out even longer and more excruciatingly than they usually do, just to take advantage of the fact that for once it’s not a different actor playing the younger Ebenezer. Again – big deal.  

Yet I like this version much more than I should. A rerun of it late one Christmas night was my first exposure to it years ago when I was first getting into the multiple versions of A Christmas Carol. That has probably colored my feelings about it all these years because I have to admit when I read negative reviews of this production I laugh like hell and nod my head in agreement at all the bashing it gets … yet I still like it for some reason. Continue reading

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JEB BUSH: THE LOWEST LIFE-FORM ON THE PLANET

"I'll look positively dreamy up on Mount Rushmore!"

“I’ll look positively dreamy up on Mount Rushmore!”

Welcome back to Balladeer’s Blog, the only site on the internet that criticizes Liberals and Conservatives equally. The repulsive Jeb Bush, brother of George W Bush and the son of George Herbert Walker Bush, is running for president. You’d think a man with that last name would be ashamed to show his face in public ever again, but no, Jowelly Jeb apparently thinks that all the abuse people heap on his bloated rich pig family is just jealousy or something.

I can’t imagine what type of campaign slogans this sample of political bacteria will use in their campaign. Maybe something like “JEB BUSH: He’s the only man who could make Americans miss Barack Obama” or maybe “JEB BUSH: The pudgy harbinger of national suicide”. For a campaign song Jeb could use that ditty from the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup:   Continue reading

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