Monthly Archives: July 2017

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SERPICO

Remember the real-life Serpico? If not, he was the cop who blew the lid off the way taking bribes was a way of life for virtually the entire New York City Police Department for decades.

Trump is SerpicoEven the cops who weren’t on the take practiced omerta and refused to talk about the way all the others WERE on the take.

Mascot with demo and repub headsOur de facto Third Party President Donald Trump is a political Serpico – hated by the crooked because he’s not part of their bought and paid for club.

America’s political officials have been rotten to the core for a very, very long time. They are going to hate ANYONE who exposes their corruption. Compared to them even a black-hearted, swashbuckling rogue like Donald Trump can emerge on the side of the figurative angels.

Trump - crooks unite against him

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion

FEMALE MARSHALS OF THE OLD WEST

FRONTIERADO IS COMING UP ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 4th!

As always, Frontierado is a holiday dedicated to the myth of the old west, not the grinding reality. Here is a look at a handful of ladies who served as gunslinging Marshals.

Ada CarnuttADA CURNUTT

Around 1889 or 1890 Ada Curnutt moved to Oklahoma (formerly Indian Territory) with her sister and her brother-in-law. By some accounts Ada chose to head west to get out from under the influence of her Methodist Minister father and equally devout mother.

When she was 20 years old, Curnutt started working as a Clerk of the Court in Norman, OK. Finding a desk job too dull for her, Ada soon became a Deputy Marshal for United States Marshal William Grimes. Her duties included serving writs and warrants, escorting dangerous prisoners from one jurisdiction to another and, of course, making arrests.    Continue reading

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MANTIS 22: KANG THE CONQUEROR WANTS THE CELESTIAL MADONNA

FOR PART 1 OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF MARVEL’S SUPERHEROINE MANTIS CLICK HERE 

Avengers 129 bid tomorrow goodbyeAVENGERS Volume 1, Number 129 (November 1974)  Bid Tomorrow Goodbye

AVENGERS ROSTER: Thor (Donald Blake, MD), Iron Man (Tony Stark), The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Frank), The Vision (not applicable), The Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and MANTIS (Mantis Brandt).

BID TOMORROW GOODBYE

Synopsis: The story picks up where we left off last time. The Avengers and the sorceress Agatha Harkness – the Scarlet Witch’s mentor – have gathered outside Avengers Mansion. Stunned crowds of onlookers have gathered as well, in reaction to the incredibly bright artificial star that appeared over Avengers Mansion like a sci-fi version of the Star of Bethlehem.

Kang the Conqueror, a frequent foe of the Avengers, appeared on the scene, saying that the star was a signal to him. A signal that the time of the Celestial Madonna had arrived and that 20th Century Earth was ripe for conquest.

Kang the ConquerorNOTE: The Marvel Comics character Kang the Conqueror is a good example of ret-conning used in a SUCCESSFUL and REASONABLE way. Kang is the military dictator of 40th Century Earth and had often come back to conquer the 20th Century with his future technology.

When Kang first appeared in The Avengers in 1964 comic books were still considered to be “just for little kids.” This meant that in his early battles against the Avengers no mention was ever made of the familiar sci-fi concept that IF Kang had succeeded in taking over 20th Century Earth it would change the future so drastically that it might result in him NEVER EVEN BEING BORN.

As I said, back in the early to mid 1960s Marvel Comics administrators were still abiding by the conventional wisdom that comic books should be targeted JUST at children who were 10 or 11 or younger. Such children were not expected to see through the flaws of simplistic stories, so comic books stayed “dumb” which kept limiting their audience to little kids in a self-perpetuating cycle.

Stan Lee, whose animated corpse makes cameo appearances in Marvel movies (I’m kidding) was famous for trying to introduce more complex stories that might appeal to older audiences. Stan the Man felt comics could appeal to all ages just like sci-fi tv shows like Star Trek and many others. 

MantisMarvel thrived with that approach from the late 1960s onward. This brings us back to Kang the Conqueror’s role in the Celestial Madonna storyline. The creative team at The Avengers back then used this tale to ret-con WHY Kang attacked the 20th Century so often AND provided a reason why he could feel secure that it would not endanger his existence in any way. (Details below.)

Back to the story: The Avengers attack Kang, whose high-tech armor is beyond even Doctor Doom’s (except when other stories call for it NOT to be). That armor – as usual – enables Kang to go blow for blow with our heroes.  Continue reading

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WANG CHUNG: TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.

To Live and Die in LABalladeer’s Blog presents another edition of “Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead.” This time around it’s to Wang Chung, for their memorable soundtrack for the INCREDIBLY underappreciated movie To Live and Die in L.A.

The movie was from some of the creative team behind Miami Vice and was often described as “Film Noir Meets MTV.” After a teaser depicting Secret Service Agent Richard Chance and his partner saving the U.S. president from a Muslim terrorist the main story focuses on the often-neglected role of the U.S. Secret Service: fighting counterfeiters.

Ironically the movie features top scenes from the novel it’s based on, yet presents the story with the exact opposite meaning that the novel offers. Both are enjoyable but in entirely different ways – the film as flash and the book as substance. 

And Robert Downey SENIOR has a small role for you trivia buffs.

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DEMOCRATS: NEW SLOGANS

democrats and poor peopleHere at Balladeer’s Blog I am STILL fascinated with so much of the political realignment going on in this country. The latest word is that some of the DemoKKKrats have at last realized that their ridiculous slogan “Resistance” just isn’t working out like they’d hoped.

They’re trying out “A Better Deal,” since long ago when Democrats actually cared about the working class they had some success with FDR’s New Deal and Truman’s  Fair Deal. (And remember, my criticism of the DemoKKKrats is in NO WAY an endorsement of the Republicans, too many of whom are like that piece of garbage Paul Ryan.)

Here are some appropriate slogans that the Democrats should consider:

DEMOCRATS: APPEALING TO THE WORST ASPECTS OF HUMAN NATURE FOR ROUGHLY TWO HUNDRED YEARS!

DEMOCRATS: WE’D RATHER SEE THOUSANDS OF YOU PEASANTS GET KILLED THAN SEE ONE SINGLE MUSLIM TERRORIST INCONVENIENCED AT AN AIRPORT!

Democrats richDEMOCRATS: BEFORE REPUBLICAN JOSEPH MCCARTHY THERE WAS DEMOCRAT MARTIN DIES!

DEMOCRATS: WE’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU PEASANTS FOR HUMILIATING ME SO BADLY! (I understand Hillary Clinton suggested this one.)

DEMOCRATS: WE CAUSED THE DOMESTIC SPREAD OF SLAVERY, THE TRAIL OF TEARS, THE JAPANESE INTERNMENT, THE SPOILS SYSTEM AND THE KKK, THEN PASSED THE BLAME ON TO THE REST OF YOU! 

DEMOCRATS: PROTECTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM THE SCUM CALLED AMERICAN CITIZENS!

DEMOCRATS: REMEMBER “DON’T TRUST ANYONE OVER THIRTY?” WE’VE ADJUSTED THAT TO “DON’T TRUST ANYONE UNDER SEVENTY OR OVER TWENTY-ONE!”  Continue reading

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Filed under humor, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, opinion

BLACK JACK KETCHUM: GUNSLINGER

FRONTIERADO IS FRIDAY, AUGUST 4th!

Black jack

Black Jack

BLACK JACK KETCHUM – Black Jack was one of the leaders of the many outlaws who made their home in Hole In The Wall, Wyoming, all of them roughly lumped together under the general name the Hole In The Wall Gang. Though Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch faction of the gang is by far the most famous grouping, Ketchum and his followers deserve a much bigger reputation than they currently enjoy.

Ketchum was born in 1866 in San Angelo, TX, and by 1887 he was working as an actual cowboy at various ranches in the Lone Star State. In 1890, after a cattle drive to Clayton, NM, Black Jack and his brother Sam were involved in a train robbery and would spend the rest of their lives as outlaws, vowing never to work as miserable cowhands ever again.

By 1892 Ketchum’s Hole In The Wall gang included his brother Sam, Will “Noose” Carver, Bronco Bill Walters and  Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan. The Gang began alternating its time between launching train and bank robberies from their Hole In The Wall headquarters and running a shady saloon and gambling hall back in San Angelo. Continue reading

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THE INCUBATED GIRL (1896): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION

Incubated GirlTHE INCUBATED GIRL (1896) – Written by F.T. Jane, as in THE Jane who originated the Jane’s Guides. 

It would be overly glib to describe this novel as just a sci-fi version of Alraune because it definitely goes in some unexpected directions. Plus Alraune itself borrowed heavily from Homunculus, Mandrake and Mandragore folklore. There’s a touch of The Great God Pan as well. 

The Incubated Girl begins with British Egyptologist Blackburn Zadara discovering an ancient coffin of a Priest of Isis. There is no corpse inside but rather a manuscript and assorted chemical concoctions. Zadara returns to England with the discovery and translates the manuscript – it is a guide to creating human life by using the chemical substances that were buried with the manuscript.

Blackburn closely follows the instructions and months later he invites his friend Meredyth Wilson Sr over to witness the initial results of the experiment. Wilson watches as Zadara opens a large egg-shaped pod from which he removes a little baby girl.  

Blackburn Zadara names the child Stella and tells Meredyth that according to the Egyptian manuscript Stella will be supernaturally healthy and will never experience death as long as she never drinks human milk nor eats any meat.

Over the years as Stella grows, Zadara tries to create additional humanoids but those efforts always fail. The Egyptologist has been using specifically deaf-mute servants to attend to Stella to limit involved interaction with other humans.

By her 18th year Stella is beautiful and highly intelligent but is as selfish as a newborn and enjoys enacting revenge against anyone who gets on her bad side. Blackburn takes the incubated girl to London with him, but she abandons him there, since she finds him ugly and unpleasant. Continue reading

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