Monthly Archives: November 2017

THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, FROM THE STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN

Balladeer’s Blog’s Eighth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon presents another song from the live-action musical The Stingiest Man in Town. This one is titled The Christmas Spirit and is another hit from the soundtrack that became a Christmas time staple.

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A JETSON CHRISTMAS CAROL: CAROL-A-THON 2017

JetsonsA JETSON CHRISTMAS CAROL (1985) – Christmas Carol-A- Thon 2017 continues here at Balladeer’s Blog! This 1985 animated version of the Dickens classic incorporates the characters from the Hanna Barbera program The Jetsons. They were a family who were the far-future counterparts of the Stone Age family The Flintstones. 

A Jetsons Christmas Carol is not very good but it’s a lot better than the irritatingly awful Flintstones Christmas Carol. If you know the characters you can fill in the blanks yourself:

George Jetson is the substitute for the novel’s put-upon Bob Cratchit, and finds himself ordered to work very late on Christmas Eve, disappointing his wife Jane and their kids Elroy and Judy.  Continue reading

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FLORIDA DEMOCRAT TYCOON LEAVES THE PARTY; IF HE RUNS IT WILL BE AS AN INDEPENDENT

John MorganHere at Balladeer’s Blog I am still relishing the political realignment going on in America. We have a de facto Third Party President and public disgust over the corruption and outright crimes of the Democrats and Republicans is nearly boiling over. I’ve featured countless news items over the past 12 months detailing some of the history we’re living through.

Most recently, Florida saw John Morgan, the presumed winner of the Governor’s race – and up til now a Democrat – announce he is so fed up with the Democrats that he is not even going to run this time after all. (And he had been LEADING the polls even without being an official candidate yet)

Part of his public comment said:

“They are all the same. Both parties. I plan to register as an Independent and when I vote, vote for the lesser of two evils. And if I ever ran, run as an Independent.” Continue reading

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SONG: AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS FROM THE STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN

Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2017 rolls along with another look at an individual song from one of my favorite versions of A Christmas Carol. It’s An Old Fashioned Christmas, sung by Nephew Fred (Johnny Desmond).

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I AM SCROOGE – A ZOMBIE STORY FOR CHRISTMAS (2009)

Balladeer’s Blog’s Eighth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues! Since we’re not even into December yet this is the ideal time to look at this dark-humored version of A Christmas Carol that was done in the style of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I Am ScroogeI AM SCROOGE – A ZOMBIE STORY FOR CHRISTMAS (2009) – Written by Adam Roberts. This book was a gift from a friend a few years ago and it’s pretty entertaining. Think of The Dead Next Door set at Christmas.

Roberts plays with various aspects of the narrative, even joking about superogatory “o’s” in Marley’s moan of “Scrooooge.” He peppers in a lot of similar jokes all the way through the book. The schtick is exactly what you would expect – the title is a joking reference to I Am Legend followed by Dickens’ qualification of A Christmas Carol as “A Ghost Story For Christmas.” Continue reading

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A VOYAGE TO THE WORLD IN THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH (1755): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION

Voyage to world at Centre of the Earth 2A VOYAGE TO THE WORLD IN THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH (1755) – This intriguing work was published in London anonymously and no author has yet been decisively identified. The novel’s narrator – who remains as anonymous as the book’s author – parties away his inheritance and then ships out for Italy.

Exploring on Mount Vesuvius our hero accidentally falls into what we readers are eventually told is just one of many holes that lead to the interior of the Earth, where another world awaits. A miraculous landing on a haystack saves the narrator’s life but he finds himself unable to move because of the greater gravity of this interior world.

A friendly inhabitant of the inner Earth applies a chemical salve to our protagonist’s body, a salve which allows him to stand up and move about in the higher gravity. A second salve massaged into the narrator’s body renders him capable of understanding and conversing in the language of Inner Earth.

The inhabitants of this interior world dress in silk robes and live to be 200 years old or older. They possess limited telepathy. Precious gems litter the ground but those jewels are meaningless to the Inner Earthers. Their society is partially socialist but with families held sacrosanct and with paternal authority sovereign in each household until the children reach adulthood.  

Voyage to world at centrePeriodically a King is elected for a lifetime term. Common-sense morality prevails, and ingratitude is especially frowned upon. All of the inhabitants are strict vegetarians, as are the animals so the humans and the beasts interact peacefully.

In addition to the usual above-ground animals, Inner Earth also boasts gigantic birds who are trained to provide air travel throughout the subterranean land. Our hero gets to meet the reigning King in the world capital called Oudentominos.

The King makes him welcome but stresses that visitors are usually encouraged to leave after a year. That custom was set in place when a still-extant colony of British men and women discovered Inner Earth nearly a hundred years earlier and have been causing frequent problems.

During our protagonist’s stay the cantankerous Brits once again come close to mutinying so the Inner Earthers attack them and subdue them. The men are castrated and both sexes of the Anglos are scattered around Inner Earth to prevent any more rebellions from fermenting.

As for life on other planets in our solar system: Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL: INUIT CARTOON VERSION FROM 1988

Balladeer’s Blog continues its annual look at various versions of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol! Carol-A-Thon 2017 resumes!

inuit broadcasting corporationTAKUGINAI (December 1988) – As always I enjoy reviewing some of the most obscure and/ or neglected versions of the Carol that I can find.

Takuginai was (and is) broadcast by the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The half-hour program is a clever and energetic children’s show.  

In December of 1988 Takuginai‘s usual blend of puppetry and live-action squeezed in a cartoon version of A Christmas Carol as well. The animation is very VERY limited: think Clutch Cargo then strip away all the dazzling technical prowess. (Yes, it’s THAT limited.)   Continue reading

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