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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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: LIVING BREATH FOUNDATION BOWL RESULTS

Los Medanos College Mustangs helmetLIVING BREATH FOUNDATION BOWL – This annual Bowl game is played for charity and is one of the highlights of the CCCAA post-season. The game features a team from the Pacific 7 Conference – this year the LOS MEDANOS COLLEGE MUSTANGS – and a team from the Golden Coast Conference – this year the MERCED COLLEGE BLUE DEVILS.

The Mustangs went on top 7-0 in the 1st Quarter and remained in the lead 14-7 at Halftime. Los Medanos College expanded their lead to 21-7 in the 3rd Quarter, but the Blue Devils refused to say die and forced Overtime with a 21-21 tie to end Regulation. Continue reading

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MOTHER JONES: PRESIDENT TRUMP IS MANY HEROES IN ONE

mother-jonesMary 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. I wondered if she wanted to discuss the “Social Justice” being meted out on demagogues like Al Franken and John Conyers. It turned out she had other things on her mind.

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 – continues to scrap 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 Trump calls it, is demonstrating 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 take the first necessary steps.

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: Well, I think “hero” might be too strong a word for Trump, but –

MJ: Yes, yes, I know I’m more enthusiastic about him than you are, 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 VERIFIED Businessman’s Coup plot against FDR.

Right now the way that rich pigs like Tom Steyer are trying to overturn an election they lost is disgusting and is a threat to all elections of the future. If fat cats like Steyer or the Koch Brothers don’t like the way the votes went, they’ll pull a “soft coup” as it’s called.

SECOND, President Trump is like Harry S Truman. Harry gave ’em Hell every chance he could and weak-kneed sissy boys like today’s Paul Ryan 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 end might be 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 Paul Ryan 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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BEL-REN DEITIES NGUATUPU’A AND HER HUSBAND TEPOUTU’UINGANGI

bellona-and-rennel-5NGUATUPU’A AND TEPOUTU’UINGANGI – The parents of many of the major gods and goddesses in Bel-Ren myths, like Izanagi and Izanami in Shinto beliefs. Nguatupu’a and Tepoutu’uingangi were revered AND feared by ALL of the clans of the two islands. They were represented by two large black stones in the region of Bellona Island called Ngabenga.  

These two deities were sister and brother respectively as well as being spouses. Incest was forbidden to mortals but the gods engaged in it. In fact it was SO taboo among humans that sisters and brothers maintained a very strict and formal and – most importantly – limited – relationship with each other through adulthood.    

The goddess Nguatupu’a was always mentioned first and was above her brother/husband Tepoutu’uingangi in prestige. The erosion of regard for the male deity began early on, in the Bel-Ren migration myth. Like other Polynesians the Bel-Ren people traveled by sea from other islands to reach their eventual home. The Bel-Renners claimed their island of origin was called Uvea or Ubea, depending on who’s spelling it.  

Approximately 1400 A.D. the Bel-Renners arrived on the pair of islands and proceeded to slaughter the original inhabitants, called the Hiti. Again we see that such atrocities are a HUMAN failing and are not limited to a few particular groups. Continue reading

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