As ever I’m all about you readers, so here’s another edition of Ask Balladeer. Many of you have been asking whatever happened to my mock t.v. series Agents of I.S.L.A.M.
Now that’ll take ya back!
Actually, that non-existent program was just a maneuver of mine years ago when my blog posts about Muslim fanatics were temporarily being shadow-banned. That conflict has been over and done with for a long time now, so I won’t dredge it back up by mentioning specific sites that were doing it.
What happened was they had started screening and blocking any blog posts from me which included the words “Muslim” or “Islam.” Since they thought I was being “controversial” by writing about those violent attacks I then played a game of being even MORE outrageous, getting the point across but without ever using the words “Muslim” or “Islam.”
The result was my series of mock reviews about episodes of a non-existent television series called Agents of I.S.L.A.M. (Intolerant Savages Loathing All Modernity)
Without using the two trigger words I would go on and on describing these Agents of I.S.L.A.M. and their attacks on innocent people. With tongue in cheek I even used to pretend to be baffled about what particular religion, if any, the deadly agents of the title belonged to.
In the end a compromise was reached. The offending sites agreed not to shadow-ban EVERY post I made regardless of subject matter as long as I went back to my usual, less sensational Muslim Fascist Atrocity Roundup format. They also agreed not to shadow-ban THOSE blog posts anymore. And we’ve all kept our ends of the bargain since.
For Balladeer’s Blog’s Number One Harry Flashman Novel click HEREFor background info on George MacDonald Fraser’s infamous anti-hero Harry Paget Flashman you can also click that link.
2. FLASHMAN IN THE GREAT GAME (1975)
Time Period: The Great Mutiny (1857-1858)
This Flashman novel comes in a very close second to my top selection, which I examined last time around. Ultimately the way that a portion of Flashman in the Great Game gets a wee bit unfocused relegated it to the Number 2 spot.
Synopsis: As the title indicates, this time around Harry Flashman, the most self-serving and roguish Cavalry Officer in Queen Victoria’s army, gets caught up in what diplomats of the 1800s called “The Great Game.” Said game involved the figurative chess match played by Great Britain, Russia and other powers as they all angled to extend or maintain their power and influence in Central Asia, especially India.
Lord Palmerston of Her Majesty’s Government is wary of a potential uprising among the Indian troops employed by the British East India Company and of Russian interference in the form of Flashman’s old foe, (the real life) Count Ignatieff.
Once again the fate of nations rests on the thoroughly unreliable shoulders of Harry Paget Flashman. (See pic of Alan Bates at left)
In India our swashbuckling protagonist struggles to stay alive amid assassination attempts by Russian agents while vying with Count Ignatieff for political influence in the court of (the real life) Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi. (See pic of Laila Rouass to the right)
Lakshmibai’s overwhelming beauty, feisty spirit, skill at horsemanship and magnificent fencing abilities make her one of the few women to actually tug at Flashman’s heart and not just his man-parts.
In real life many prudish British politicians of the time called her “The Jezebel of Jhansi” over her sexual openness but such a derogatory nickname would only enhance her standing in the eyes of the lustful Colonel Flashman. Continue reading →
It’s the return of TRUMP CARDS, as America’s de facto Third Party President Donald Trump aka The New Franklin Roosevelt continues to rescue the working class and the poor from our hopelessly corrupt politicians and their media allies.
*** The International Monetary Fund recently credited President Trump’s actions with fueling a global economic boom.
*** Plus, here at home African-American unemployment is now the lowest it has ever been as Trump continues to deliver for REAL WORLD people of color. And he’s a big enough man to do this despite the childish tantrums directed at him by millionaire black celebrities who apparently don’t care about the suffering poor.
*** Hillary “Bugsy” Clinton has been reduced to reading aloud from that National Enquirer-level book about President Trump to try to soothe her bitterness and humiliation from getting defeated by Trump in 2016. Hillary is extra-creepy when she tries to act funny.
*** And, as always, EVERY DAY THAT NEITHER HILLARY CLINTON NOR JEB BUSH ARE PRESIDENT IS A TERRIFIC DAY!
The more that the forces of conformity try to browbeat all of us into pretending President Trump is not doing a wonderful job for the working class and the poor the more fun it is to see more and more people stop humoring them and begin pushing back.
As I said awhile back, at this point even if I DIDN’T support President Trump (the new FDR) I would PRETEND that I did. The anti-Trump fascists are such humorless, pompous and indignant fools. Roughly sixty-three to sixty-four million voters DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR OF UPSETTING YOU FASCISTS JUST BECAUSE YOUR CROOKED CANDIDATE HILLARY LOST!
The fact that the anti-Trump pieces of garbage think they can demand the elimination of all evidence of President Trump’s victory once again proves my old saying that “THEY are the fascists they’ve been waiting for.” ( Yes, I’m intentionally overusing the word fascists like pathetic “resistance” cowards do.) Continue reading →
Recently I’ve gotten several requests to review Suburban Sasquatch, written and directed by Dave Wascavage. I’ve watched some of Wascavage’s flicks in response to those requests and I began to suspect that he is one of the faux-badfilm figures out there.
I like films which are bad UN-intentionally. Suburban Sasquatch further convinced me that Wascavage and his team set out to artificially harness the kind of Midnight Movie notoriety that The Room had organically earned the previous year. The documentary on The Making of Suburban Sasquatch sealed it for me.
In that documentary Wascavage spouts what sound to me like intentionally absurd profundities about the obviously awful movie, and I get a vibe from his behavior that he’s just furthering the illusion that he was trying to make a serious film. Fakeness oozes from the screen, especially when the female costume designer straight-facedly talks about her excitement in working on “a Dave Wascavage film.”
So I won’t be reviewing any of the man’s movies. I’m not trying to dissuade other people from watching his low-budget efforts, though. By all means check them out if you’re so inclined, but I get no enjoyment out of being played like this. I like straight-up parodies of bad movies or failed film efforts which are truly bad but I can’t even force myself to sit through quasi-Andy Kaufman style put-ons.
I’m not saying any of this in anger, it’s just my usual “Give me Troma or give me Ed Wood” philosophy.
USCAA (United States Collegiate Athletic Association) Division Two – 1. NEW HAMPSHIRE TECHNICAL INSTITUTE LYNX ### 2. BERKELEY (NY) COLLEGE KNIGHTS ### 3. VILLA MARIA COLLEGE VIKINGS ### 4. CENTRAL PENN COLLEGE SILVER KNIGHTS ### 5. PENN STATE AT GREATER ALLEGHENY LIONS ###
6. FIVE TOWNS COLLEGE SOUND ### 7. WARREN WILSON COLLEGE OWLS ### 8. SOUTHERN MAINE COLLEGE SEAWOLVES ### 9. VERMONT TECH GREEN KNIGHTS ### 10. UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI AT CLERMONT COUGARS ### Continue reading →
George MacDonald Fraser’s series of novels about his infamous anti-hero Harry Paget Flashman are thought-provoking, educational, thrilling and most especially – gloriously dark-humored.
Collectively referred to as The Flashman Papers, the books are DEFINITELY for adults only and not just because of the raucous sexual escapades of the main character. The historical and philosophical themes explored are not for the squeamish nor the simple-mindedly outraged.
Fraser’s first Harry Flashman novel appeared in 1969, the same year as the American novel Little Big Man. The two books are similar in approach since they both depict a main character who gets caught up in a series of historical adventures involving Great Events and Great Figures with the events being looked at in a critical light and the figures largely lampooned.
In the case of Harry Flashman, however, the adventures are much more detailed because Fraser used an entire series of novels. (The 4th book in the series, not the 1st, is my Number One listing) Flashman himself is amoral, ruthless and driven largely by his lust for loot and sex.
And therein lies the genius of Fraser’s writing: the reader is permitted to feel THEIR OWN outrage over the atrocities depicted in the novels. There are no shrill lectures in the narrative, just an often bleak backdrop in which the misdeeds of history’s Great Names often make Harry Flashman’s mere monetary and carnal pursuits look almost noble by comparison.
Flashman himself often brings to mind James Garner’s slick-talking gambler/ gunslinger Bret Maverick from 1950s television. Like Maverick, Harry Flashman proudly calls himself a coward who tries to avoid violence and thrives on trying to con or outsmart his adversaries rather than fight them. (But he often winds up having to fight them anyway.)
And like Maverick, the needs of adventure fiction eventually make the claims of cowardice wear thin because – no matter how reluctantly – both Harry and Bret always wind up in situations requiring conduct above and beyond the call. But when it comes to underhandedness “Ol’ Flash Harry” beats Maverick hands-down. Continue reading →
Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! In Balladeer’s Blog’s latest look at this mid-1980s cult show from the Lone Star State I’ll examine “The Dallas Double-Feature” from May 10th, 1986.
My research through VERY old newspapers and other sources has uncovered several episodes where exact broadcast dates can be determined.
THIS DOUBLE FEATURE FIRST BROADCAST: Saturday May 10th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 2:30am.
IF THE ONLY BAD MOVIE SHOW YOU KNOW IS MST3K THINK OF: Attack of the the (sic) Eye Creatures.
FILM VAULT LORE: Usually The Texas 27 Film Vault ran 2 1/2 hours, from 10:30pm to 1am, and would feature machine-gun toting Randy Clower and Richard Malmos presenting (and mocking) episodes of old Republic serials followed by a cult movie. The previous Saturday night our “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed the 12th and final episode of Radar Menfrom the Moon followed by the film Queen of Blood.
The night of May 10th Randy, Richard, Tex, Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley, Laurie Savino and the rest of the Film Vault Corps (“the few … the proud … the sarcastic”) presented a special called The Dallas Double Feature. The episode dispensed with a serial and showed (and mocked) two films made in Texas, one by Larry Buchanan and the other by Russ Marker. Also featured was an interview with good old Bill Thurman, a Buchanan regular who also appeared in the Russ Marker film Night Fright. Thurman was also promoting his latest film appearance, in the low-budget horror film Mountaintop Motel Massacre.