Monthly Archives: December 2018

BEST OF JULY 2018

Balladeer’s Blog continues its retrospective of The Best of 2018 with this look at July’s Best.

MaverickMAVERICK (1994): MOVIE REVIEW – Frontierado was fast approaching when I posted this review of the 1994 film version of the James Garner television series Maverick.

Virtually no movie adaptations of tv shows do real justice to their source material but this flick is a major exception! Mel Gibson plays Garner’s original role of Bret Maverick and is terrific. Jodie Foster and James Garner himself are along for the ride as co-stars in this gambler/ gunslinger classic. CLICK HERE   

#WalkAway#WALKAWAY MOVEMENT: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FROM THE DEMOCRAT PARTY – Gay man Brandon Straka became a dissident hero as he launched the #WALKAWAY movement. Straka provided organization to the ’til now random exodus from the increasingly fascistic and intolerant Democrat Party. (I myself went Independent years ago.) 

#WALKAWAY became a viral online phenomenon with video testimonials from many of us who have left the Democrats in disgust. The Democrats in the media, hilariously enough, tried to pretend it was all the work of Russian Bots! I’m not joking! Anyway, there was even a #WALKAWAY March on Washington and the group spawned offshoot organizations like #Blexit and #BlackLivesMAGA. CLICK HERE 

Fiji 3TUILAKEMBA: FIJIAN DEMIGOD – Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of the saga of Fiji’s heroic demigod Tuilakemba was a hit. I covered not just the original myths but the way Tuilakemba’s tale evolved over the centuries.

The heroic figure supposedly conquered all the islands of Fiji then departed in search of fresh conquests in the distant past. When French Missionaries made contact with Fiji the Fijians identified Napoleon with their departed conqueror Tuilakemba. CLICK HERE

Birds by Aristophanes 2ASK BALLADEER: WHY DID I LEAVE SICILY OUT OF MY EXAMINATION OF THE ANCIENT GREEK COMEDY THE BIRDS? – Many readers were curious why I left out the usual academic speculation about the invasion of Sicily in my look at Aristophanes’ comedy The Birds.

I laid out my many reasons in this blog post HERE

Flashman cutFLASHMAN: THE LOST ADVENTURES – I took advantage of the heavy interest in the reviews of my Top Five Harry Flashman Novels to go into total fanboy mode.

Using hints from George MacDonald Fraser’s offhand references to Harry’s unpublished adventures combined with research into potential Flashmanesque situations in various countries during the anti-hero’s 19th Century travels I speculated on Flashman Down Under, Flashman in the Opium War, Flashman and the Kings and The Battle Cry of Flashman. CLICK HERE

clones 2THE CLONES (1973): MOVIE REVIEW – Balladeer’s Blog reviewed this neglected science fiction suspense movie.

The storyline was dealing with what was back then the still fairly new topic of cloning.

To read the review of this hit and miss film click HERE

Scarlet GospelsCLIVE BARKER’S THE SCARLET GOSPELS (2015) – What Ridley Scott did to his Alien saga with Covenant, Clive Barker did to his Hellraiser series with his novel The Scarlet Gospels

Readers were excited to see what Barker would do with a story that pitted his Hellish masterfiend Pinhead against occult detective Harry D’Amour. This novel was a disaster in my eyes. CLICK HERE 

Zip WyattTHREE NEGLECTED GUNSLINGERS – Cash Hollister, Zip Wyatt and Black Ike don’t get as much love as names like Wild Bill Hickok, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but they had eventful lives nonetheless.

To check out their Old West antics click HERE

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TRANSGRESS WITH KURT

Hillary Mueller“Welcome to the party, pal!” as John McClane said in Die Hard. The revolution going on in people’s minds continues! In lieu of my usual Transgress With Me items this time around we’ll look at a brilliant piece by Kurt Schlichter.

It took the election of an outsider to America’s presidency to force the masks to drop in the cesspool of corruption that masquerades as the U.S. government. As I remind everyone who’s been telling me I was right about the need for 3rd parties and the criminal nature of the Democrats and Republicans – there is no need to acknowledge me in any way. I wasn’t alone in pointing this out. Just tell others you now feel this way. 

The disgusting behavior of America’s bloated rich pigs and corporate fascists following the election of someone who’s not a Made Man in the criminal cabal called Career Politicians has killed the old paradigms. Many on the left are joining me in leaving the Democrats. The right now understands why the left used to trash the FBI and CIA.

mascot new look donkey and elephant headsMost enjoyably, the fact that master capitalists and robber barons now use their influence for the left instead of the right has made people who used to swoon at the mere thought of “the Free Market” realize that acquiring a fortune does not automatically make someone admirable or noble.

And an old legal hand like Kurt Schlichter is now joining the chorus of voices pointing out that American “justice” depends entirely on money and on which political party your money has bribed. Kurt’s column is brilliant. The link is below but first some excerpts:

“Let’s stop pretending that America in 2018 has a “justice system.” It’s not a justice system. It’s a set of elite institutions that swing the law like a sledgehammer to crush threats to the ruling class’s monopoly on power. You know, threats like the people we elect to represent our interests against the elite. And we are under no moral obligation to pretend it is anything else.”

“… (P)ainful to admit it, but we need to grow up. There are two sets of law in America today, meaning there is no rule of law in America today. Oh, there are statutes, and there are courts, and there are agencies full of people with guns willing to enforce the will of aspiring tyrants, but there is not rule of law. There is only power, theirs and ours.”

“Justice is no longer blind. Her blindfold is off and she’s picking favorites. You are not one of her favorites. You, and those you elect, are not equal under the law to members of the elite.”

“Now we have Robert Mueller and his pack of Democrats – literally including lawyers who represented the Clinton crime syndicate – seeking out a crime, any crime, or any non-crime, that they can use to undo the results of the election. No Russian collusion? Ok, well, then, uh, paying off a couple of extortionist tramps is a…um…hmmmm…a campaign finance violation for some reason who cares TREASON!”

“They are not even pretending now. Imagine, just imagine, if Trump had erased 30,000 emails that were under subpoena. Hillary did, and it’s cool. Andrew McCabe and Comey lied through their teeth to Congress.” Continue reading

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A DIVA’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (2000)

A Diva's Christmas CarolA DIVA’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (2000) – Balladeer’s Blog’s Ninth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with a look at this Vanessa Williams venture. Due to the nature of this adaptation of the Dickens classic it is often categorized as one of the “African-American versions.” Among other such Carols I have reviewed are Christmas is Comin’ Uptown with Gregory Hines and John Grin’s Christmas starring Robert Guillaume. 

The forever-underrated Vanessa Williams is brilliant in this very good film that mixes comedy, music and drama together far better than many stage versions manage to do. Williams stars as Ebony Scrooge, a pop singer who puts on a kind and pleasant public face but who is a … well, a diva behind the scenes.  

Ebony is even more nasty than usual as she pushes her entourage beyond all their limits to get ready for an alleged “charity” show for the homeless on Christmas. Ebony’s demeanor makes it clear that she is really doing it all just for public image reasons and to feed her own ego (Bono – cough – Bono) as she wallows in the plaudits sent her way.   Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS FOR 2018

Here’s one last round of congratulations to this year’s college football champions in the SEVEN divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog.

Morningside MustangsNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

National Champions – MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS

Runners-Up – Benedictine College Ravens 

2017 Champions – University of St Francis Cougars  

Olivet Nazarene Tigers helmet NEWNCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association)

My National Champions – OLIVET NAZARENE UNIVERSITY TIGERS

Runners-Up – Ottawa (AZ) University Spirit

2017 Champions – Campbellsville University Tigers  Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 6: TWO NEW MEMBERS

Hourman 3Time for more Christmastime kid-friendliness with the 6th installment of the FIRST superhero team in history: DC Comics’ Justice Society of America. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE   

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences. 

All-Star 8ALL-STAR COMICS #8 (December 1941)

Title: TWO NEW MEMBERS WIN THEIR SPURS

Heroes: DOCTOR MID-NITE, STARMAN, THE ATOM (Original), THE SPECTRE, DOCTOR FATE, HAWKMAN (Original), SANDMAN, JOHNNY THUNDER

Note: First appearance of Wonder Woman, but in her own separate story.  

Villains: DOCTOR ELBA, THE LIGHTNING MAKERS

Synopsis: Starman is being welcomed to the Justice Society of America when suddenly another superhero, Dr Mid-Nite, arrives unexpectedly with his new chemical concoction – Solution K. This solution will restore the sanity of assorted witnesses to heinous crimes, witnesses driven mad by drugs devised by a mysterious villain called Dr Elba. Continue reading

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BEST OF JUNE 2018

Balladeer’s Blog continues its retrospective of The Best of 2018 with this look at June’s Best.

Fiji 4GODS OF FIJI – Balladeer’s Blog’s examinations of neglected pantheons of deities from around the world are always a hit.

The ancient belief system of the islands of Fiji were covered in this blog post which featured nearly 30 Fijian gods and goddesses. CLICK HERE 

mother-jonesMOTHER JONES: RECOMMENDED TRUMP LINKS – Balladeer’s Blog once again posted a roundup of links to the most thought-provoking articles about President Donald Trump.

All of them recommended by Mother Jones.

CLICK HERE

hammett 2HAMMETT (1982) – I reviewed this 1982 Wim Wenders film that was produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios. Frederic Forrest (Chef from Apocalypse Now) plays real-life mystery writer Dashiell Hammett as he gets caught up in a real-life mystery.

A friend from Hammett’s days as a Pinkerton Detective shows up asking for a favor in the mid-1920s, when Dashiell is still working for just pennies a word for Black Mask and other Pulp Magazines. What follows is a fun homage to Film Noir and to Hammett’s stories. CLICK HERE     

Phelim McAleerPHELIM MCALEER ON THE AMERICAN LEFT’S TOTALITARIANISM – Like me and so many others, Phelim McAleer used to consider himself part of the political left but was driven away by the left’s growing fondness of censorship, blacklisting, totalitarianism and their support of ONLY reactionary Muslims, not Muslims who seek reform in their faith to bring it into the 21st Century.

His excellent take can be read HERE

Hellbound HeartHELLRAISER: ORIGINS TRAILER – My love of Clive Barker’s horror novel The Hellbound Heart and the subsequent Hellraiser film series is well known.

In this spec trailer for Hellraiser: Origins you can take a look at a reimagined Pinhead and a depiction of Hell that is a bold departure from Barker’s own. CLICK HERE 

Obama hates childrenSNOPES CONFIRMS BARACK OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION TURNED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AT THE BORDER OVER TO HUMAN TRAFFICKERS – Just one of the many, MANY scandals of Obama’s presidency ignored by the Democrats in the media.

When even Snopes can’t slant an item to try to cover up for their beloved Hollow Man Barack you KNOW the evidence is monumental. CLICK HERE

Silas TalbotSILAS TALBOT: REVOLUTIONARY WAR HERO – Balladeer’s Blog took a look at the Revolutionary War career of Silas Talbot.

BONUS: A descendant of Talbot showed up in the comments for a quick acknowledgement of this recognition of his ancestor’s heroics.

CLICK HERE

donald-trump-and-flagTRUMP-HATERS: ARE THEY INSANE OR ONLY PRETENDING TO BE? – A look at the slobbering, psychopathic behavior of those bizarre people who devote their every waking moment to drooling hatred of de facto Third Party President Donald Trump.

To read this item you can simply CLICK HERE 

declarationTHE INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH THAT NEVER WAS – This item examined a much-discussed speech during the deliberations over the Declaration of Independence.

The only problem is, it never happened. But it SHOULD have! Read the fiery speech and the notes about the odd theories surrounding the man who allegedly delivered that speech. CLICK HERE Continue reading

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HUMBUG! SONG FROM THE LIVE-ACTION VERSION OF THE STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN.

Balladeer’s Blog’s Ninth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with the song Humbug from the 1953 television version of The Stingiest Man In Town. For my review of the entire production click HERE  

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AFRICAN-AMERICAN BOB JOHNSON WITH MORE PRAISE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL

Bob Johnson and Trump latestDe facto Third Party President Donald Trump has done more for the working class and poor OF ALL COLORS than any other President in decades. As I’ve often mentioned, financially comfortable Democrats are every bit as callous toward the plight of the working class and the poor as the most bloated rich pig Republicans ever were.

President Trump’s latest Franklin Roosevelt-style move was his creation of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson praised Trump highly for this Council, created on December 12th.

Poverty-stricken neighborhoods will be the focus in a “from the ground – up” quality of life improvement via jobs and training. Long before he was President, Trump often spear-headed initiatives like this with his assorted companies and just as often was awarded recognition by various African-American groups – even ones run by Al Sharpton.

Donald Trump never called racist till running against DemocratsRemember, Donald Trump is a former Democrat like me and so many others who were driven away by the Democrat Party’s emerging contempt for the working class. And as Republicans ALWAYS remind us, Trump is not a “real Republican.” (Which is why he got elected, actually.)

Like I often say, President Trump noticed that the Republicans weren’t doing anything useful with their political party apparatus so he decided to borrow it for awhile as a path to the Presidency. America’s bloated rich pigs – both Democrat AND Republican – will never forgive the Donald for helping the forgotten Americans.

This man has shown compassion and gotten positive results for the working class and the poor WHILE BEING ATTACKED RELENTLESSLY BY BOTH PARTIES JUST FOR BEING AN OUTSIDER TO THEIR CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE. Those of us who support Trump are not going to ignore that fact just because he is hated by crooked career politicians, brain-dead professional athletes and shallow, uninformed and emotionally unstable entertainers. Continue reading

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IROQUOIS EPIC MYTH PART ELEVEN: THE WRATH OF HODADEION

FOR CHAPTER LINKS CLICK HERE

Iroquois longhouse interiorHODADEION PART 11: THE WRATH OF HODADEION – As the demigod Hodadeion stalked angrily toward the large longhouse lodge in which the cannibal wizards and their women were tormenting his younger brother Otgoe, he had but one regret. That was that the Chief of the cannibal wizards, Dagwahgweoses, was away at his private lodge and would need to be dealt with separately.  

On the plus side, the absence of the long-eyebrowed leader of the vile sorcerors made Hodadeion feel sure that his own magic powers would be strong enough to overcome the entire village of cannibal wizards.

The demigod burst into the longhouse lodge before him and angrily took in the tableau of his brother Otgoe bound and being tortured with firebrands. The firebrands brought forth tears from Otgoe and, as the wampum-god, Otgoe’s tears, spit and mucous manifested as precious wampum.

One of the women of the village noticed the way Otgoe’s eyes lit up at the entrance of his older brother and drew everyone’s attention to the new arrival. The cannibal wizards ceased their smoking and the women ceased torturing their bound victim with firebrands.

Hodadeion was concentrating intently, partly speaking and partly singing his latest conjuration. After a few verbal challenges went ignored by the god of magic the cannibal wizards tried to stir themselves from their seated position to attack the intruder. Continue reading

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MEXICO TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: GET IN LINE AND YOU CAN ENTER OUR COUNTRY

Pelosi insanityNot only does Mexico already have harsher conditions for immigration than the United States, but it has been interesting to watch Mexico’s increasing frustration with the destruction and mayhem caused by the most recent illegal immigrant mob.

This week’s figurative Mexico Doctrine – “Get in line and you can enter our country” is demonized as the equivalent of concentration camps when America tries to apply that approach to illegals, many of whom go on to commit multiple other crimes.

You can’t help but envy Mexico in one respect: they don’t have an equivalent to America’s fascist Democrats, a political party whose slogan is “Illegal immigrants: Right or Wrong” or maybe “Illegal immigrants uber alles!”

This past week Democrat and white one percenter Nancy Pelosi humiliated herself by exposing her bizarre fantasies about being “tinkled on” (as the madwoman put it) by President Trump when he refused to elevate illegal immigrants to the aristocratic status that Pelosi and Schumer advocate for.  

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