Monthly Archives: December 2019

BEST OF MARCH 2019

Balladeer’s Blog’s look back at 2019 continues:

GeorgesTHREE NEGLECTED SWASHBUCKLER NOVELS FROM ALEXANDRE DUMAS – Reviews of Georges, in which a master swordsman fights slavery in Mauritius; Captain Pamphile, another anti-slavery tale from Dumas, this one about a pirate captain; and La Dame De Monsoureau, about a 16th Century rogue and his bed & battle adventures. CLICK HERE

DISSENTER.COM, FIGHTING FOR FREE SPEECH ONLINE – A look at Dissenter.com and its underdog battle with the Techno-Fascists at google, facebook and twitter. CLICK HERE 

Mardi Gras MassacreMARDI GRAS MASSACRE (1978) – A review of a classically bad seasonal slasher movie which featured human sacrifices and inept police work during Mardi Gras. CLICK HERE 

AMERICAN COMEDIANS: INSULTING BEGGARS TO MAKE KINGS LAUGH – 21st Century American comedians would much rather serve as sycophantic court jesters for the powers that be instead of siding with the underdogs. CLICK HERE

EndgamePOST-APOCALYPSE MOVIES – Balladeer’s Blog’s reviews of 1980s imitations of Mad Max

It’s Endgame, about a futuristic gladiator leading mutant fugitives to freedom; and the Empire of Ash Trilogy, three films featuring sufferers of an atomic blood disease hunting down healthy victims to extract their bone marrow. CLICK HERE and HERE  

MARK ZUCKERBERG LOOKS AT POETRY – A comedy bit about humanoid Techno-Fascist Mark Zuckerberg using algorithms to translate poetry. CLICK HERE

Magus 1ADAM WARLOCK, THANOS, GAMORA AND DRAX – A review of the 1975 tale of Adam Warlock tangling with the Magus and his 1,000-world empire. Featuring the VERY FIRST appearance of GAMORA. CLICK HERE , HERE and HERE

COURAGEOUS MEGAN HARRIS – A look at another brave woman of the 21st Century. CLICK HERE

Fool Killer illustrationTHE FOOL KILLER – Balladeer’s Blog’s exhaustive examination of 19th and 20th Century Fool Killer folklore, beginning with the Fool Killer Letters in the Milton Chronicle in the 1850s.

A look at a fascinating yet neglected folk figure. CLICK HERE  Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, humor, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RESULTS FROM DECEMBER 14th

NAIA

The NAIA Championship Game is set for next weekend and will pit Morningside College (Defending Champs) against Marian University.

CCCAA

Riverside College TigersCHAMPIONSHIP GAME – The RIVERSIDE CITY COLLEGE TIGERS battled the COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO BULLDOGS for the CCCAA title. The 1st Quarter ended with the Bulldogs up 7-3 before the Tigers grabbed a 24-7 lead by the Half. The College of San Mateo pulled to within 24-14 in the 3rd Quarter but Riverside won out 31-14. * THE TIGERS ARE CCCAA CHAMPIONS *

NCAA DIVISION TWO

West Florida Argonauts helmetFIRST SEMIFINAL – The UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA ARGONAUTS are once again THE story of the D2 playoffs! Yesterday they took it on the road against the FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS. A 7-7 1st Quarter tie remained unchanged at Halftime but the 3rd Quarter ended in a 14-10 edge for the Bulldogs. In the 4th the Argonauts exploded for a 28-14 comeback victory. Continue reading

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CANADIAN TELEVISION’S SCROOGE (1978)

Mascot new lookTime for another post in Balladeer’s Blog’s TENTH annual orgy of entries on various versions of THE Christmas tale. The Charles Dickens classic has a certain  unquenchable charm that ensures it will continue to be adapted for at least another few hundred years. 

“Blame Canada” for today’s version of A Christmas Carol. In 1978 Theatre Three in Edmonton, Alberta filmed their stage adaptation of the Carol and broadcast it in the USA as well as their own country. It’s been popping up on PBS and various cable outlets ever since. “Minimalist” would be the watchword for this version, from the nearly bare stage to the slimmed- down cast.

Marley’s Ghost not only chews Scrooge out in the usual way, but serves as Ebenezer’s ghostly guide through Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. Continue reading

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REJECTED SUPREME COURT NOMINEES

Grampa JoeFor assorted reasons the potential of a new Supreme Court vacancy has been much discussed in recent months. Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at the various Supreme Court nominees who were REJECTED by the Senate. I’m omitting John Rutledge since – because he was a recess appointment – he actually served as Chief Justice for one of the Court’s terms before the official Senate vote rejecting his nomination by President Washington.

Alexander WolcottALEXANDER WOLCOTT

Gang Affiliation: Democratic-Republican Party

Senate Vote: On February 13th, 1811, the Senate rejected Wolcott’s nomination by President James Madison by a vote of 24 nays and 9 yeas.

Ostensible Reasons For The Rejection: The Federalist Party Senators and the Federalist Party media outlets clobbered Wolcott over his enforcement of the controversial Embargo and Non-Intercourse Acts while serving as Customs Inspector in Connecticut.

              Second – and most importantly – his limited legal experience was cited as a definite hindrance to serving on the highest court in the land. (Ya think?)  

John C SpencerJOHN C SPENCER

Gang Affiliation: Whig Party

Senate Vote: On January 31st, 1844, the Senate rejected Spencer’s nomination by President John Tyler by a tight vote of 26 nays and 21 yeas.

Ostensible Reasons For the Rejection: Spencer had accepted the position of Secretary of War and later Secretary of the Treasury under President Tyler, alienating fellow Whigs who saw him as a traitor for not showing solidarity with them against Tyler. This rejection was part of a virtual war between the Executive and Legislative Branches following John Tyler’s succession to the presidency following the death in office of Whig President William Henry Harrison. Continue reading

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CHRONO MECHANICS: JUST A FEW DAYS LEFT!

Chrono MechanicsThe one and only ART THIBERT, famous for his comic book run on the X-Men and Cable at Marvel Comics before moving on to Image, is producing his new graphic novel CHRONO MECHANICS via Indiegogo. Pamela Thibert is co-writing. Just a few days are left to order your copy.  

What’s it about? Well, to quote Thibert:

“Chrono Mechanics is a self-contained 48-page PG-13 comic. 

This action/adventure time travel story follows a team of highly diverse and ego-driven Time Repairmen as they race the clock to keep the earth’s erratically merging time lines from imploding.  To compound their problems is a self-centered work-a-phobic new recruit who may be the one thing they can’t fix before the whole earth falls apart!” Continue reading

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BEST OF FEBRUARY 2019

Balladeer’s Blog’s end-of-year review continues:

Alien Outlaw bigALIEN OUTLAW (1985) – A review of this  vintage B-movie with a butt-kicking heroine. CLICK HERE

KEVIN JACKSON: A MARTIN LUTHER KING PERSON OF COURAGE – A look at yet another courageous iconoclast on the political scene. CLICK HERE

Texas 27 Film Vault

TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT ANNIVERSARY – The 34th anniversary of the first broadcast of the Pre-MST3K show The Texas Twenty-Seven Film Vault. CLICK HERE 

PETER TORK IS DEAD, MISS HIM, MISS HIM – With Peter Tork’s passing in February came this review of the NEW Monkees show from the 1980s – CLICK HERE

FIVE MOST UNQUALIFIED U.S. PRESIDENTS – The title speaks for itself. CLICK HERE

Flash for FreedomFLASH FOR FREEDOM – A review of another of George MacDonald Fraser’s Harry Flashman novels. CLICK HERE 

SIXTEEN OVERLOOKED SECRETARIES OF STATE – No Kissinger, no Hillary, just forgotten figures. CLICK HERE

BLACK PANTHER: THE FIRST KILLMONGER STORY (1973-1975) – CLICK HERE Continue reading

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THE GUTHRIE THEATER PRESENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1982)

Balladeer’s Blog’s TENTH Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with this review.

Guthrie Theater Christmas CarolTHE GUTHRIE THEATER PRESENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1982) – Stage performances of any story getting filmed for video are pretty hit and miss, but this production is much more of a hit than a miss. The Guthrie Theater Presents A Christmas Carol was filmed at the famed Minnesota theater of the title and aired on The Entertainment Channel in 1982 before being released on VHS.

This presentation of the Dickens classic uses the framing device of Charles Dickens (Marshall Borden) himself being persuaded by Christmas party guests to treat them to his most famous Yuletide ghost story. Dickens is at first reluctant since he’s feeling a bit harried and stressed out, so he huffily clears the room.

Needless to say the act of recounting A Christmas Carol to us viewers winds up restoring his holiday cheer. By the time he closes the framing device at the end of the play he’s as jovial and hearty as Nephew Fred and delivers the whole “good old city, town or boro in the good old world” speech with memorable panache. Continue reading

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