Tag Archives: Balladeer’s Blog

PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION: EROTIC CITY

Prince Erotic CityOnce again it’s Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead, except in this case the figure is already dead because they were the inspiration for the recurring segment. It’s Prince with Erotic City Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASEBALL RANKINGS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG

georgia gwinnettNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) 1. GEORGIA GWINNETT COLLEGE GRIZZLIES    ###    2. FAULKNER UNIVERSITY EAGLES (Should be the Furies)    ###    3. SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY FIRE    ###     4. OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY STARS    ###    5. SAINT THOMAS UNIVERSITY (FL) BOBCATS    ###   

USAO Drover new6. UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND ARTS OF OKLAHOMA DROVERS    ###    7. LEWIS-CLARK STATE WARRIORS    ###     8. LYON COLLEGE SCOTS    ###     9. UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS    ###     10. UNIVERSITY OF MOBILE RAMS (Should be the Iron Rams)    ###     Continue reading

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POLO: 2018 U.S. OPEN SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS SET

Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE  The 115th U.S. Open rolled along with the final two teams for the Semifinals being determined.

FlexJet polo shirtGAME ONE: FLEXJET VERSUS AUDI – Two Ganzis, one of the First Families of Polo, were in action in this opening Match while a third played in the second one. Melissa Ganzi led the quartet from Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – against Marc Ganzi and his foursome from Audi – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Bavarians.

FIRST CHUKKER – Things got off to a slow start on the offensive side. Both teams’ defenses were on top of their game and limited their opponents to just 1 Goal. The First Chukker ended in a 1-1 tie.

SECOND CHUKKER – The Bavarians managed to outdo the Aviators this time around. Audi swatted in 3 Goals compared to the 2 scored by Flexjet. The score now stood at 4-3 with the Bavarians on top.

THIRD CHUKKER – Audi dominated this Chukker on both sides of the ball, shutting out the Aviators while thwacking 3 more Goals between the Uprights. Going into Halftime the Bavarians led Flexjet by a tally of 6-3.

FOURTH CHUKKER – To start the 2nd Half the Aviators acted like they had just been playing possum the first three Chukkers. Flexjet notched FIVE Goals while limiting Audi to just 1! The Aviators had gone on top 8-7. Continue reading

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NEGLECTED DETECTIVES WHO SOLVED REAL-LIFE MYSTERIES

Ellis ParkerTHE SLEUTH: Ellis Parker, Chief of Detectives in Burlington County, NJ. Parker’s professional reputation was such that detectives from other jurisdictions often sought help from him.

TAGLINE: “The county detective with an international reputation.”

THE CRIME: On October 5th of 1920 bank employee David Paul, known to his friends and loved ones as a quiet, prim and devoted family man, disappeared with a courier pouch containing more than $70,000 in cash and $30,000 in negotiable securities. Eleven days later Mr Paul’s corpse was found in a shallow grave.

THE SCENE: David Paul’s clothing was soaking wet but his grave and the surrounding soil were bone dry. Authorities determined that Paul had only been dead for about 2-3 days despite the 11 day absence. The cause of death was a bullet through the head.

SOLVING THE CRIME: Ellis Parker learned that the seemingly quiet David Paul was known for participating in wild orgies at a cottage far outside of town. None of the other participants in the cottage’s wild sex parties admitted to seeing David during the days after the theft but before his dead body was found. Continue reading

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REMEMBERING THE MOON MAN

The Moon Man

The Moon Man

THE MOON MAN – Created by Frederick C Davis, the Moon Man is, to me, the epitome of the campy but fascinating heroes the old 1930s pulp publications used to treat readers to, issue after issue. Operating in fictional Great City, the Moon Man not only waged war on the ruthless representatives of the criminal element, he also plundered their ill-gotten wealth from them and distributed it to the Great Depression-ravaged poor of the 1930s.

This not only made the hero a combination of the best elements of the Shadow and Robin Hood, but it also gave him a healthy dose of “Green Hornet appeal”, too, because, like the Hornet, the Moon Man was hunted by both the crooks AND the cops, doubling the danger for the  daring and resourceful figure every time he donned his costume and stalked the night-darkened streets.

That costume, by the way, is beloved by some fans for its hammy, campy, “pulpish” quality, but is just barely tolerated by others for the same reason. The Moon Man was armed with an automatic and dressed all in black, usually including a black cloak, and hid his face behind a round glass globe that covered his entire head.

The globe was made of one-way Argus glass, the glass Speakeasies used to use for their windows during Prohibition, so the customers inside could see anyone approaching the illegal boozery but cops approaching it would see only their reflection in the glass. Similarly the Moon Man could see out of the globe but people looking at him would see just the mirrored surface of the globe. The globe-headed aspect of the Moon Man’s outfit often annoys people who take pulps a little too seriously, but to me it adds to the old-fashioned fun. Continue reading

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THE BLACK CROWES: HARD TO HANDLE

Another installment of Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead finds Balladeer’s Blog giving a shoutout to the Black Crowes and their song Hard to Handle

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TAXIARCHOI (C 427-415 B.C.): ANCIENT GREEK COMEDY

TaxiarchoiBalladeer’s Blog presents another examination of an ancient Greek political satire.

TAXIARCHOI (Tax Collectors) – By Eupolis. Tax Day is the most appropriate day to examine this comedy because its premise serves as a pointed reminder of the inherent ugliness in all taxation – that the power to impose and collect taxes is, ultimately, backed up by the use of force. (If you doubt me go without paying your personal property taxes. Then we’ll discuss how much you truly “own” your home or your car.)  

In Taxiarchoi the god Dionysus is depicted joining the title military unit. Those Taxiarchoi units would periodically collect the “taxes” or – in its most honest form – “tribute” from the various regions, not only of Athens proper but of the Athenian subject states. Military units were necessary for such tasks for the reasons you would expect – attempted resistance on the part of those being taxed and/or attempted robbery by bands of thieves after the taxes had been collected.    

Sometimes a particular community might try to poor-mouth their circumstances and provide the taxiarchs with less money than had been assessed against them. In such cases the officer in charge was empowered to either seize portable property to make up the difference or to ransack the town and its vicinity to determine if the citizens were simply hiding their wealth.

For Athens proper, a representative of each of the traditional Ten Regions of Athens would lead the taxiarchs collecting taxes in their region and would select the squadron leaders. I’ll discuss the breakdown of the Ten Regions and the way they factored into political representation, the law and the census in ancient Athens in the future when I examine comedies that deal with issues relevant to those regions.  

THE PLAY 

Though it would be appropriate, given the daring nature of the ancient Greek satires, if Taxiarchoi was a hard-hitting commentary on the taxation process, unfortunately it was not. It was a comedy about the god Dionysus joining a unit of taxiarchs who were about to go on a tax collecting expedition. As usual in the comedies Dionysus was depicted as a fey, bumbling figure and in this particular case the laughs come largely from how the wine god’s soft, lazy nature was incredibly ill-suited for military life. Continue reading

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