Thrillville - Archives for Thrillville Beat
By Will ("The Thrill") Viharo
By Will "the Thrill" Viharo
THIS MONTH: IN DEFENSE OF DEAN: PASSION FOR THE PEOPLE!; SCHLOCK IT TO ME!
HOWL IF YOU LOVE PASSION!
I just could not believe what a big god damn deal the media made out of Howard Dean's now infamous "rage speech" and "howl" at the Iowa Caucuses. (The only recent thing as stupid, hypocritical and embarrassing was the uproar over Janet Jackson's exposed nipple at Superbowl Halftime - she and Justin Twigpuddle owe us apologies for their crappy music, but that's it. I don't watch football but of course I saw this infamous and unexciting moment re-run on the news repeatedly, much like Dean's out-of-context soapbox opera. Geez, with all that's going in the world, this is all these clowns can find to cover? No wonder my boycott of the Ocean's 11 remake was deemed newsworthy....) Anyway, Gore was denounced as being too dull and robotic, now Dean is being attacked from all sides as being too shrill and over-the-top. Make up your friggin' minds already. I thought the incredibly unfair reaction to Dean's passionate troop rallying on his own turf was much more embarrassing than the so-called incident itself. Even Bill Maher took cheapjack pot shots at Dean. What the hell, man??? Why are so many people turned off by displays of passion? Personally, I'd much rather have a fiery, intelligent, motivated, emotionally charged Commander in Chief than the blinking, blithering, illiterate, brain-dead hand-puppet now "in charge," who obviously feels most comfortable kickin' back on his ranch, getting fed selective, supportive information from his aides rather than actually reading a newspaper. And all the Demos can do is continue to attack each other. This is really, really sad and dispiriting.
I have supported Howard Dean - a man who not only stands up for his beliefs but has the guts to pronounce them with clarity and conviction in the face of establishment adversity - from the beginning of his grassroots effort to win back our country for us, and even now that his once mighty campaign is faltering, I will continue to do so. In fact, now more than ever, since he's the underdog being undermined by the mainstream (so-called) Left as well as the gloating fascists on the Right. I think all those geeky yahoos who re-mixed that yelp into internet noise as well as all the smartass commentators and comedians who turned Dean into a public piñata are a bunch of fuckin' assholes, too. At least Dean has the balls to get out there and try to save this morally hemorrhaging country of ours, even at the expense of his own reputation. To all his smirking naysayers I say: what the hell are YOU doing about it? Losers, all of them.
ABC News recently ran a piece pointing out that the microphone Dean used for that rambunctious rallying cry blocked out all outside noise, so you couldn't hear the crowd, only his voice out of ambient context. They actually played a tape of the same scene shot from the floor on video by someone who was actually there, and you couldn't hear a god damn word Dean was saying amid the tumult of the audience, finally proving that Dean was merely playing to and responding to the heat of the room, not hysterically shrieking into a vacuum. Kudos to ABC for putting this nonsense in perspective, though by then, the damage was done and no one was listening anymore. People suck.
The problem now is, new "frontrunner" John Kerry inspires absolutely no excitement and arouses no passion in me whatsoever. Neither does pretty boy John Edwards, who would most likely be his VP pick (a strategic move, since any Yankee who heading the charge will need a Southerner on the ticket to win, that's a simple, accepted fact.) They both voted to authorize the immoral pre-emptive attack on Iraq and then furiously backpedaled when they realized it was a very unpopular stance for a large portion of potential voters. This is just plain bullshit, man. Plus Kerry really made himself look bad with all those anti-Dean statements after Hussein was caught, truly revealing his conveniently fluid attitudes about the war. I'll vote for either Kerry or Edwards or both if I have to come November, but I will do so as an Independent. I'm sticking out my Democratic status at least until the California primaries - if neither Dean nor Clark get the ultimate nod, I officially give up on the party, and all political parties. I will always vote against the right wing agenda, but I'm not so sure that platform will always be the exclusive domain of Republicans anymore. Greens are too "white" for my tastes. Party time will be over in Thrillville - at least politically.
My wife disagrees with me. She thinks my fleeing the party is part of the problem, not the solution. She believes in solidarity, and she is a passionate loyalist (which is good news for me personally.) Anyone who bad mouths issues she is most dedicated to - especially me, Elvis, or the Oakland A's - must contend with the wrath of the Tiki Goddess. Nobody I've ever encountered wants to deal with that prospect, especially those who have witnessed and/or felt this feminine fury unleashed. Me, well, it kinda turns me on, but I dig strong women.
The coming election is a war of ideology, that's why I believe we need a general to lead the charge, and that man, for me, is not John Kerry - who strikes me as a career politician bucking for a promotion rather than an inspired (and inspiring) leader of a real, sorely needed social revolution - but Wesley Clark, a much more presidential force with leadership qualities that transcend partisan politics. The administration in power now is a malevolent force that must be reckoned with strategically and decisively. I wouldn't go so far as to call George W. an evil man. I do think he is a profoundly ignorant and stubbornly arrogant man, surrounded by truly evil men, a lethal combination that is just as dangerous, especially for someone in that position of authority - the alleged Leader of the Free World. To paraphrase Seinfeld on Newman, when I look into Dick Cheney's eyes, I do see "pure evil." This regime must be stopped if we are to regain and retain a sense of balanced justice in this topsy-turvy world. Impeachment should be the natural result of all these Lies, Lies, LIES being uncovered daily (along with the escalating casualty list from Iraq), but the pussy-ass Demos refuse to bring any charges to the fore. I'm really sick of all of 'em.
There's a good chance, if John Kerry wins the presidency, or anyone but Bush, I can once again turn off of politics and focus my full attention on the cause of B Movies and Lounge Culture. As I said, Kerry inspires nothing in me, unlike Dean, and if I can't support a new president as passionately as I oppose the current one, I will lose interest in the process as a whole. (If Kerry has any real smarts, once he's nominated then elected, assuming he'll pick pretty Southern boy Edwards as the VP, he'll then make Clark Secretary of State or Defense, appoint Dean the Surgeon General, make Kucinich Attorney General, and create a whole new post for Al Sharpton: the U.S. Good Will Ambassador to the World - or at least our U.N. rep. I could live very comfortably with this scenario, because then the Government would truly offer Something for Everybody. We'll see.) Sure, I'll always keep up with grassroots movements that rile if not threaten the status quo, but with someone like Kerry in charge of the Democrats, I feel like my core interests will no longer be represented by ANYONE in our Government. Fine. I'll retire full time to Thrillville, baby. Ultimately, all political parties put their own ambitions and interests over the People, and have this "if you're not with us, fuck off" attitude undermining their message. (Or in the Republicans' case, re-enforcing it.) Fuck 'em all.
The really sad, sick, twisted truth is, ALL of this mess - the impeachment of Clinton, disillusionment with the Democrats, the 2000 elections leading to the empowerment of the radical right, the resulting war and insidious agendas of Cheney and Rumsfeld being implemented, the control of our nation via Fear tactics, the attack on our civil liberties from our own administration - is the direct result of a Blowjob. Think about it.
People think the movies I show are fucked up. I believe the very soul of this society is deeply, deeply, deeply disturbed.
SCHLOCK IT TO ME!
Well, enough of these media muckhounds. If I want to wallow in Trash, I'll do it my way. Two cases in point, neither of which involve Britney Spears' artificially induced experimentation with matrimony:
On March 4 at The Parkway, I'm hosting a release party of the new Image DVD of the 1974 vampire on the loose in San Francisco flick, Nightmare in Blood, the directorial debut of our pal John Stanley, Mr. "Creature Features" himself, appearing in person. We couldn't locate a 35mm print of the film so instead I am showing Uncle Bills' recentl acquisition SON OF BLOB (AKA BEWARE! THE BLOB, 1972), the hilariously gruesome silly putty sequel to the original 1959 drive-in classic. The Blob itself is pretty much the same, but its all star victims this time, instead of Steve McQueen, are Larry Hagman and Godfrey Cambridge. Also on hand to help celebrate with John is our pal and host of Berkeley's "Hip Crypt," Doktor Goulfinger, who has been very busy lately acting as official consultant for a new documentary on the history of TV horror hosts called American Scary. So, to quote Elvis, if you see 'em at this show, don't let the lights and cameras throw you, and try not to throw the lights and cameras.
Then on March 19, also courtesy of Uncle Bill, don't miss the carnysploitation classick SHE FREAK (1967), the 60s drive-in version of Freaks from sleaze king David F. Friedman, a born huckster who knows a thing or two about strange roadshow attractions. He was also the subject of the documentary Mau Mau Sex Sex, written by our pal, the Mayor of Noir City himself Eddie Muller. Friedman is a direct descendent of legendary sleaze merchant and moralistic vice peddler Kroger Babb (Mom and Dad) and contemporaries with the likes of Doris Wishman, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Ray Dennis Steckler, Ted V. Mikels and Russ Meyer, all pioneers in the field of exploitation cinema, where the price and passion involved in selling the product outstripped the significance and often the quality of the product itself. Friedman's landmark '60s flicks include The Defilers, the first real "roughie," a violent extension of the more innocuous "nudie" flick popular until that turning point, and his notorious, innovative and influential collaboration with director HG Lewis, Blood Feast, taking it yet a step further. She Freak is more notable for its seedy ambience more than anything, though the image of "the Snake Woman" is downright iconic - you'll recognize her when you see her. In the spirit of Friedman style ballyhoo, to further enhance this esoteric viewing experience, there will be a live pre-show stage performance by LADY CHERRY MALONE, "The Goddess of Burlesque" and Miss Exotic World 2001. We first met Cherry at Tease-o-rama in SF a couple of years ago, when Monica was the co-host, and I fell madly in lust with her performance, which utilized Mancini music and a brass bed in a very creative, sensuous way. You can't go wrong picking this Cherry, baby.
After that, Monica and I are on our way to Mexico, my first time ever, for our first real vacation since our Hawaiian honeymoon nearly three years ago. We'll be visiting Acapulco (as part of our Elvis tour of the world, natch), Mexico City (where I plan to score an authentic Santo mask and cape), and then Guadalajara, where Monica has some relatives and we can catch some authentic Mariachi action. That's also where I'll turn 41 on April 2. Hay, chihuahua. Since I'll be submitting my April column before I go, look for a complete report in the May Thrillville Beat. Gracias y adios por ahora, amigos. Salute! - Guillermo el Thrillermo.
NEXT MONTH: CELEBRATING SEVEN YEARS OF THRILLS! WACKY WEEDHEADS & SLAPSTICK SHENANIGANS!
Thrillville - Archives for Thrillville Beat