Amoeblog

(In which we mark the anniversary of that one place with the things and stuff.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 17, 2012 11:46am | Post a Comment


You don't look a day over 62.


Today and tomorrow mark the 57th opening day events anniversary of Disneyland. I can think of no better reason to decide that I will use cuss-words in the following blog – something I don’t normally do – so if that’s going to offend you, you should totally read this (assuming that you love to be offended which, let’s be frank you easily offended folks – you do).

The opening days went notoriously awry – drinking fountains didn’t work, rides broke down constantly, the young woman in the Minnie Mouse costume went mad and tried to fell the Swiss Family Robinson tree-house with a chainsaw while terrified children screamed from the branches, and it was such a hot day!

Ronald Reagan was there for opening day – it’s one of the only things he did that sits well with me. Rumor has it that he got his idea for “trickle-down economics” by watching how the natural flow of passengers organizing themselves to take turns riding on the Matterhorn fucked over the poor.

Did you know Doritos were invented at Disneyland? It’s true, and kind of weirds me out. And then it weirds me out that it weirds me out. I haven’t felt very stable lately.

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TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF FIGHT CLUB

Posted by Billyjam, October 15, 2009 01:46pm | Post a Comment
         Trailer for Fight Club

"Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. Goddamn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great fight clubDepression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off," says Fight Club's Tyler Durden -- played to perfection by Brad Pitt  -- who is the dark alter ego of the nameless narrator/protagonist played brilliantly by Edward Norton. Equally powerful is the actress Helena Bonham Carter in the supporting rolel of Marla Singer. Meat Loaf and Jared Leto also play secondary characters in the film.

Today, October 15th, 2009, is the ten year anniversary of the date the David Fincher directed movie first arrived in cinemas.  Based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, the engaging dark tale, with its underlying theme of consumerism and the ptifalls of materialsim, is about the nameless Edward Norton character who, in his struggle with insomnia and lack of medication to treat it, ends up in support groups, which he soon becomes addicted to attending. And then by some twists of fate he gets drawn into the web of the dark violent psychē of Tyler Durden, ending up living in his large dilapidated house where the fight club is formed. The violent and provocative film, which has a really dark humor to it, is the sort of film you can go back and watch repeatedly. The movie's great soundtrack by the Dust Brothers also includes The Pixies ("Where Is My Mind"), Marlene Dietrich ("No Love, No Nothin"), and Tom Waits ("Goin' Out West")... Look for both the Fight Club CD and DVD at each Amoeba Music store. Below is the scene with the eight rules of Fight Club.

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Sweeney Todd

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 1, 2008 10:02pm | Post a Comment
Sweeney Todd is a villain who began as an urban legend sometime around 1800 and was, a few decades later, the protagonist of a penny dreadful called The People's Periodical, which was published in 1846. The issue was titled The String of Pearls: A Romance written by Thomas Prest, a popular writer who also wrote Varney the Vampire, which I've wanted to get a copy of ever since I was in third grade.

Another popular urban legend of Victorian London was that the unsuspecting victims ended up in meat pies.

There was no evidence of Sweeney Todd having been an actual character, nor that anyone turned up in the popular takeaway dish, but when the story was turned into a play in 1847 the advertising claimed that it was "founded in fact."

Remember that lady that claimed to find a finger in her chili at Wendy's? Of course, she turned out to be a serial scam-artist and got sentenced to nine years. I think if I found an identifiable piece of meat in my fast food chili it would actually be sort of comforting like, "Hey- at least it's not the pig's genitals!" ... but meat-eaters are a crazy bunch with all sorts of hang-ups about what species are good (chicken, cow, fish, lobster and pig) and what are bad (cat, dog, horse, cockroach or person). So picky!


 

 
Anyway, back to Sweeney Todd.
 


A Pathe "news" clip promoting Tod Slaughter

In 1936 the first sound film adaptation (following two silent versions) was produced in England. Most of the "ingredients" of subsequent adaptations are present here: a love interest named Johanna, a meat pie-making Mrs. Lovett and of course Todd, his mechanical barber's chair and straight razors. The film starred Tod Slaughter, an actor famous for his over-the-top performances as murderous maniacs. As this clip above illustrates, his acting has pretty "hammy."
 
The next cinematic adaptation was 1970's Bloodthirsty Butchers.
 
In 1973 playwright Christopher Bond wrote a play version wherein new twists were added to the play. In his version Sweeney Todd was motivated by revenge, not greed. A judge wrongfully imprisons Todd and rapes his wife, which leads to her committing suicide.

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