Amoeblog

christmas records, putting the "x" back in xmas

Posted by Whitmore, December 22, 2007 10:21am | Post a Comment

The legendary Mae West recorded “Put the Loot in the Boot Santa” in 1966, from her album of parodies, double entendres, and burlesque songs: Wild Christmas, (which also includes the classic "Santa, Come Up and See Me Sometime”).  The silver screens greatest vixen was still, even then, tantalizing in her steamy send-ups. Though in her 70’s, she was every bit the notorious raconteur and diva-risqué she was in her heyday of the 1930’s and 40’s, and here she is a quarter of a century later, putting the ‘x’ back in xmas. The flip side of this single is West’s cover of Lennon/McCartney’sWith Love from Me to You” filled with more sexual overtones than any Beatle song you will ever likely hear in this life. As Mae West, the original sex kitten once said, "My left leg is Christmas and my right leg is New Year's. Why don't you visit me between the holidays?"

October 15th

Posted by Whitmore, October 15, 2007 06:15pm | Post a Comment
                                                                                                      

1815 - Napoleon I of France is sent into exile on Saint Helena somewhere out there in the Atlantic Ocean.

1878 - The Edison Electric Light Company is incorporated.

1888 - The "From Hell" letter possibly sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators. Also known as the "Lusk letter," the letter is postmarked October 15 and was received by George Lusk . Upon opening the small box he discovered half a human kidney, probably from Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim. Who ever wrote the letter also claimed to have fried and eaten the missing kidney half. Though, through the years, some have contended that it may have been a sick practical joke.

1894 - Alfred Dreyfus, an up and coming artillery officer and Jewish, was arrested for spying. So begins the Dreyfus Affair. He was pardoned in 1899 by President Emile Loubet while serving time in prison on Devil's Island. New evidence, actually old evidence that was covered-up by anti-Semitic army officers, found him innocent of all the charges and in 1906 Dreyfus was officially exonerated by a military commission.

1917 - On this date, just outside of Paris at Vincennes, Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and spy  Mata Hari, was executed by firing squad for being a double agent and spying for Germany. Many have argued that Mata Hari never really was a double agent and was used as a scapegoat by the head of the French counter-espionage, Georges Ladoux, who had recruited Mata Hari to be a French spy. Of course later Ladoux himself was arrested for being a double agent. The facts of the case have remained a bit hazy, the official documents concerning the execution were sealed for 100 years, and more details won’t be revealed until 2017.

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Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx

Posted by Whitmore, October 2, 2007 06:25pm | Post a Comment

Several years back I went to a Halloween party dressed as Groucho Marx, specifically as his character Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the eccentric and barmy president of Huxley College from the classic 1932 film “Horse Feathers.”  I wore the cap and gown, a pair of baggy trousers, an ill fitted shirt, worn leather shoes; I painted on the moustache and the eyebrows. I did it up right. When I arrived at the party I found myself milling around the bar looking for some whiskey. Nearby was a crowd in their late 20’s or early 30’s dressed to the absolute nines. I suspect “glamorous perfection"  (rented perfection?) was the concept behind their costumes, whatever it was, they hit it right. I sort of knew them from another party; I also knew they worked as grammar school teachers. I said hey and hello, they said hey and asked me about my costume.  

“Are you a professor of some sort?” one of them asked.
“I’m dressed as Groucho Marx” I replied, cigar in hand.
They all blinked and dimly asked, ‘Who’s Groucho Marx?”

One of the saddest and most preposterous nights of my life, right at that moment I knew there wasn’t going to be enough whiskey or conversation or beautiful women to keep me at this shindig for long, or this pin-brained world. Soon I said my adieus and I wandered back home dazed, stunned by it all … and I wonder why I’m depressed sometimes!

Anyway, today, October 2nd, is the birthday to a comic cultural icon, and the inspiration behind those novelty glasses, Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx.  Happy 117th birthday Groucho!

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