So, before we get to today's tasty morsel, I want to have a quick word about pirates (turns to camera 3 for a quiet, off-the-cuff, intimate bit with audience, as per Jon Stewart). Between those madcap fun-loving scalawags zipping around off the coast off Somalia, the absolute deluge of torrents (which make up the majority of Internet traffic today), and of course "Tales of the Black Freighter", we seem to be entering a 21st century renaissance of piracy, in one form or another. I don't know what these means, except that as a species of knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing killer apes (with iPhones), we also seem to be a pack of thieving ne'er-do-well animals to boot. It seems that if it's not nailed down or on fire, it's up for grabs. So here we are in the bright shiny future, and we still can't seem keep our hand away from other peoples pockets, groping for their loose change. "I'm all right Jack, f*ck you, it's every crumb for himself" seems to be the M.O. (that's modus operandi [mode of operation in Latin] for those of you who don't read crime fiction) of every man and his dog. Now I know what you're thinking..... that I can be a wee bit of a dodgy bastard on the odd occasion. I know I've crossed the line with some of the things I've posted, and I may be wrong, but there is to my mind a fine, but discernible, line between bending the rules here and there and breaking them into little itsy bitsy teeny weeny pieces.... and then jumping up and down on the pieces until there's nothing left but air. But who am I to judge, eh? I'm just a guy. However, it does tickle my funny bone that as we move into the 21st century, we seem to be moving, in some weird way, backwards in time. Or maybe piracy never really went away in the first place, just got given some newer, less scary names for the sake of the industrial era... colonialism, economic exploitation, and so on.....
OK, that's more than enough of that one, let's move on to the fanzine fun shall we? Now I love fanzines, and that's the simple truth of the matter. Back in the day, I would sit for hours reading these things adoringly (and even did a few myself), and my introduction to these came from my old high school chum, Mr. Desmond Mangan (in my opinion, the MST3000 guys owe him a debt of gratitude and a substantial cash settlement if you ask me, but that's neither here nor there). Anyway, Des turned me on to horror movie fanzines (and Hammer films and a whole lot of other coolness as well), and in my teenage years the big faves were Gore Creatures, Cinefantastique (before it turned to crap), Little Shop of Horrors and Photon. Here we have Photon #20 from 1970, which features some excellent articles on zombies in the cinema, a "White Zombie" film book (a la Famous Monsters), a study of Wax Museum movies, a thoughtful piece on why science fiction movies will never be as good or as meaningful as science fiction books, a brief Lon Chaney Jr interview as well as some nice interior illustrations by some Richard Corben guy.... I wonder whatever happened to him anyway... the kid looks like he has some talent!
Like so many other things, the Internet has pretty much made the fanzine an obsolete item, having been replaced by "push-button publishing" AKA the blog (such as this one for example). I can't help but feel that DEVO were right (and Darwin was not-so-right), as people start to contemplate using Twitter to do movie reviews. A movie review in 140 characters? Where I come from (the land of OZ, err... Australia) a twit is another word for moron, numb skull, chowder-head, bozo, dingbat.... in short a total f*ck-knuckle. Verbose curmudgeon that I am, I can barely complete a sentence using 140 characters. But seriously, where's the eloquence? Where's the poetry? English can be one of the most beautiful, dynamic and moving languages in the world, when used with care and passion. What can you do with the SMS equivalent of a postcard? Sweet F. A. So everything devolves into some half-assed "Having a wonderful time, wish you were here" re-dux? Give me a f*cking break! As far as I can tell, nobody with anything meaningful to say can do jack shit with 140 characters. Fellini couldn't even make a movie with less than 140 characters, so there! Yep, that's us over there by the cement mixer, a pack of thieving bastards that can't even finish a f*cking sentence - and with computers yet! Boy oh boy, we are so f*cking f*cked!
Cue sound FX: Voice of HAL 9000 - "Now Dave, why don't you take a stress pill and we'll talk about this". "No thanks you computerized weasel" I reply "I'll be just fine once I lobotomize you, you binary-brained bastard! Now, once I get my screwdriver, you're screwed!"
Whoops, I guess that qualifies as a special-extra-bonus rant, just for fun! Hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it!
Anyway, this one's for you Des, where-ever you are old pal of my youth, hope you're doing well and still loving these creaky old bits of pop-culture madness as much as I do!
Be seeing you!