Monthly Archives: October 2013

Brando, The King and I, and The Catcher In The Rye

Marlon Brando holds a US patent for a “Drumhead tensioning device and method“.


Yes that’s one of the things I consider interesting enough to write about. He also apparently “made Rita Moreno have an abortion“.

The King and I was the fifth time that Rodgers and Hammerstein worked together. Yul Brynner was the most popular Russian living in America until this guy:

Comedian, author, painter, and sole proprietor of the “Russian reversal”

“The Catcher In The Rye” is the title of Jimmy Dean Salinger’s boomer-iffic novel complete with teenage brooding hero. Good old JD went on to have a wildly successful and public career in country music and sausage making.

Ah wuz real angst-y right after puberty!

Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom

Julius was a spy for the Soviets, no one knows for sure about Ethel. Morton Sobel (a co-defendant) in the 1951 trial eventually admitted to working with the Soviets. When the Rosenbergs were executed on June 19, 1953 they left behind two sons (10 and 6 years old). Robert and Michael have apparently tried to live out some of their mother’s final words by creating a foundation to assist the children of activists.

So apparently nuclear fission wasn’t ENOUGH of a deterrent. Edward Teller (in partnership with Stanislaw Ulam) went ahead and developed nuclear fusion (think THERMOnuclear). Basically, take the heat from a “traditional” fission reaction and use it to exponentially boost the atomic yield of a radioactive payload by creating fusion. This approach reduces the fallout and radiation of the explosion which REALLY makes a difference when you can use weapons of this type to instantaneously turn millions of people into dust.

Teller turned out to be a particularly turdish fellow who threw Robert Oppenheimer to the Red Scare, pushed for the Strategic Defense Initiative (Reagan’s Star Wars), and openly advocated for the non-military use of nuclear explosives. Thanks for all nightmares and atmospheric pollution you Hungarian Asshole.

So long, and thanks for all the fis(sion)!

The United States first tested H-Bombs over the Bikini Atoll during Operation Castle (which was itself an extension of Operation Crossroads). I highly recommend the documentary film “Radio Bikini” for further information.

Walker Smith Jr. still ranks as probably the best boxer to ever live. He chose the moniker Sugar Ray Robinson because Sodium Cyclamate Robinson was being used by another fighter of his era who defeated all of his opponents by TKO (Cancer).

Panmunjon proper is now an abandoned village on the boarder between North and South Korea. The Korean Armistice was signed in Panmunjon in 1953 and a series of buildings were built nearby. These buildings are officially known as the Joint Security Area yet still often referred to as Panmunjon.

This is one of the soldiers who “guards the door to North Korea”.

Don't go in there dude.  Rodman's still using it.

Don’t go in there dude. Rodman’s still using it.

North Korean / South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

A land divided cannot stand. Unless it’s the Dakotas because no one wants them united. On the north side, we have despots, famine, and Dennis Rodman. And representing the south; K-POP, robot-Einstein overlords, and Hyundai.


Reading about Hyundai led me to the word: Chaebol which translated roughly means conglomerate but is literally a combination of the Korean words for wealth and clan. The Chosŏn Dynasty ruled the Korea peninsula for over 500 years or 4.2849 times the minutes it takes my 6 year old to eat any dinner with vegetables.

Marilyn Monroe had 17 different names, 43 husbands and single-handedly ruined the economies of multiple nation-states. She loved street vents. In fact, she was the Will Rogers of street vents. I’d post a picture of her but her “estate” made $27 million in one year recently so I don’t think she needs the publicity.

This post brought to you by the number ridiculous.

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television

What is it with Republicans from Wisconsin? Truthfully, I could have left off the state specification there. The most recent political figure I have respect for is Ben Kingsley’s Veep character from the movie “Dave”.


Joe McCarthy made his name by unfounded accusations and having a penchant for showing self-pleasuring tactics on microphone models.



He reportedly died in 1957 but may have been re-animated by the Tea Party to read Green Eggs and Ham in inappropriate public places.

Richard Nixon also rode the wave of the Red Scare to build his political career. I really don’t have anything I’d like to spend more time on writing about Nixon. Besides, he shows up again in the song.

Studebaker reminds me of “Happy Days” because that’s what Mr. Cunningham drove and was probably where Ron Howard initially got to second base. Their last car rolled off a production line in the Canada in 1966. There is a Studebaker National Museum which appears to be not entirely about cars. And I’m fairly certain the Grateful Dead dropped acid and appropriated the Studebaker logo:

Television is not just a mind-numbing media wasteland, it’s also a “seminal” NYC band that I probably haven’t heard enough of to form an opinion.

Apparently, Kurt Cobain once played righ-handed

Apparently, Kurt Cobain once played righ-handed

My childhood household received exactly ONE television channel. KEYC is a CBS affiliate in Mankato, MN. I remember they had a Polka show on (seemingly every Saturday when I really wanted to watch TV). The show is called “Bandwagon” and is apparently still on the air. It was hosted by a gentleman named Chuck Pasek who’s name I remembered tonight after 30 years even though I actually forgot what floor of the parking garage I parked on this morning. Chuck can be seen in the clip below from 1983:

Yes, this is who I received all my news from as a child

South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMiaggio

South Pacific has one of my favorite character names ever: Stewpot


The “singing voice” of Stewpot in the 1958 movie version of South Pacific was performed by one of my favorite voice actors – Thurl Ravenscroft. Besides having an amazing name himself, Thurl was also the original voice of Tony the Tiger AND sang (uncredited) “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.

South Pacific arose from the James Michener book: Tales of the South Pacific which gets run through the golden wheelhouse of classic Rodgers and Hammerstein. Further mixing the pot, here’s a video of Mandy Patinkin singing a medley of careful songs:

Walter Winchell, contrary to my initial belief, did not found a donut dynasty. He was a self professed “son of a bitch” and effectively serves as cautionary tale for the likes of Perez Hilton. There’s a whole pile of media, ethics, and basic human decency deficiencies in his story. Anyone who thinks that media people and politicians are worse now then they’ve ever been should be directed to read his Wikipedia page. One of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time is that his daughter was the only person at his funeral.

Joe DiMaggio was one of the greatest baseball players ever. Mr. Coffee pitchman, one of Marilyn Monroe’s husbands. And, unfortunately he played for the New York Yankees.

Here’s a interesting historical fact about his parents. According to the Wikipedia page: “Giuseppe and Rosalia DiMaggio were among the thousands of German, Japanese and Italian immigrants classified as “enemy aliens” by the government after Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan. They carried photo ID booklets at all times, and were not allowed to travel outside a five-mile radius from their home without a permit. Giuseppe was barred from the San Francisco Bay, where he had fished for decades, and his boat was seized.” Way to go America!