Thursday, May 21, 2015

PHONE YOUR NEIGHBORS AND WAKE THE KIDS: HOW DAVID LETTERMAN INFLUENCED ME


It has been a curse through out my life that the things I like are the things that are frowned upon by Ozarkers. I prefer heavy metal, punk,  urban and psychedelic rock over country music. I'm more interested in horror movies and comic books than hunting or sports (except golf). I also like comedy, whereas Ozarkers have absolutely no sense of humor. One of my favorite comedians has always been David Letterman and, according to several opinion polls taken by our local media outlets, Ozarkers hate David Letterman. My thought has always been, "Tough luck, you dumb rednecks!"

My first recollection of seeing David Letterman on TV was when he substituted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. I remember he came out and said, "I was watching the monitor backstage and there was a commercial on for Preparation H. At the end of the commercial, the announcer said "Use only as directed." Like you would spread it on crackers."

One of the reasons why I liked David Letterman was he didn't take things too seriously. On his NBC shows, he wore a jacket, dress shirt and tie like other TV show host, except he wore blue jeans and sneakers with it. If a bit went wrong or a prop didn't work he would say, "Screw it!" and move on to something else. Even funnier was when a prop didn't get a laugh, he would throw it in a corner and break it. Dave was always quick to let you in on the fact that, especially in the early days, the segments were probably not going to be great television. In introducing those segments he would say, "Phone the neighbors and wake the kids! It is time for Stupid Pet Tricks!" and then midway through, he would look into the camera and say, "We are having more fun now than humans should be allowed."

Dave did strange things like drop light bulbs and bags of jello off of a building or let the audience give nicknames to former presidents like "Old Beanie Weenies" and "Old Scratch N Sniff." The first show gave aging monster kids a thrill with Larry Bud Mellman/Calvert DeForrest giving a introductory warning like Edward Van Sloan at the beginning of Frankenstein on the first show and ending the first show with a guy reciting dialog from a Bela Lugosi movie called Bowery After Midnight. He interrupted a live Today Show broadcast by yelling out a widow with a bullhorn that he was a major NBC executive and he wasn't wearing pants.
  
Like Ernie Kovacs before him, David Letterman knew that the medium of television itself could be part of the joke. In the early days of his show, NBC ran reruns of the show on Monday night (just like they did with The Tonight Show). At the time, I was a media major at Missouri State University (then it was Southwest Missouri State University) and most of my media classmates would watch these reruns because you never knew what was going to happen. One week they would be dubbed into French or Spanish or re-dubbed in a phony voice over like a Giallo film or Japanese monster movie. Once the voices were sped up. During one show Dave kept popping in and making comments like, "Don't worry folks, Bob Hope (the guest) will eventually talk about someone who is still living."

He used transitional wipes as windshield wipers to "wipe away the snow." Flashback sequences were introduced, as on many shows, with a wavy screen effect and Dave saying, "It is coming back to me like a flashback sequence we filmed yesterday." Of course, we can never forget The Late Night Monkey Cam, which was a camera mounted on the back of a roller skating chimpanzee. One of the trademarks of his show was the breaking glass sound effect as he threw a pencil or an index card through the window.

I was hoping to get to do some of the same kind of things David Letterman did, but unfortunately, as I stated above, I live in the most humorless state in the union. However, Letterman's influence is in this blog with every post. Something that, as a nation, we should be thankful for.


That is why I'm closing this post with a cover of an LP by a Scottish guy, who looks like David Letterman. Dave would want it that way.

 




 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I DON'T WANT TO BE CLICKBAIT




I hate to give you two rants in a row, but this I've been needing to say this for awhile. I started the original Desdinova - Super Villain of the Ozarks blog in 2007 and The New Adventures of Desdinova four years ago this month. Since that time, it has been an ongoing struggle to figure out how many people are reading the blogs and exactly what post they are reading.


I have used the Google Analytics, the Blogger stats and Feedjit. They give me some idea, although not a thorough picture of what is going on. I would like to know more about why and from where they are coming. Many times it may show the name of the search engine, but not if it is a link on another page.

There are times when I get sudden multiple hits on a post and I wonder if it is a link shared on another blog or social media. My fear is the my blog is being used in some way by a clickbait sight. Clickbait sights are the prostitutes of the Internet and spread their V.D on social media.

For those who don't know the terminology, clickbait is a sight used to drive Internet users to sight loaded with tones of streamed commercials and click though ads. Sometime these websites link to other websites or blogs in order to use there articles. Other times these clickbait sights create their own content. Usually, when they do create their own content, it is either some tabloid style garbage or badly researched articles masquerading as an informative article.

On the first account, the article is something trashing famous celebrity or the entertainment industry in general (i.e. "Can You Guess Which Movie Stars are Ugly and Smell Bad?") or it is something macabre or freaky (usually Victorian era postmortem photographs) or hokey stuff passed off as something "you just have to see" ("Watch this dog sing "Amazing Grace" the funeral of a soldier").

The other is either right-wing propaganda and misinformation or it misrepresents itself by being badly researched and full of errors. Now, I will add here that I do know of one sight that linked to me for an article on a classic motion picture. The author also credited my blog, so I guess there can be some good in these.

The trick with these is to force you to watch a commercial or by something. Many of these exist to infect your computer, phone or tablet with spyware. Bad part these are shared on Facebook or Pinterest over and over again.

Do me a favor, if you come across any of my articles linked on one of these sights, please e-mail me at d4windsbar@yahoo.com. I want to see if I can get it removed before I get a disease.



Saturday, May 16, 2015

I'M ASHAMED I WATCHED THE DUKES OF HAZZARD


We've all done it. We watched a TV show we enjoyed as a child or teenager after we became an adult and thought, "Why did I like this as a kid? This is horrible." For me that TV show is The Dukes of Hazzard.


You have to understand that this was the era when most people only received four networks. You also didn't have a VCR or DVD player or PC to stream movies. The Dukes of Hazzard was also THE TV SHOW to watch among the sixth graders in Lebanon, Missouri. If you weren't watching The Dukes of Hazzard, you would be considered a worthless, piece of human garbage. Many of my former classmates are constantly posting and re-posting a meme on Facebook, which asserts that people who watched The Dukes of Hazzard and Hee Haw as kids are superior to others. I don't think there is any scientific facts to back this belief up.

Watching the show now on DVD or in reruns, it becomes obvious that after the first season, they basically did the same script over and over. As a matter of fact, most of the cast nearly quit between season four and five over this. This was part of the reason Tom Wopat and John Schneider walked off the show. According to a TV Guide article (Dec. 25 -31 1982), everyone else on the show wanted out.

Now, with that aside, the reason I can't stand watching the The Dukes of Hazzard now: The use of the phrase "good ole boys."  Bo and Luke, in the theme song by Waylon Jennings, are referred to as "good ole boys." At the time this show aired, when I was in sixth grade, I took it the "good ole boys" actually meant "a force of good in the universe" (my comic book geekiness showing).

After becoming an adult and getting out in the "real world," I noticed the term "good ole boy" used not for people doing good, but for people like Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane. To be honest, Boss Hogg and Roscoe are Presidential Medal of Honor Winners compared to many of the "good ole boys" I've met and had to deal with in my adult life.

The phrase "good ole boy" tends to be a euphemism or secret code word for "my loud-mouthed, sleazy, unethical, racist, sexist, homophobic, smelly, alcoholic, redneck friend, that abuses his wife and kids, but I like better him than you." Every business or work place in this part of the country has, at least, one of these type of individuals under their roof.

This "good ole boy" doesn't have a college degree and just barely has a high school diploma, but somehow has ascended to a cushy management position and receives a huge paycheck. Of course, the reason is this guy kisses the butt of the boss by doing the dirty work he wants done. Usually, he is the cousin, brother-in-law, or high school drinking buddy of the boss. This guy usually bullies everyone, talks dirty to female employees, repeats dumb stuff he heard on talk radio (or sings along with a country radio station), brings Jim Beam in his thermos, reads back issues of Guns & Ammo and spits his tobacco juice in every adjacent waste basket, while everyone else does the hard work.

However, if the boss wants the tires of the employees trying to unionize slashed or a competitor's business burned to the ground or needs someone to stalk the nerdy boy sending flowers to his hot, smoking daughter, the "good ole boy" is ready to earn that paycheck he receives that is bigger than the other employees. He also is quick to run and tattle to the boss on the employees breaking a stupid company policy or talking about how they think he is a crooked tyrant. Of course, if you question this guy's unethical and downright bad behavior, you will get the response, "But he is a good ole boy." That absolves this guy of any wrong doing in the eyes of his small community.

The bad part about these "good ole boys" is that in many small communities they get elected to city council, county commission or the school board, where they usually vote against anything that would be good for the community. They always say they want to keep the community "just like Mayberry," but what they real want is for it to be just like Hazzard County. Sad part some of them go on to the state legislature and then...well, this explains most of the makeup of our current U.S. Congress. Yes folks, Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane are running Washington, D.C. As Waylon Jennings would say, in his narration of the show, "Folks, this don't look good."

Maybe this version of the "good ole boy" is only a phenomenon of southwest Missouri, but I some how feel that it isn't the case. Every small community has a group of  "good ole boys" that do horrible things, but people just slaps them on the back and laugh about it.

After reading this, some will say, "So, Desdinova, are you saying that we shouldn't watch reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard. No, I'm just saying I don't enjoy it because of my experience with the "good ole boy" mentality.


However, there is one thing that I like about this show that I wish would become a common practice. I wish more women would wear pantyhose with their shorts like Daisy did. NOW THAT IS A GOOD THING! Of course, these opinions are why I'm considered the SUPER VILLAIN OF THE OZARKS!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

THE END

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

FOUR YEARS LATER I LAUNCH MY PODCAST

Today marked four years, since I changed to the retro blog format. While I miss some of the satirical commentary and mischief I created on the old blog, this retro blog has been more fun and less hassle in my personal and professional life.

One thing I have always wanted to try was a podcast, like the ones on other retro blogs like Retrospace.

It's a mix of retro hits you don't hear on commercial radio and some comedy bits and commercials from the past.

As a nod to the original Desdinova - Super Villain of the Ozarks blog, I introduce it as a megalomaniac, mad scientist/super-villain persona that I used when writing post on the old blog. It will be interesting to see how many of the KSGF crowd reports me to Springfield PD or the FCC.

This is just a test. Not sure how many of these I will do.

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK:
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