Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2215th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3663, October 25,2007.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:fredpatten@earthlink.net

Denvention 3 in 2008! Anticipation in 2009! Salamander Press #2698


I was all set to go to the LASFS meeting last Thursday when my hospital announced that it would be stripping and waxing the hall floors that evening. Nobody would be able to walk in the halls from about 7:30 until midnight or later. I would be able to leave for the LASFS meeting, but I would not be able to get back in until after midnight - if I could get back into the building then; nobody was sure how the maintenance would affect the usual lock-the-doors-at-11:00-p.m. policy. My sister Sherrill & I agreed that it would be simpler to just skip the LASFS meeting for one week. Sherry promised to stop there briefly to return the October Locus to the club library, and to exchange County Public Library books with Karl Lembke & get the week's Apa L dist'n from Marty Cantor. She delivered them the next day.

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Anthro #14, November-December 2007, should go online just before next week's meeting. Is anyone here reading my latest furry book reviews there?

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I have said before that I do not know how long the Internet weblinks cited here might last. Here is one that may be for this week only since it is from the National Film Board of Canada for World Animation Day on October 28th. It is for the 3-3/4-minute abstract cartoon Tower Bawher by Théodore Ushev: http://www.nfb.ca/webextension/animation-day/ Tower Bawher was made in 2006, but it replicates the Constructivist animation by Oskar Fischinger and the modernistic Soviet art movement of the 1930s. (It has also been said to have "the feel" of Lang's 1927 Metropolis.) The pounding "industrial" score by Georgii Sviridov for the 1965 Soviet movie Time, Forward! (later used for Soviet TV newscasts) is a brilliant fit. I have watched this five times already, and I want to make it available to LASFen before the weblink disappears even if it is only temporary.

If the link does disappear, the NFB is selling it on DVD for $14.95, with this blurb: "Tower Bawher is like a whirlwind tour of Russian constructivist art, and filmmaker Theodore Ushev pays homage to the movement with cascading, energetic animation. Constructivism was born out of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and Tower Bawher is filled with visual references to artists of the era (including Vertov, Stenberg, Rodchenko, Lissitsky and Popova), who saw their art as being in the service of the people. The work of these artists was a key part of the cultural landscape in Ushev's native Bulgaria. Over the same stirring Georgy Sviridov music that opened the Soviet regime's nightly newscast in the 1970s, Ushev highlights line, form and dynamic rhythms in place of volume and static mass. The title of the film is an allusion to constructivist architect Vladimir Tatlin's tower, conceived in homage to the glory of the proletariat. Drawing on the tower's design, the movement in the film draws us continually upwards towards a utopian summit. But in the end, all of the grandiose, futuristic forms that point to a glowing future wind up crashing under the weight of ideology. In Tower Bawher Ushev celebrates the genius of constructivist artists, while also offering a scathing commentary on art in the service of ideology. A film without words." It is about 3 minutes 40 seconds of glorification of Constructivism and only 5 seconds of anti-Soviet propaganda, so it is very lively and inspirational and not at all heavy-handed. $14.95 for 3 ¾ minutes is rather steep; so watch it for free for World Animation Day while you can.

http://www.nfb.ca/animation/objanim/en/index.php has several of the NFB's cartoons complete and for free, including the perennial favorites, Cordell Barker's 1988 The Cat Came Back, Christopher Hinton's 1991 Blackfly, and Richard Condie's 1985 The Big Snit. Not Tower Bawher, unfortunately, but we can hope that it will be added later.

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The future is now! Usually some of the most un-wanted things in the world are TV commercials. But if there are any that are so good that you would want to save them (such as the 1972 King Kong Volkswagen commercial, or the 1996 Speed Racer Volkswagen commercial), you were usually out of luck unless you happened to have your VCR set up to record it while it was being broadcast. And for 30-second or one-minute commercials, it was hard to devote a whole tape for one.

Thanks to YouTube, many of these popular commercials are now individually available. And thanks to new advertising-industry specialty websites, many new TV commercials are getting their own webpages with complete credits, just like IMDb's entries for individual movies. I was just told about a new Jeep Liberty TV commercial with a bunch of woodland singing animals that appeared during October. It took me about ten minutes to locate its Internet entry including a complete video of the commercial.

Notes: ?The man opens his sunroof as he is driving down a country road. He turns up the radio and taps his finger along to the music. Seconds later a squirrel launches from a tree into the sunroof landing in the passenger seat of the car. The man is startled at first by the squirrel who soon begins singing along to the radio. The man soon joins in with squirrel. Two birds then fly in to the car via the sunroof and perch on the front seats near the headrest and also begin singing. Not long after a wolf hops in the top of the car and swallows one of the birds whole. The man and the remaining animals all stop singing for a second. The man looks back at the wolf who is sitting in the backseat and the wolf spits out the bird and begins singing. They all then sing along together.

Check out the SplendAd.com link above if you are interested in seeing the ad, finding out its own title, and getting all the production credits including the music used in the spot. It will be objectively nice if all TV commercials get this treatment so people can locate the relatively few they may want to video-archive.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Cover - (DeChancie) This is very similar to a famous establishing shot in the 1983 anime theatrical feature Harmagedon: Genma Taisen, but the background color there is dark blue, not brown.

Godzilla Verses #160 -- (DeChancie) Yep, your comments about Portugal's Balance of Payments Crisis are what started this. Aren't you sorry now? ## My sister Sherry is the one who has been bringing me Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries from the L.A. Public Library to read. She is checking them out of the library at random, though. When I start reading a long-established series, I like to find out what order they were written in and read them in that order, which may mean waiting a couple of weeks for books that are not in the North Hollywood branch to be shipped there. Sherry does not care, so some of the Bernie Rhodenbarr books she has brought me have references to events in previous novels that I have not read yet, which is annoying. The Burglar in the Library is the latest? It was published in 1997; I thought that there have been at least a couple more since then. Yes; Amazon.com says that The Burglar on the Prowl, the tenth Bernie Rhodenbarr novel, was first published in 2004.

Fish Out of Water #245 - (Helgesen) Ah, Holy Moses! Without Holy Moses, we would have never had, "Holy Moses! Have a look! Flesh decayed in every nook! Some rare bits of brain lie here Mortal loads of beef and beer ..." Amanda McKittrick Ros (1860-1939), "Visiting Westminster Abbey", from her collection of poetry Fumes of Formation (1933). This (or anything else by Ros) is what people read prior to The Eye of Argon. According to Wikipedia, "The Oxford literary group the Inklings, which included such luminaries as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, held competitions to see who could read Ros' work for the longest length of time while keeping a straight face."

Vanamonde #751 - (Hertz) An author with chutzpah might still undertake to write under a pseudonym like MacApp today. A decade ago, in a review of the first five Animorphs novels for Young Adults, I said, "Since these are Apple Paperbacks, the name K. A. Applegate sounds suspiciously pseudonymous, although their copyright is in the corroborative name of Katherine Applegate." Her name has turned out to be genuine (she has a Wikipedia entry under K. A. Applegate), but I still say that a byline of Applegate for a publisher named Apple Books sounds suspicious.

One Million $1 Bills - (Cantor) I do not know what happened to the creator of that 1910 Portuguese flag parody design, although considering the lack of humor shown over the 1910 Revolution in general, I would not be surprised if your guess about him being assassinated was correct. ## The recent news revelation that presidential candidate Barack Obama does not wear an American flag pin on his lapel (Shock! Horror!) indicates that you are right. ## Asimov's short story "Sally" is online at Isaac Asmiov's Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction, volume 9 pages 73-82. The villain tries to steal some "retired" cars with intelligent positronic brains to recycle/enslave the brains in machines that he controls. The bus that the villain is in kills him. The story is mildly controversial for being a non-canonical Robot story; cars with positronic brains can and do attack and kill humans.

De Jueves #1552 - (Moffatts) UFA's F.P. 1 Does Not Reply (December 1932) was a talkie, based on the 1930 s-f novel F.P. 1 Antwortet Nicht by Curt Siodmak, who also fled Germany to escape the Nazis. (He was guest of honor at Loscon 11 in 1984.) A later New York Times review said in part, "The story and characterizations take a back seat to the massive sets and state-of-art (for 1933) special effects. The floating aerodrome which provides the film's centerpiece is a truly impressive creation, far more so than the penny-dreadful espionage plotline involving plans to sabotage the mid-Atlantic airport." UFA filmed three versions of it on the sets; German-language starring Hans Albers with a German cast, French-language starring Charles Boyer and a French cast, and English-language starring Conrad Veidt (who also fled Germany, guess why) and a British cast. Unfortunately, Peter Lorre appears in only the German-language version. It was one of UFA's last features before the Nazis co-opted the studio for party-approved propaganda movies. ## Yes, but Lindbergh's 1927 nonstop trans-Atlantic flight was in a tiny solo plane, and his success was considered almost miraculous even so. In the early 1930s there was still skepticism that larger airplanes with heavier passenger &/or cargo loads would be able to carry enough fuel to cross the Atlantic. Don't forget that when Howard Hughes finally got his controversial H-4 Hercules/Spruce Goose airborne in 1947, it made headlines ("IT FLIES!") that satisfied the public, but did not really prove that the plane would work as it was supposed to. It flew for only one mile, and was empty except for 13 people. It was supposed to be able to carry 750 soldiers or an equivalent cargo load across the Atlantic. That was never tested. ## http://www.lavasurfer.com/cereal-kelloggs.html shows early versions of Snap, Crackle, and Pop from the 1930s. They looked more like Disney's dwarves - definitely tiny adults - than the juvenile elves that they resemble today. The above-cited site says that the changeover was made in 1949. ## If Xanthan Gumm, from the other side of the galaxy, knew enough about Earth's movies to want to star specifically in a Stephen Spielberg sci-fi spectacular, he should know enough about Hollywood to look for it somewhere around Southern California. If he had picked San Diego or even Las Vegas by mistake, that might have been plausible; but Chicago is halfway across the continent and would not have any "movie-making" activities in evidence to mislead a star-struck alien.

Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) If the LASFS panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair was transcribed, would the transcription (corrected, of course) be worth publishing anywhere? ## The anime TV series Bleach is clearly so-named because the punk high-school hero bleaches his hair to look like a Southern California surfing dude. ## If you are going to separate out the issues of my ”RR! from the early dist'ns you are scanning to send them to Lee Gold, I would like to get copies of them, too.

Toony Loons #63 - (Zeff) I haven't the slightest idea why the military-sleeved disembodied arm is holding a pair of forks. Sorry. ## Blonde is still a common spelling today, although I'd bet that 95% of people don't know the difference between blond and blonde, or which should be used in which circumstances. ## If I understand correctly, you cannot buy ISBNs in lots smaller than ten from Bowker, and Bowker denounces as "illegal" the buying of ISBNs in smaller quantities from other sources. Yes, there are discounts for buying more than ten ISBNs at a time, but that is only cost-effective for publishers that expect to publish lots of books.

I Qualmishly Horripilate - (Gold) I found the Portuguese 1910 flag parody at http://www.fotw.net/flags/pt!10con.html Maybe the owners of that website built the flag design using some Mac software, since it is credited as a 1998 depiction of the 1910 design rather than a scan of a 1910 illustration. ## Here is the error message that I got. Is there any typo in this? "Your search - http://www.nyx.net/~bgold/deprof.html - did not match any documents."

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There has been a lot of commentary in APA-LASFS this past week on the article "Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place" in the New York Times on October 20, about the proposal that Japanese women walking alone, fearing that they are about to be attacked by molesters, should quickly disguise themselves as Coca-Cola vending machines. The proposer, Aya Tsuioka, is selling skirts that can be converted into the vending machine disguises for the equivalent of $800 each. She has sold twenty so far. "For children, she has a backpack that transforms into a Japanese-style fire hydrant, hiding the child." Naruto fans would consider this very practical. I think that this should be documented in Apa L as well.

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