¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
... es no. 2224

Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2224th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3672, December 27,2007.
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 #2707


Last Tuesday, I got another DVD from Sony Pictures - well, I guess it wasn't really "another" since the one the day before, the commercial DVD of Surf's Up, was from Sony Pictures Animation (which produced it); and this was of Persepolis from Sony Pictures Classics (with a cover letter listing the four awards it is nominated for) which is only distributing it in the U.S. It was in a strange plain DVD holder with a separate music CD, which puzzled me for a minute until I realized that Persepolis has not been released on DVD yet. In fact, it was only released theatrically on December 25, although it has been shown at international film festivals earlier and it had limited screenings in two American cities during October to qualify it for the Oscars, the Annies, the Golden Globes and other 2007 film awards. It was made in France by Marjane Satrapi (and Vincent Paronnaud) and is her animated cartoon autobiography of growing up in Iran under the Islamic Revolution, escaping to Western Europe as a teenager, being unable to adjust to the culture shock and returning to Iran, then as an adult re-fleeing to France and gender equality (and the freedom to make this feature). The 95-minute feature will still have a limited art-theater release, only in Los Angeles and NYC rather than a "real" 4,000-theaters-across-America one, so I am glad to get the advance DVD to see it. Now, will I get DVDs of the remaining two Annie nominees for Best Theatrical Feature, Bee Movie and The Simpsons Movie? (The commercial DVD of Bee Movie has not been released yet.)

Last Thursday, my sister Sherrill brought me to the LASFS meeting as usual. It had rained during the day but had stopped just before she picked me up at the hospital; the roof and trees were still dripping water. Lex Nakashima brought me the latest De Cape et de Crocs album, Le maître d'armes. (He bulk-orders the copies for all the L.A.-area fans that collect the series, to save on shipping costs.) Christian McGuire said that if he has anything to say about it (and he does), next year's Loscon will be XXXV rather than 35, in keeping with the Roman theme. Tadao Tomomatsu spoke what passed as harsh criticism to the club over what it has come to expect from the Vice President, as shown by the previous week's difficulty to find a nominee short of a quintumvirate in which none of the members bore any responsibility. He claimed (if I understood correctly) that the description in the By-laws of the V-P's duties and limitations make it technically impossible for the V-P to do what the membership has come to expect from that officer. Elayne Pelz & others said that the By-laws were currently being revised for presentation to the membership for amendment, to take care of the legalistic problem.

Last Saturday, Sherry brought me to her apartment. I expected to watch Surf's Up and Persepolis (or at least one of them) for Annie Award consideration, on her TV. But I had just been told that The First Post, a British Internet daily magazine, posted in its December 23rd issue an Online Animation Festival 2007 that includes "the best animated ads of 2007", and among their Top Ten was the anthropomorphic Orangina Naturally Juicy TV commercial. When I went to check it out, I found that The First Post's animation festival had over a hundred complete animated short films including all ten top animated TV commercials, plus animated caricatures of World Leaders (George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strangling each other while Vladimir Putin eggs them on and Angela Merkel tries to get everyone to sing 'Silent Night'). I got so engrossed in watching them all on my computer (a couple ought to be in the LASFS Library, notably the 1¾-minute Burning Safari made by students at the Gobelins l'Ecole de l'Image, Paris in 2006) that I never got to the TV and my DVDs. (I did listen to the Persepolis music CD, though. I will not vote for it for anything.)

Christmas Tuesday was a good day. Sherry came to the hospital to pick me up. The business office had mail that they had not delivered to me the previous day; besides some last-minute Xmas cards, DreamWorks Animation sent the DVD of Shrek the Third. "We hope you'll enjoy 'Shrek the Third' this holiday season with your friends and family." They're finally acknowledging that recipients are going to let others beside themselves watch the DVD, no matter what threats their legal departments make. "If you want to destroy the screener after viewing, please securely destroy it so your copy does not fall into the wrong hands." Who getting the Shrek the Third DVD is going to destroy it after one viewing? And who are "the wrong hands"? I would rather have Shrek the Third than Bee Movie or The Simpsons Movie, even if Shrek did not make the awards finals this year, so this was a Christmas present that I really appreciated.

We got to Freehafer Hall for the annual Winter Holiday Party (even if the calendar of events on the LASFS website did not list it) as it was starting. There was a good assortment of party nibblements, but no "real food". CLJII showed the Laurel & Hardy Babes in Toyland plus several late 1930s-early '40s MGM seasonal cartoons ending with Peace On Earth. At that point it was after 5:00 and time for dinner, so Sherry & I left for dinner at her apartment. Afterwards we watched one of the DVDs for awards consideration that I had not gotten to on Sunday, Surf's Up. I must say that it was much better than I had expected. Even though I have no interest in surfing movies, or animated parodies of them, Surf's Up held my attention throughout. The animation was excellent in terms of giving realistic subtle human body language to cartoon penguins. I still intend to vote for Ratatouille, but instead of it being a runaway winner it has close competition now from Surf's Up.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) Gorba-chevre cheese? That's as bad as the announcement of the new French mini-automobile, the Hatchback of Notre-Dame (joke swiped from the 21st Century Fox comic strip).

De Jueves #1562 - (Moffatts) Possibly the clearest evidence of the diversity of designing flags is in the Wikipedia entry on the Canadian flag debate of 1964, which some of us (including you) may personally remember in the news. Before 1964, Canada did not officially have a national flag other than the British flag. It had unofficially used the British red ensign with the Canadian badge for decades, which most Canadians were happy with, but some Canadians felt that the country needed an official flag, and in 1964 they got a special committee of Parliament to announce a national contest for a flag design. According to Wikipedia, 3,541 designs were submitted. Of those, 2,136 contained maple leaves, 408 contained Union Jacks, 389 contained beavers, and 359 contained Fleurs-de-lys. Unfortunately, there is no published statistic of how many of the designs submitted for the Australian flag contained kangaroos. Wales seems to have two flags, the official red dragon on a field of white over green, and the "more religious" gold cross on a black field of St. David, which reportedly is more popular with Welsh churches that do not want to fly a pagan mythological symbol. ## Hmmmm, an interesting distinction. Instead of trying to determine whether spelling Forrest J Ackerman's name without a period after the middle initial was ever really an official LASFS tradition, it might be easier to just bring up the matter for a current affirmation or dismissal. The LASFS officially changed its colors from green and brown to black and gold several decades ago, so we do not have to stick with the periodless-J if we do not want to. But we should determine whether it is official or not; and if it is official, we should not ignore it. ## By serendipity, you saw an octopus woman last week, and you can see lots of them with their tentacles waving in the Naturally Juicy TV ad. Since the TV commercial is for French (and Québécois) TV, I assume the pun of juicy/pulpeuse octopus/poulpe was irresistible. I wonder whether the adv't would have had octopus women otherwise.

Vanamonde #760 - (Hertz) Heinlein may have been competing for readers' beer money from 1960 on, when most of his new books were definitely for adult readers, but before 1960 most of his sales in magazine and book form was theoretically to juveniles and adolescents. I suppose college students may have had to choose between books, cigarettes, and beer. ## Yes, Republic Pictures' Macbeth starring Orson Welles came out in 1948.

Godzilla Verses #170 -- (DeChancie) Usually Los Angeles' bright night sky is criticized for making star watching all but impossible. If it will help to bring you back here, hooray! ## The story is apocryphal, but supposedly someone overheard a fan at a convention criticizing furry fans as being weird freaks. It was an anime convention, and the critic was a 30- or 40-year-old balding hairy-legged man dressed in a Sailor Moon costume.

Fish Out of Water #254 - (Helgesen) According to Wikipedia, "Edward [VII] was rarely interested in politics, although his views on some issues were notably liberal for the time, e.g. during his reign he said use of the word "nigger" was "disgraceful" despite it then being in common parlance." "Ten Little Niggers" would have been out of style (at least for anything as public as a book title) in America in 1939 when Christie's novel was published in England. In fact, according again to Wikipedia, the song was originally written for a minstrel show in the 1860s as "Ten Little Injuns"; it never used the word "nigger" in the American version. I am not sure that I believe that. If true, it would be interesting to know when & where it became popularly known instead as "ten little niggers" in Britain.

I Zombify Quadlings - (Gold) I would have said that it was impossible to combine the Welsh flag of St. David (black & gold) with the red, white & blue crosses of the Union Jack (St. George, St. Peter, and St. Andrew), but Wikipedia shows that it has been done. ## A more pertinent place for the corrected LASFS and Loscon histories would seem to be the LASFS' own website. It does have my LASFS history but updated only to 2004 (some details have been added or corrected since then, such as when the LASFS really began to meet on every Thursday - July 1942, according to club records discovered by Bob Null). The Loscon history has similarly not been completely updated in the last two or three years, and there are small differences between the website and the history as I have it. Was the theme of Loscon 31 "Escape to LA" or "Escape To LA", with the "to" emphasized? Was this year's theme "The Dig" or "The Dig: Excavating the Worlds of Science Fiction"? The Evans-Freehafer Award for "2005" needs clarification; was it a special, one-time award called the Evans-Freehafer-Mason Award given posthumously to Michael Mason in addition to the regular presentation to Bill Ellern, or was it the 2004 regular Award to Christian McGuire extended retroactively to both McGuire and Michael Mason? I think it would be better to have my histories with the latest changes and updates added to the LASFS website each year than posted on my own website; although there is nothing wrong with having them on both places. ## Thank you very much for the recommendation of www.french-linguistics.co.uk/dictionary. I have bookmarked it so I will not have to remember the URL each time that I want to use it. ## Australians (or Aussie fans, anyhow) vary between hilarity and disgust when asked about such boy-and-his-kangaroo TV programs as Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, which they say are made primarily for export because Australians know too much about kangaroos to ever believe in one trained to respond like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin. Kangaroos can be trained to wear boxing gloves on their paws, but they would not know what to do with them. Kangaroos fight with their feet while balancing on their tails, not with their paws.

Happy Holy Daze - (Cantor) Is Don Martin's "Visit to the Chiropractor" in the two-volume boxed MAD's Greatest Artists: The Completely MAD Don Martin? That has all of Martin's cartoons from MAD magazine (over 1,000 pages), but it does not have his cartoons from his original "MAD's Greatest Artist: Don Martin" paperbacks of the 1960s & '70s (including the "National Gorilla Suit Day" story), despite the book's blurbs and reviews that say they contain "every single piece of art that 'MAD's Maddest Artist' created from 1957 to 1987".

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More filler: here are images from Persepolis, Burning Safari, and The First Post's Online Animation Festival 2007's contents.

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