¡Rábanos Radiactivos!

Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2228th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3676, January 24, 2008.
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 #2711


My sister Sherrill took me to last week's LASFS meeting, as usual. Marc Schirmeister brought the new Disney DVD of Disney's silent Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons; we watched "The Mechanical Cow". It was very primitive compared to the Mickey Mouse cartoons that Disney would make barely a year later; many scenes just showed the action on a completely blank background. There was a very tasty chocolate cake, but I never learned what it was celebrating. The meeting was on "program lite" to make room for the program moderated by George Van Wagner on what members would like to see on the LASFS website. This generated considerable debate. I suggested including my updated LASFS and Loscon histories every year, instead of keeping the versions that were added to the website several years ago. Most suggestions sounded good, although several people kept asking throughout the program, "Who's gonna do the work?"

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ASIFA-Hollywood's 35th annual Annie Awards automated, online ballot arrived last week; so there will be no more free DVDs for another year. It took almost 2 ½ hours to vote the whole thing. There are 24 categories, with five nominees in most of them. Each category included a video sampler about a minute long for each nominee, which had to be watched completely before a vote would be registered. This might be more efficient than the old paper ballots that merely assumed that each voter was really familiar with all the nominees, but you had better have over two hours to set aside before you start to vote on it. I waited until after 11:00 p.m. to make sure that I would not be interrupted by nurses.

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Next week: in memoriam - the holiday we can no longer celebrate. But we remember! Dawk!

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

De Jueves #1566 - (Moffatts) According to one website: "Why did Einstein stick out his tongue to the photographer? Albert Einstein and the Aydelottes were just returning from an event which had taken place in honour of Einstein. Einstein was, though already sitting in the car, still bullied by reporters and photographers. They didn't let him be and he is said to have shouted: "That's enough, that's enough!" However, these words didn't hinder the photographers from taking some more pictures of Einstein and his companions. And when he still was asked to pose for a birthday picture he really grew tired of the journalists and the photographers and as encouraging words didn't help any more, he stuck out his tongue to his "prosecutors". The photographer Arthur Sasse pressed the button of his camera in just this moment. Einstein liked the picture very much. He cut it into shape so only he can still be seen. Then he had made several copies of it and sent the thus "manipulated" picture as a greeting card to friends later on." ## I was told that the club in 1940 considered science fiction to be a part of the fantasy field, which is why it chose the broader term, fantasy, for the club's name. ## Gus Arriola was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arts Council of Monterey County at its 2008 Champions of the Arts Gala last weekend (on the 19th). Its website has a current photograph of him and a long interview. According to the Monterey Herald, "Mary Frances Arriola, Gus Arriola's wife, said her husband has been feeling the ill effects of his two-year battle with colon cancer and subsequent chemotherapy, but that he was honored by the award."

I DON'T have a UCALEGON* -- (Gold) Cars is most worthwhile for its idealized picture-postcard landscapes of the Southwest around the 1950s, in my opinion. Nostalgia may have had something to do with its appeal to me; there were a lot of those small towns around Los Angeles then. (Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuca-) Mater, the rusty cornpone towtruck, got very annoying really fast, but Lightning (the protagonist) was so obviously the stereotype of the cocky kid who will Learn Better that I did not mind waiting for the improvement in his personality. ## Disney did not think enough of Valiant's chances of winning any awards to spend money sending DVDs of it "for your consideration" to ASIFA members. (-monga!)

Vanamonde #764 - (Hertz) The photograph of a Gothic Lolita and the accompanying text describing them as "creepy cute" were copied from the Internet. I did not mean to imply that I am the author.

Godzilla Verses #174 -- (DeChancie) All your questions about how Mickey Mouse can have a pet dog, why Pluto is not anthropomorphized when Goofy, also a cartoon dog, is, etc., were anticipated over fifty years ago by Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder in "Mickey Rodent!" in Mad #19. The parody is considered so seminal that a 2002 article by Richard Corliss about Mad on its fiftieth anniversary in Time magazine devoted three whole paragraphs to it:

The full MAD parody-panoply is on display in "Mickey Rodent!", the Kurtzman-Elder Disney demolition that is reprinted in the collection "Mad About the Fifties." Strolling in the foreground of the opening panel is Mickey himself, with a four-day stubble on his face and a snapped mouse trap on his snout; his left arm has a TV screen, smashed in the middle, with "Howdy Dooit" sunrays visible. (That's an inside joke: in a previous issue, parodying "Howdy Doody," Mickey was seen at the edge of the opening panel, grasping and shouting, "That's MY sunray from MY movies behind his head and I wannit back!") Around him a melodrama unfolds: Horace Horszneck is being dragged off to jail "for appearing without his white gloves." The animal chorus behind him clucks, moos and barks their annoyance with "Walt Dizzy's" rule about wearing white gloves at all times... "In this hot weather too!" "And it's so hard to buy those furshlugginer three-fingered kinds!"

At the edges of this frame and throughout the seven pages of "Mickey Rodent!" are snapshots of a world where mice evolved from men. We see a dog in a jacket [Corliss does not recognize Br'er Fox] holding a tiny crouching blond boy on a leash; more naked humans in a pet shops; a circus poster for "Fritz the Boy-faced Dog"; signs reading "Curb Your Mortal!" and "Beware of Human!"; a movie marquee showing the feature "3 Ducks in the Fountain"; more signs, one urging bloodhounds to "become a donor" (actually, "donner" - spelling was never E.C.'s forte), another advising rabbits to take a correspondence course and "learn to subtract"; and a clothing store with a sale on cow slips, horse collars, turtle-neck sweaters, alligator shoes, cats pajamas, monkey suits and dogs pants.

The story worms its way into the Disney logic, then makes a shambles of it. Why does Darnold Duck (Donald) wear a sailor jacket but no pants? Why must Pluted Pup (Pluto) remain mute, when all the other animals speak? (For that matter, why does a mouse have a pet dog?) Then there's Mickey's girlfriend Minny Rodent - a congeries of unsettling contradictions. As Darnold muses: "Somehow ... the idea of a mouse, with lipstick and eyelashes and a dress with high-heeled shoes; a mouse, ten times bigger than the biggest rat ... this idea has always made me sick!"

Another Untitled Zine - (Cantor) Soft drinks today seem to be consolidating behind the scenes into fewer and fewer mega-companies. The Dr. Pepper-Seven Up Bottling Group, Inc. plant at 1166 Arroyo Street, San Fernando, since 2006 owned by Americas Beverages which is a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, is apparently producing all the 7-Up, Diet-Rite, Royal Crown, Dr. Pepper, Big Red, Nesbitt's, Sunkist, A&W and Stewarts root beers, Hawaiian Punch, Welch's Grape Juice, Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink, Snapple and AriZona teas, Squirt, Mott's Apple Juice, and Vernors and Canada Dry ginger ales (among others), not to mention various energy drinks and bottled waters including Perrier, for the local area; there are five more Dr. Pepper-Seven Up bottlers serving the rest of the Greater Los Angeles area. Americas Beverages employs around 18,000 people throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In Canada and the East Coast of the U.S. it produces Orangina under license! Its annual revenues are reported in £ sterling since the parent conglomerate is a British company. I am not bothering to track down all of the brands that are really owned/licensed by the Coca-Cola and the Pepsi-Cola conglomerates (for example, PepsiCo now owns Frito-Lay and Quaker Oats); but to confuse the subject further, in some parts of America where there are no Dr. Pepper-Seven Up bottling facilities, their soft drinks are quietly produced and distributed under licenses with local Coca-Cola or Pepsi bottlers. Presumably none of this violates anti-trust laws. For a full list of beverages, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadbury_Schweppes_Americas_Beverages

Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) I am glad that Kevin had a good time at Animé L.A. 4. From the reviews of it, including the report at the LASFS that someone who goes to a half-dozen anime conventions a year said that Animé L.A. is the most enjoyable of them, and the two dozen or more video clips from it posted on YouTube so far (could they be used for publicity for next year's con?) including those of squealing fangirls asking voice actor Vic Mignogna to autograph their faces and necks, we have a winner that the LASFS can be proud of, even if most of the attendees do not recognize the LASFS' behind-the-scenes organization. ## But Rémy is not a Talking rat! He does not talk to a human once during Ratatouille. The rats all talk with each other in what is presumably normal rat language. Since they live in Paris, it is hard to imagine them as escapees of the American NIMH, although intelligent rats that escaped from NIMH 35 years ago would be able to have bred and expanded throughout the world by now. You remind me that while the rats in the original novel of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH pointedly did not bother to wear clothes, stand upright, use furniture, or adopt any human mannerisms that they did not consider advantageous to them, those in the movie had made themselves into imitation medieval humans including standing up, learning sword fighting, and magic. The rats in Ratatouille seem to be midway between the two.

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