Thursday, May 26, 2005

Birthday, part one

My birthday is actually not until tomorrow, but Wednesday was the day the folks at my work observed it. So let's back up to Tuesday. Surely, you all saw the picture of Phil Spector, who showed up in court Monday wearing an absurd afro and high-heeled platform boots:

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I cut that photo out and hung it up outside my cubicle Tuesday. When I came in to work Wednesday morning, my cubicle was decorated with balloons and stuff, and several photocopies of the Phil Spector photo. One coworker even decorated a Phil Spector balloon:

Phil Balloon

Note the platform boots. Actually, quite a good charicature. I like the way the little line of a mouth captures Phil's expression. For lunch, they took me out to Classic Thai. I always ask to go for thai on my birthday, because it's one of my favorite foods, but my wife doesn't like it much. Last year we went to Saladang in Pasadena. Classic Thai doesn't have as extensive a menu as Saladang, nor as enticing decor, nor as hot waitresses, but it's local, and it has an outdoor patio. I had the Beef Salad, the only thing on the menu with the word "spicy" next to it. It was, perhaps, a little too spicy.

Beef Salad (note the preponderance of ground chili)

Next time I go there--and I'm definitely resolved to start going more often (this is only my second time, and the first was so long ago I can barely remember it)--I'm going to get the papaya salad. Had a few bites, and O, so good!

Papaya Salad

For dessert, got some fried bananas, which were delicious--actually better than the fancier (covered in coconut, soaked in rum, and set on fire at the table) version at Saladang. There was also a great cake, bananas under a layer of custard and a dollop of whip cream, with crust made out of coconut.

The rest of my birthday celebration will be a low-key enjoyment of little pleasures, which is how I like it. I'm taking the day off, sleeping in, having half-and-half in my coffee, a few bong hits, finish that Travis McGee novel, a shopping spree at Amoeba, hit Brand Books for their Memorial Day sale, finish up with a blender full of fresh fruit, crushed ice and rum and a cool movie. Next week is the pyjama party.

[Edit: images linked until I can figure out how to shrink them down to a reasonable size.]

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thurl Ravenscroft and the SLA

Thurl Ravenscroft, supreme Basso Profundo vocalist, has died. His was the voice that sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," that gave voice to Tony the Tiger, and to many of the attractions at Disneyland/Disneyworld. As good an opportunity to link to this awesome mp3 (scroll down to the bottom) of his duets with Roberta Lee on "Wing Ding Ding" and "You Wanna Talk About Texas."

PBS aired a very cool documentary on Patty Hearst last night. It's probably in poor taste to make light of such a tragic episode, but it was really hilarious just how smalltime, incompetent and deluded the SLA were. There's some hilarious footage of some law enforcement representative being asked at a press conference how large the SLA is. "We have no way of knowing," he replies, "but we do know that they are growing larger every day." No doubt the people watching this were freaking out at the idea of an underground army of crazed hippies preparing to launch a violent revolution, when in fact the whole operation consisted of about half a dozen people.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Next Year's TV Season

Now that the schedule for next year is out, my first thought is actually rather surprising: I'm so glad I have an excuse to stop watching Lost. Sorry, I like the show and all, but Veronica Mars trumps it any day. I like Lost on about the same level as 24 and CSI, but it's more like the former than the latter, because you have to be fucking COMMITTED to it to know what's going on. So it seems I'm off the hook.

Secondly, how fucked up is it that the one really promising show, The Unit (written by David Mamet and one of The Shield's writers, starring Dennis Haysbert, Amy Acker and the T-2000) gets shoved to midseason? That is some lame-ass shit.

Further prediction: Fathom will be next year's Lost. I have no interest in the Nightstalker reimagining. And I'm really annoyed in general by the lineup next year. I was so happy having all my shows grouped together on the same nights, leaving other nights open for movie-watching or other pursuits. Moving Arrested Development to Mondays leaves me completely uninterested in Fox's Sunday night lineup, beyond King of the Hill. This annoys me, because Sunday is just such a good night to watch TV, and when you could go from Ebert & Roeper to the Fox sitcoms to the HBO drama, and stay tuned for Adult Swim if you were hardy enough, it was perfect. Word is that when Six Feet Under returns for its final season, it will be moved to Monday too, which just makes no damn sense. Anyway, my shows:

Monday, Arrested Developement at 8, then either stay tuned for Kitchen Confidential just because Xander is in it, or (more likely), over to CBS for How I Met Your Mother, just because Willow is in it. How sad to have to choose between Xander and Willow! Unless one of them turns out to be a good show, but that's really doubtful.

Tuesday, The Gilmore Girls at 8.

Wednesday, Veronica Mars. Despite my comments to the contrary, I really with one of those two shows were moved to 8 instead of 9. Really, I wish VM just stayed on Tuesday, where it belongs, paired with Gilmore Girls (all the great Buffy-esque shows on Buffy night).

Aside from CSI (and POSSIBLY Everybody Hates Chris) on Thursday, there's really nothing else on the networks I'm remotely interested in. There is, of course, Dinner for Five, Daily Show, Bill Maher, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc.

Yeah, I think I'm going to need to get tivo over the summer, to liberate me.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Spike Jones

"I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of Igor Stravinsky conducting his own composition, The Firebird Suite, at the Shrine Auditorium, and Stravinsky was wearing a new pair of patent leather pumps, and every time he would go up to hit a down stroke, the pumps would squeak. So the beats of the orchestra were accompanied by the "ckckckc ckckck" sound, and I could hardly restrain myself from cracking up, and several people around me were also giggling into their hands. Of course, some of the pseudos who had come out just to be seen thought the great Stravinsky had done it again, and invented an entirely new form of percussion, but I thought, if you could plan these kinds of musical mistakes, substituting sound effects for notes and the like, maybe it would get a few laughs. So we made some home recordings and shopped them around, and I have never seen such enthusiastic reaction from the record companies. It seems Decca wanted us to sign with Capitol, and Capitol wanted us to sign with Victor, and Victor finally signed us just to get us out of their office."

From The Spike Jones Story

Cartoons That Time Forgot: The Ub Iwerks Collection, Vol. 2 (DVD)

If you're looking for Balloon Land (aka Pin Cushion Man), the cartoon that The King of Cartoons shows in The Pee Wee Herman Show (the earlier, more risque version of Pee Wee's Playhouse that ran on HBO in the early 80's), it's on this DVD. The DVD is a collection of cartoons that Ub Iwerks did for MGM after parting ways with Disney. When I had read references to Ub Iwerks in the past, I had thought it was the name of an animation studio, or maybe a process like IB Technicolor, but Iwerks was one of the most important figures in Disney animation, credited with having created Mickey Mouse and, in later years, developing many of the technical achievments in Disney's animated features.

The first half of this disc focuses on Flip the Frog, a character every bit as annoying as Mickey, but not as cute. These cartoons are of the "rubber hose" school of Fleischer Studios (and early Disney cartoons). While they don't quite distinguish themselves with any improvement on the Fleischer formula, the cartoons do offer some cool, rubbery visuals: cars walking down the street on four legs, and the like. There's also some risque business here that you could never get away with in cartoons today, including a keyhole view of a naked woman.

The second half, titled "Things That Go Bump in the Night," basically contains all the good stuff. The first of these cartoons, The Cuckoo Murder Case, begins with a cartoon character being SHOT AND KILLED. He doesn't just walk away with a hole in him, he DIES, something I don't think I've ever seen in a cartoon before. There's also a cartoon on here with the title Hell's Fire! This is such culture shock for anyone raised in the era when cartoons were thought of strictly as kids' entertainment (or, for that matter, when "kids' entertainment" didn't mean that any "dark" element had been carefully excised). Hell's Fire has Willie Whopper and his dog falling into a volcano and down to Hell, where Napoleon, Rasputin and Jezebel perform a dance number and the dog gives Cerberus fleas. Another Willie Womper cartoon, Stratos Fear, has him inflated by his dentist's gas, causing him to float into space, where he is abducted by aliens and put through all sorts of nightmarish ordeals. Balloon Land remains the best of these cartoons. Set in a land where all the people are made of balloons, and menaced by a human pincushion, it takes the rubbery aesthetic of Fleischer toons like Betty Boop's May Fair to fantastic extremes, with the bonus of being in candy-coated color (all but 4 of the toons are in black & white).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Godzilla: Final Wars will make it's U.S. debut on my birthday! Unfortunately, it will be in Seattle. But the schedule has been announced (although not on the cinematheque website) for the Japanese Monster Fest at the Egyptian. In addition to Final Wars, one other program intrigues me:

8:00 PM - US Premiere of the Newest Ultraman Film-plus a Live Performance!LIVE ULTRAMAN STAGE SHOW - For decades, Japanese audiences has been entertained by stage performances by stuntmen in authentic Ultraman costumes... now American fans will have a chance to see one of these shows.AndULTRAMAN: THE NEXT (Urutoraman, 2004) Directed by Kazuya Konaka, Special Effects by Yuichi Kikuchi. Japanese with English subtitles (Tsuburaya Productions, 97 min) US PREMIERE!

Oh fuck yes! I will so be there. And either Friday or Saturday, the next week, I'm going to try to get a group together for drinks at Tiki-Ti followed by Final Wars.

Found while googling for "Egyptian" "Godzilla": Godzilla/Yu-Gi-Oh Fan Fiction! Godzilla blamed for the fall of Babylon! Hot-Cha!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Little Dreamer

There's this guitar riff that's been stuck in my head for a few weeks now. I've been having the damnedest time trying to figure out where it came from, but it just hit me. It's the beginning of "Little Dreamer," the wimpiest song from the first Van Halen album, the one wherein David Lee Roth gives us a glimpse into his sensitive soul, and the obnoxious rebel reveals his heart of gold. I haven't listened to that song in ages, and I have no idea how it got into my head, but it's easy to see why I couldn't remember it. I always think of the song as a sappy ballad, which it is, but that guitar riff is an excellent piece of swaggering, nasty funk rock. I could totally see it being used as a cue in a film soundtrack, say as a car screeches to a halt and we see a leather boot belonging to the badass hero or villain emerge. It's actually a shame that it got grafted onto such a dorky song. Although, I'm sure that within a month I'll be posting about how I went back and listened to it, and it's A GODDMANED MASTERPIECE!!! That seems to be the way these things work.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Invisibles, by Bernhardt J. Hurwood

I guess it was about a yearandahalf ago, I did a google search for "Grant Morrisson" "Invisibles," and one of the hits was this journal entry, which...well, go read it, then we'll continue. OK, you're back? And you're probably drooling over the prospect of this perfect-sounding book already, right? So I immediately began hunting the used bookstores for this thing, to no avail, although I did find several copies of a sequel entitled The Mind Masters. TMM is pretty awful (the villain is named Prof. Moriarty), but entertainingly so, and short enough at any rate. I finally found a copy of The Invisibles on eBay, and I just finished reading it. It's...well, it's pretty awful, but way better than the sequel. It's not quite the pulp-ier version of Philip K. Dick or Robert Anton Wilson you might be imagining, but it deals with the same ideas. As actual writing, it's biggest weakness is that it's written as a series of journal entries, memos, and newspaper articles. When Hurwood is writing as his protagonist, Larry Conrad, he's alright, but the voices he comes up with for his absurdly-named female characters (love interest Petra Valentine and femme fatale Felicia Crompton) are laugh-out-loud ridiculous. I won't go into a full, snarky review, because I think that RoBotNik cat did it better than I possibly could, although I will note that his promises of softcore sex scenes are hollow (there's more of them in The Mind Masters, actually). BUT...the day after I finished the book, an envelope showed up in my mail, with this printed on the outside:

1972 - The CIA begins development of a method to train spies to use the extra-sensory ability to see across space and time.

1996 - One Psychic Agent breaks the silence and brings this training method to the public for the spiritual advancement of humanity.

NOW - The time has come for YOU to learn to use this amazing power...

See inside to begin now.


(Even funnier: printed on the back of the envelope is the name of the company: Sounds True.)

Trader Joe's Ultimate Burger

I grilled some burgers last night, and for myself I threw one of those new Trader Joe's Ultimate Burgers on the grill, with a little hot sauce on it. It's stuffed with bleu cheese and bacon. It was OK, but a little too intense. I think I like it better just putting some chunks of blue cheese in the burger.

Tomorrow, I get to vote for Antonio Villaraigosa in the mayoral runoff, something I find myself less and less enthusiastic about. My primary motivation is not really that I think he'd make a great mayor, but that he could be an important player in the Democratic Party if he gets a high-profile job, like Mayor of L.A. He's young, charismatic, and has proven in the past to be committed to progressive politics. But he hasn't really done much since we voted him in as our city councilman, and he's starting to feel like another John Kerry--someone who went from inspiring activist to bland politician, the people that are killing the party. I hope for the best, but I'm so jaded about democrats at this point that it's hard to muster enthusiasm about any of them. I think I've gotten to the point where my hate for George Bush is overshadowed by my hate for John Kerry, for being lame enough to lose to Bush.

So the blog's looking pretty nifty, eh? I decided to put a list of favorite bands/movies/etc. down the side, and link to their websites, but damn, most bands have incredibly weak websites--both the official sites and the fan sites. I mean, look at that Beefheart site, made by a couple of ordinary fans with too much time on their hands. That's how ya do it, son! Why hasn't anyone made an equally informative web page for Spike Jones or Jonathan Richman? I ended up adding Redd Kross and Negativeland to the list, just because they had interesting sites.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

One more Meltzer quote

Here's one last pull quote from the Meltzer book before I have to turn it back in to the library. This one is just funny because it shows how little fandom has changed over the years. It's from "Fan Clubs From Here To Dubuque!," published in Crawdaddy, 1970. It's a funny rundown of contact information for obscure fanclubs for bands like Cyrkle, Spooky Tooth and Bloodwyn Pig, or the "Both Morrisons Fanclub" (for fans of both Van and Jim).

Fran Schtaichz, a true veteran of the fan club "wars" (asst. prez of the
JOHN FRED AND THE PLAYBOYS FAN CLUB and former picnic director of the UNIT
PLUS TWO F.C.), has taken off on her won with a PHIL OCHS/SMALL FACES
CLUB. Fed up with all the "ignorant, illiterate fans" she's had to
with in her various capacities with other clubs, this time she says
will be open to college graduates only.

Jesus, that sounds so much like some shit you'd here on the internet today. "Only college graduates in my Everwood/One Tree Hill LiveJournal Community! I'm sick of dealing with ignorant, illiterate fans!"

Friday, May 13, 2005

This Tuesday

Bobbie Oliver & Sally Mullins
at the
Ice House Annex
Tuesday, May 17th
24 N. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena
Showtime: 8 pm
FREE + 2 Drink Minimum
I'll be filming it, so we need people to come out and laugh.
This is, seriously, two of the funniest women in L.A.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Not About Veronica Mars

I had planned to be writing a lengthy post about how incredible the first season of Veronica Mars has been (or, alternately, how badly the show dropped the ball in the final episode of its first season) today. However, when I got home from filming the graduation show last night, I turned on the tape and was confronted not with the revalation of who killed Lilly Kane, but with the annoying couple from Survivor losing some kind of race.

What's amazing is how consistent this problem has been over the years, and how completely I have failed to get any better at it. I succeed in taping shows maybe 1 out of 3 times. And in fact, the blow was softened a little by the whole situation being so entirely predictable. I knew that when I turned that tape on, I wasn't going to see Veronica Mars.

So this is the final straw. I have made the decision to step into the 21st century, and get some kind of tivo contraption. Even if that means that I can no longer pay my rent, at least I'll be living on the street with tivo.

I did succeed, by the way, in taping Z-Channel: A Magnificent Obsession monday night, which I've been watching bits and pieces of. Really excellent documentary on the indie proto-HBO channel you used to be able to get in L.A. This is worth watching, if for no other reason, for the glimpses of so many films you've never heard of that get you salivating from the eyeholes. Like Madchen in Uniform, which, as far as I can tell, is a 1931 movie featuring a full-on lesbian love story. Or Le Magnifique, a French comedy about a guy writing a spy story and imagining himself into it. At one point, Quentin Tarantino talks about working at the video store, and watching a bunch of out-of-print movies, and finding that they were all taped off Z-Channel, which made me realize that that is most likely where all the obviously bootleg tapes of stuff like Nightmare Alley and Skidoo and The Unknown that I got from Jerry's Video Reruns come from.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Currently Checked Out From The Library

From the Glendale Brand Art Center:

Brand Nubian: In God We Trust
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live at Winterland
The Best of the Runaways
Los Lobos: How Will The Wolf Survive?
Rough Guide to the Music of Jamaica
Rough Guide to Mali & Guinea
Caribbean Voyage - Martinique (1962 Field Recordings)
Ethiopiques Vol. 5
Rhythms of Resistance - Music of Black South Africa
Juke Joint Jump - A Boogie Woogie Celebration
Cowboy Songs, Ballads & Cattle Calls from Texas (Library of Congress Field Recordings)
Slayer: Seasons in the Abyss
The Spike Jones Story (VHS)

From the Los Angeles Library:
Legends of Texas Barbecue by Robb Walsh
The Great Tiki Drink Book by Jennifer Trainer Thompson

When I went to the Eagle Rock branch to pick up my holds, they had a box sitting out there marked "Free Books." I looked through it, and there were some surprisingly interesting books in there. I almost took something called The Raw and The Cooked, just for the curiosity of it: who would have thought that Neneh Cherry named her album after a book on the philosophy of mythologism (or something)? Oh, wait, just looked it up, it was Fine Young Cannibals. Anyway, lots of interesting-looking books, but nothing that I thought I would actually read. But then I found The Moons of Paradise: Reflections on the Breast in Art by Mervyn Levy. I probably won't read it cover-to-cover, but it should be good for a light read.

They only had one of my holds, so I had to go back today, which was fine, because the Friday Farmer's Market is set up right in front of the Library. Got some of the amazing strawberries, some really fresh asparagus, and a big, fresh, Maui onion with the greens intact. This thing was unbelievably fragrant. When I got home, I was just making dinner for myself, so I made some penne with the rosemary sauce from the Hazen book, my first real success with one of her recipes. Damn, this sauce is incredible. It's faux-meat sauce, meant to imitate the taste of pasta tossed with the drippings of a roast, by cooking a crushed bullion cube and some garlic and rosemary in some butter. It makes what is basically butter and pasta taste incredibly rich. I didn't exactly follow the recipe, freestylin' with the onion (because it was so good, I had to use it), but man...I'll be making that again. I should cook with rosemary more often, it's good stuff, and lifted up by garlic, onion and good butter...damn.

Song Fragment: The Advocate

I was having this dream just before I woke up. It was one of those fluid-reality dream, where what's happening changes from second to second, but just before I woke up, I was sitting at a picnic table with a bunch of people from college discussing our friend Doug's drug problem. John Linnel of They Might Be Giants was sitting there, and when it was his turn to speak, he sang the first two lines of this song in perfect TMBG melodicalness. I took it from there. As usual, the lyrics don't mean anything:

At the very least, there should be places to rest
There should be girls on the corner of every street
With documents certifying authenticity
Provided by the FDA

Well if you want my opinion
I think something should be done
About this awful situation
And any others yet to come
If congress will not pass a measure
We can take it to the streets
Thomas Paine would be disgusted
As would William Butler Yeets

At the very least there should be measures in place
To prevent this sort of thing from happening again
There should be regulations placed on the developement
of further additions

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

An Evening With Ralph Bakshi

Friday night, I went to see the Ralph Bakshi program at the Egyptian. I got to see Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic on the big screen, hear the man talk, and get two shorts, a series of Coke commercials he did in the 60's with Peter Max, and the trailer for Wizards (playing the following night). The first short was an early thing from the 60's about an Archie Bunker-type and his hippie son, very good natured and fun. The other one, from 1980, was called "The Cigarette and the Weed" (not weed as in marijuana, it consisted of a conversation between a cigarette butt and a weed growing in an industrial dock area), and that was pretty awesome. It had apparently never been screened before. The Coke commercials were fucking amazing psychedelic pop art freakouts.

Fritz the Cat, as I've said before, is a movie that I think gets no respect. Most people know of it by reputation, but even those who have seen it seem to dismiss it as a novelty: the dirty cartoon. Much like Dazed and Confused, its very subject matter invites dismissal. It is, in fact, a pretty brilliant piece of character observation and social criticism that is, at the same time, a blast to watch (excepting perhaps some overlong slapstick sequences involving the police). It's a story that makes me think of Huck Finn, not only for the sense of youth and adventure, but for the way it plays with the racial issues that are always just under the surface of American life. And seriously, how can you talk shit about a movie whose opening theme song begins with the line "Hey all you fuckin' intellectuals?"

Another problem contributing to the bad rep is the fact that R. Crumb hates the film, and takes any opportunity to say so. He blasts Bakshi's film in the first scene of the documentary Crumb, which is probably the most common place for anyone of the current generation to have heard of it. This is all the more strange, since the film represents one of the most perfect matches of filmmaker to source material imaginable. Bakshi shares so many traits, good and bad, with Crumb, from the depiction of heavy, voluptuous women to a disturbing misogynist streak, that it's difficult to imagine his first film being anything BUT an adaptation of one of Crumb's works. Crumb's Fritz, however, exists only in a few fragments, each a couple pages long, and thus not quite suitable to be transferred to the screen in it's raw form. Bakshi had to expand on the material, and he probably takes the story in directions that Crumb never would have, but he remains true to the character. Thus, there are scenes directly lifted from the comics, but often with better punchlines. Come to think of it, why doesn't anyone ever bring this movie up when they're talking about the great comic book adaptations?

The film is also very dated, but not necessarily in a bad way. It feels extremely specific to a time and place, both in the specificity of cultural references and in the style of the art. Fritz is a movie from the counter culture, about the counter culture, but it makes surprisingly astute observations about hypocrisy and class within the counter culture. Much of the comedy comes from the ironic situation of privileged white kids who want nothing more than the cultural capital of being a marginalized minority. From the girls swooning over the crow in the park, to Fritz finishing a speech about how attuned to the problems of the black community he is by calling the black bartender "boy," race and class are constant themes. In this cartoon world, all black people are crows (and all policemen pigs), but Bakshi finds an extra dimension to that joke that Crumb would never think of. "I wish I was a crow," Fritz tells the old pool hustler in the harlem bar. "If I was a crow, I'd fly away from this shit." The episode ends with a visual depiction of a all-American apocalyptic fantasy: a full-on race war, with the government sending in fighter planes to literally bomb the ghetto ("Aim for the concentrated areas," we hear commanders ordering to the pilots). Fritz doesn't even notice the old man shot through the chest trying to protect him, and seems more concerned with reveling in the glory of his revolutionary status than worrying about the entire neighborhood of black people whose slaughter he has caused.

The most interesting aspect of the film is, of course, the art. Bakshi does some great work in transposing Crumb's art and ideas (many not even from the Fritz strips) to film, adding brilliant sunbursts across the sky, or gorgeous flames engulfing Fritz's dorm room. The most impressive scene is the pot-smoking orgy, with a strange haze moving slowly across the screen that implies clouds of smoke wafting past while setting a stoned rhythm for the scene. When the cops begin banging on the door, one character turns his head toward the sound in slow, overlapping increments that look like LSD trails. I've never seen anything in film that more successfully conveys the feeling of being stoned. There are several great sequences, including the death of the old crow and the scene that introduces the biker bunny, but my favorite a transtition scene with "Bo Diddley" playing on the soundtrack and a crow snapping his fingers. It has nothing to do with the plot, aside from possibly setting a mood as Fritz travels into Harlem, but it's one of the coolest combinations of music and image I've ever seen (Heavy Traffic has a similar sequence using Chuck Berry's "Maybeline").

Heavy Traffic is a much darker film, and much less enjoyable. Bakshi said it was his favorite, and that he had incorporated elements of his own life into the story. Describing it to my wife from vague memory (I'd seen it once, back in high school), I compared it to early Scorsese films like Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, and it does indeed have that 70's, urban grit to it, but it's nowhere near as serious...much more "cartoonish." The sex and violence is pretty extreme, and actually gets tiresome, and there is a misogynist streak a mile wide running through it. It's a repulsive, and pretty offensive, flick. That said, it's a pretty neat film, certainly not like any other animated film I've ever seen.

Bakshi spent alot of time talking shit about Disney. "Disney has everyone, even the animators conned. They've convinced everyone that noone wants to see an animated film unless the animation is absolutely perfect and pristine. They have most animators believing that they can't do it themselves, because you can't make an animated film for less than $20 million. Bullshit, I made Fritz the Cat for $800,000, and it's even easier now with computers to fill in the backgrounds. What matters in animation is originality, energy, the artwork." He claimed that he was starting his own animation studio, with all the animators that Disney fired, and is working on a semi-sequel to Heavy Traffic. And yes, he mentioned something about Wu-Tang Clan wanting to make Coonskin 2. Sounds cool, but I'll believe it when I see it.

I wanted to go back the next night for Wizards and Coonskin (Streetfight), but other plans took precedence. Ah well.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And they announced that the end of June, they will have a Japanese Monster Festival, with Godzilla and Ultraman movies, climaxing with the exclusive L.A. engagement of Godzilla: Final Wars on July 1, 2, and 3!!!!!!! Fuck yeah!