Observation for Now

Ours is the only country deliberately founded upon a good

--John Gunther

Coming in October

Coming in October

Monday, September 01, 2014

Memory Lane: STARLOG #11 - Jan 1978 - Salkind on Superman: The Movie


January 1978 was also a great month to get married!
My college roommate had this poster on his closet door.

Read the bottom ad on this last page.  Wasn't another name for Heaven, for most of us?  "STAR TREK Galore"!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Re-Post: MA-52 - Adventures of Superman - original MUTEL catalog recordings

I recently heard from a new friend asking about this release.  Previous posts of this release were victims of the Great Server Swap, so here it is again.

When I wrote to Vintage Soundtrak for information about their MUTEL music, I received a mimeographed list, several pages long, listing the various cassettes for sale.  That’s all I remember! I think the tapes were something like $20 each.

I originally learned about Vintage Soundtrak in a STARLOG article.  I’m not sure which issue, though.  Just this past week, I went page-by-page through STARLOG  issues 4-5, 7, 10-14, 17-21, 25-7, 29, 31, 33,  35-6, 38-9, 41-2, 51, 57, 61, 63-65, 67, 69, 71-224.  And I didn’t find it!

I sent money orders for two tapes.  I’m pretty sure they were at different times.  First I sent off for Season One, Volume Two, because I liked the selection titles.  When I popped that tape into my player and I got smacked in the face with “Mysterioso,” I was agog!  I love this kind of creepy, atmospheric stuff.

Remember, this was in the early 1980s, and the TV series, when shown, usually didn’t feature the B&W episodes.  Oftentimes the sillier color episodes were what you came across on the small screen.

Next, I ordered Season One, Volume One.  They sent me Season Two, Volume Two, with an apology that they were out of what I ordered but hoped the replacement was sufficient.  It was!

This is what the cassettes look like.

Now, the “catalog” they originally sent me had selection titles and brief one or two paragraph notations.  I’m happy I kept that catalog, because the cassettes arrived with no labeling except the stickers on the tapes themselves.

I made my own cassette-case inserts using info from the original mimeoed catalog.

Also this past week, I went through my “memory files” and folders of articles and clippings and other stuff, but did not find the catalog sheets from Vintage Soundtrak.  So, unless somebody else has better preservation skills, we may never know more about this firm, which evidently in the 1980s had possession of, or access to, the MUTEL discs.

And, as I mention in the notes for this release, at least one collector (who knows more about this stuff than I do), feels that these cassette-to-mp3 dubs have better sound quality than the Varese-Sarabande 2000 CD release.

So, here is my track list:

01. Mysterioso (2:13)
02. Wax Museum (1:32)
03. Build to Sting (0:18)
04. Frantic Rhythm (1:53)
05. Violin Scream (1:19)
06. The Getaway (0:57)
07. Fight (3:13)
08. Jump the Fence! (1:19)
09. Queasy (1:34)
10. Deserted Village (1:33)
11. Rip Through Fear (1:03)
12. Face at the Window (1:44)
13. Eerie Oboe (1:22)
14. Flute to Finale (0:53)
15. Night of Terror (2:29)
16. Sad Romance (1:20)
17. Monkey Mystery (1:18)
18. Airport (0:37)
19. Slow Carousel (0:46)
20. Radio Waltz (1:43)
21. Tango (2:09)
22. Silsby Pastorale (1:43)
23. Life and Death (2:28)
24. Romantic Interlude (1:54)
25. Blue Melody (1:41)
26. World of Tomorrow (3:10)
27. Menace (1:34)
28. City Desk (1:21)
29. Sword of Damocles (2:56)
30. Cat Burglar (1:28)
31. Atlantic Rollers (2:09)
32. Solemn Moment (1:31)
33. Sea Power (1:35)
34. Scotland Yard (2:59)
35. Prelude to Crime (0:24)
36. Crime Doesn't Pay (2:47)
37. Changing Moods I (3:01)
38. Changing Moods II (2:48)
39. Humorous In & Out (0:34)
40. Chameleon Moods (2:40)
41. Free for All (1:35)
42. Hope Abandoned (2:47)
43. Arctic Wastes (2:25)

So, combine this with MA-55 - Adventures of Superman - More Library Recordings from last September, and you will have everything I’ve got, as far as music goes, from the Adventures of Superman series.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Memory Lane: STARLOG #5 - May 1975

While on a quest to find a *particular* item in STARLOG that I *was sure* was there *somewhere*, I pulled out my entire stack from the attic and went through about a hundred of them suckers, page by page.

I didn't find what I was looking for (more on that this Thursday), but along the way I took notes of nifty things to share with you guys.

The above image was a full-page (black-and-white) ad, on the inside front cover of the issue.  I remember noting the "Del Rey" logo as something new on paperback covers.

BTW, I did own every book listed from the middle of the page (Shannara) on downwards.  Even while I was reading Shannara, it seemed like a formulaic check-the-box Tolkien imitation.

See, I'm not the only one to fill space with puzzle pages! (I'm referring to SoonerCon Program Books of the past.)  You should be grateful that nothing is already filled in for you.  Don't you love a challenge?

See you Thursday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

MA-13 - Splitting Mad: More Nuclear Numbers

Here's an early number in my ongoing anthology of pop music that treats with nuclear power or conflict, inspired by the soundtrack album from The Atomic Cafe.

1     Fireball Boogie         Camille Howard               1948
2    Sh-Boom   The Chords               1953
3    Watch World War Three (on Pay TV)         Crown City Four              1960
4    The Sun Is Burning    Simon & Garfunkel                1964
5    I Come And Stand At Every Door  The Byrds               1966
6 Atomic Bombs Away Blues Creation 1971
7 Nuclear Blues Blood Sweat & Tears 1980
8 Your Attention Please Scars 1981
9 After the Rain   Comsat Angels 1982
10 99 Red Balloons Nena 1983
11 Party at Ground Zero Fishbone 1985
12 Protect And Survive The Dubliners 1987
13 Everyday Is Like Sunday Morrissey 1988
14 I Like Chinese Monty Python 1989
15 April 2031 Warrant 1992
16 Nuclear Supremacy Dayglo Abortions 1995
17 Jesus Hits Like an Atomic Bomb Chanticleer 2004
18 Bring Back the Bomb GWAR 2004
19 Brighter Than A Thousand Suns  Iron Maiden 2006
20 The Iranian Bomb Tal Gilad 2011

Concerning Track Two, "Sh-Boom," most folks don't know its thermonuclear origins.As the story goes, a group of guys were sitting in a car listening to the radio when a news bulletin announced the USSR's first successful H-bomb test.  While talking about this super-bomb, idle talk turned to what kind of sound such a detonation might make.  "Sh-Boom" (the sound) was their eventual answer, and soon this phrase became the the core of a song about the impact of sudden love, not a sudden H-bomb attack!

The song was first recorded on Atlantic Records' subsidiary label Cat Records by The Chords on March 15, 1954 and would be their only hit song. "Sh-Boom" reached #2 on the Billboard R&B charts and peaked at #9 on the pop charts.  It is sometimes considered to be the first doo-wop or rock 'n' roll record to reach the top ten on the pop charts (as opposed to the R&B charts). This version was ranked #215 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is the group's only song on the list.

Now you too can go Sh-Boom!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Notes on Conspiracies

One of the discussion panels at SoonerCon 23 was a suggestion of mine,

None Dare Recall It, Conspiracy! -- In the mid-twentieth century, the conspiracy du jour was how the Communists were behind the fluoridization of drinking water.  Nowadays it’s Greys and their reproductive kidnappings.  What does the prevalence of conspiracy ideas say about society in general?  Why do we always need someone else to blame?

Here are the notes I made up for the discussion.  

Conspiracy  Panel  notes

          From Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson:  “… I found that they had one belief in common: that a tiny elite rules the world from inside a secret room” (pp 7-8)

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
-- John Harrington  -- also true for “conspiracy”

·        Conspiracy theories appeal to people who fear a loss of control over their own lives – in fact, one of the formal symptoms of clinical paranoia is a systematic organization of the paranoiac’s beliefs, an overarching structure
·        Conversely, the mockery of the “conspiracy mindset” enables actual conspiracies to flourish by making them “incredible”
·        It’s easier to mock conspiracy claims than investigate them
·        Knowing “the truth” makes you feel more important
·        Conspiracies have in fact taken place, from Caesar and Lincoln to the American Revolution

1900s and before

  • He didn’t die
  • The present church is a hijacking of His principles
  • His great-grandkids are kicking around

  • The Jews are running everything – the Blood Libel, etc
  • Protocols published in 1903
  •  The Illuminati are behind everything, because they run everything
  • Or maybe it’s the Freemasons
  • The Catholic Church wants to run the world
  • 1810-1850 The Underground Railroad conveying slaves to freedom in the USA
  •  Jack the Ripper – lone slasher or Freemason preserver of the British monarchy?

·        1934-1940:  Stalin’s Great Purge: 700,000 “enemies of the party” killed
·        1944: failed Hitler assassination

Red Scare -- “In 1950, fewer than 50,000 Americans out of a total US population of 150 million were members of the Communist Party. Yet in the late 1940s and early 1950s, American fears of internal communist subversion reached a nearly hysterical pitch.”  Reasons:  unite against a “common enemy” – consolidate power – victimize political enemies
  • Fear of communist mind control e.g. Manchurian Candidate
  • Theory that fluoridation of water was due to communists who were going to use it to “control” consumers
  • Commies in the entertainment media might use indoctrination techniques in their products on unsuspecting consumers

HOWEVER, release of records once classified have proven that many of McCarthy’s positions, e.g. Communists were attempting to infiltrate various USA military and other interests, WERE ACCURATE.  http://www.wnd.com/2000/02/4020/

MKUltra -- 1950-1973 -- “Project MKUltra — sometimes referred to as the CIA's mind control program — is the code name of a U.S. government human research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans.”
  • Use of hypnosis
  • Use of LSD & other drugs
  • Attempts to use electronic influences
  • The Shining by Stephen King was probably inspired by this once-secret program

Project Mongoose – 1961 – illegal CIA plans to assassinate Castro

UFOS -- The governments “know the truth” about UFOs but are keeping secrets
  • To protect us
  • For their own technological reasons (back-engineering)
  • To keep the population in line -- “sheep” theory – you can’t handle the truth!
Major UFO theories…
  • MIB
  • Hollow Earth
  • Reproductive abductions
  • Ancient astronauts
  • Time travelers
  • They’re Satanic
  • Ultraterrestrials / the Faerie Folk
  • Cover story for government activities (via SFX, hypnosis, etc)

  • n  JFK … FROM Thomas Buchanan’s Who Killed Kennedy? (Putnam, 1964), p 77:
  • Citizens of the United States, observing that investigators have produced at least four reinterpretations of the way the shots were fired -- each one irreconcilable with all the others -- and that they have nonetheless deduced from this divergent evidence the same, unvarying conclusion, may be pardoned if they start to wonder whether the machinery of the investigation does not have some built-in flaw that presupposes it in one direction.
  • If, as a statistician, I were solving problems with the aid of a machine and I discovered that, however the components of my problem altered, the machine would always give me the same answer, I should be inclined to think that the machine was broken.
  • Paul is dead – miss him, miss him, miss him!
  • RFK … too many shots for Sirhan’s gun; Sirhan’s evidence of programming; RFK shot from much closer distance than Sirhan ever reached, etc
  • MLK – how did Ray get overseas anyway; not enough room to fire rifle in bathroom of rooming house
  • The Philadelphia Experiment, supposedly 1943
  • The conspiracy-theory label was popularized as a pejorative term by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a propaganda program initiated in 1967. The program was directed at criticisms of the Warren Commission.  The term “conspiracy theory” is evidence of a conspiracy!
  • Moon landing hoax – or, Transformers! – or Apollo 18
  • 1995 Murrah Building: Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier
  • Cattle mutilations are secret government experiments testing things like the spread of BSE (you know what that is, right?)
  • Vaccinations (they will give your kids DISEASES PEOPLE *foam at mouth*) – They cause autism!
  •  One-world (UN troops – concentration camps – etc) – New World Order, Black Helicopters
  • Big Business -- e.g. cars that run on water -- “The secrets THEY don’t want you to know!”
  • Princess Diana was murdered by the Royals so she wouldn’t marry a *GASP* Muslim
  • 9/11 (a power play by Bush)
  • Bush stole the presidency
  •  AIDS as a racial weapon
  • HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) -- Some theorists believe that it is being used as a weather-controlling device that can trigger catastrophic events, such as floods, hurricanes, etc. Others believe that the government uses HAARP to send mind-controlling radio waves to humans.
  • Electronic Banking is a tool of the Antichrist (mark in hand and forehead etc)
  • Chemtrails are chemicals deliberately diffused to control the population
  • Merchandise bar codes / Computers / cell phones / cable TV / HD televisions ARE WATCHING US – and don’t forget about RFID chips!
  • The NSA
  • The Matrix

As long as there are people who disagree on the backgrounds or origin of just about any occurrence, the idea of a conspiracy having caused it may arise.
If you think that the end justifies any means, then being part of a conspiracy is a valid tool in your quest to advance your goals.

          FINAL OBSERVATION:  From Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson:  “…Nobody rules the world anymore.  The markets rule the world.  Maybe that’s why your conspiracy theorists make up all those crazy things.   Because the truth is so much more frightening.  Nobody controls the world.  Nobody controls anything.”

Just because conspiracies have existed in the past doesn't mean that any particular event is related to a conspiracy.  Conversely, some conspiracies are undeniable by their evidence, as in the participation by members of the military and government branches in the murders of RFK, JFK, amd MLK.

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