Archive for the ‘Pop culture’ Category

Ambling though television

April 11, 2015

(Mostly about American tv shows and movies, and actors in them, rather than language. An adventure in pop culture.)

My posting “The hotel con” ended with the tv show Hotel, with Connie Sellecca as one of its three principal players. She leads us to The Greatest American Hero, whose three principal players were William Katt, Robert Culp, and Sellecca. Katt leads us to the Perry Mason series, whose two principal players were Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. Culp leads us to I Spy, whose two principal players were Bill Cosby and Culp. And Burr takes us on to Ironside (and homosexuality in Hollywood). Other tv shows and some movies appear on this tour (which focuses on tv shows I’ve especially enjoyed), as do other reliable and interesting actors.

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Movies and tv: Troy McClure, Troy Donahue, Robert Conrad

April 1, 2015

(Minimal linguistic content — but some homoerotic shirtlessness, if that’s your thing)

Two comments on my Doug McClure posting: from Chuk Craig (“I always liked his cousin Troy”) and Christopher Walker (on whipping scenes: #3 in my posting is a whipping scene from The King’s Pirate). So the whipping theme led of course to Robert Conrad in The Wild Wild West and his scenes of shirtless bondage.

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Two more morning names

February 11, 2015

Morning names from recent days: drugs and food.

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Three morning names

February 3, 2015

I occasionally post about my “morning names” — names that I wake up with stuck in my head, for no reason I can fathom. Today’s morning name was Jensen Ackles, an actor I’ve already written about on this blog (on 8/21/13). But: on Saturday, the social psychologist Bibb Latané; on Sunday, the actor Pat Buttram (noted for cowboy and hayseed roles); and yesterday, the hayseed performer Judy Canova.

The last two will lead me to reflect on farm folk as comic characters, and the last to the 1937 movie Artists and Models, with its mixture of “high” and “low” characters.

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Zippy’s in Kansas anymore

January 28, 2015

In today’s Zippy, our Pinhead takes a road trip to Kansas:

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Hutchinson, Goodland, Cawker City, Lawrence, Wichita.

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What would you do?

January 25, 2015

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

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Without a piece of cultural background, this is just a silly story about a polar bear opening a bar in the Klondike. If you have that background, it’s a bit of language play turning on the ambiguity of Klondike bar.

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Shark!

January 24, 2015

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes features the dreaded snow shark:

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It all started with Steven Spielberg’s 1975 movie Jaws, with its threatening fins moving through the water and its ominous music. In the cartoon, the fins are moving through the snow, advancing on the hapless snowman.

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More theme music

January 22, 2015

In comments on my posting about classical compositions — Liszt, Rossini, Prokofiev — used as theme music in radio and television, two further cases: the titan Wagner and the little-known von Reznicek.

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Theme music

January 21, 2015

(Classical music and popular culture, not much on language.)

A few days ago, WQXR played Liszt’s Les préludes, and I was taken back to the Saturday morning television of my childhood: the serial Flash Gordon, for which a section of Liszt’s work served as the theme music. I then recollected other pieces of classical music that have provided theme music for radio and television shows: notably, Rossini’s William Tell overture (The Lone Ranger) and Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges (The FBI in Peace and War).

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Norms

January 15, 2015

In the news from L.A. today:

Yesterday, the LA Conservancy posted an alert on their website that a demolition permit had been approved for the iconic, Googie-style Norms restaurant on La Cienega at Rosewood Avenue. The Norms chain sold late last year. The eye-catching 1957 building was designed by Googie gods Louis Armet and Eldon Davis, and is both a textbook example of the endangered and whimsical Googie style — the Jetsony look emblematic of Southern California in the Jet Age — and the quintessential California coffeeshop. (link)

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