Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Girls in cages

In her cage she danced for him 
although a hundred eyes were turned her way
And before the set was through he knew
She would be his loved one

Only a go-go girl in love with someone who didn't care
Only twenty-one, she was a young girl just in from somewhere 

Only a go-go girl in love with someone who didn't care
A go-go girl in love.

Gordon Lightfoot

The lost cartoon

Over the Hills

The old hound wags his shaggy tail,
And I know what he would say:
It’s over the hills we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills, and away.

There’s nought for us here save to count the clock,
And hang the head all day:
But over the hills we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

Here among men we’re like the deer
That yonder is our prey:
So, over the hills we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

The hypocrite is master here,
But he’s the cock of clay:
So, over the hills we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

The women, they shall sigh and smile,
And madden whom they may:
It’s over the hills we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

Let silly lads in couples run
To pleasure, a wicked fay:
’Tis ours on the heather to bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

The torrent glints under the rowan red,
And shakes the bracken spray:
What joy on the heather to bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

The sun bursts broad, and the heathery bed
Is purple, and orange, and gray:
Away, and away, we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

George Meredith

Blogger's lament. This is my second attempt at this post. Why? Why, you ask. In attempting to post a superb video about a Scottish deerhound leaping and bounding around, which would have perfectly illustrated the above poem, I deleted some sort of code - the wrong one, apparently - and the entire post disappeared.

There is no recycle bin for this thing, so deleted is deleted. The police won't look for it, so no one will find it.

So I will try to reconstruct it from memory.

The video of the sheep jumping crazily around filled me with such joy that it awakened a memory of something we used to sing in school. The piece was a tweedy, ruddy English thing, an adaptation of the George Meredith poem which the school choir sang in the Kiwanis Music Festival: "It's over the hills we'll bound, old hound,/Over the hills and away!". It was a common enough choral number then, and I expected to find a nice YouTube video of it somewhere. But I couldn't find any trace of it, on YouTube or anywhere else. Led Zeppelin recorded something called Over the Hills and Far Away, but I knew that wasn't it.

The poem is good enough to stand alone - I guess -  but when I can't find something. . . What annoys me is that it's harder than ever to find things on Google or YouTube or anywhere else, due to sheer volume and congestion. Every day millions more entries are added. This harms, rather than helps your search because of all the CRAP in the way.

This reminded me of something else I tried to track down the other day, and couldn't.

I even remember making gifs of it (and please forgive me for not using GIFS - capital letter always seem to scream at me), but I can't find them anywhere. This is odd, because I always save the gifs I make - I have thousands of them by now. It was an old cartoon - I assumed Disney, because it was one of those sylvan things where nymphlike creatures frolic around, wearing practically nothing. You know what I mean - they're dancing and capering around in a village with thatched roofs, etc., while a man sings in a very high voice.

But that's not the part I wanted.

At a certain point in this pastoral scene, a bunch of the cherubs or whatever-they-are were pulling on a massive bolt which held a huge sort of gate together. They tugged and tugged on it, and when it finally came loose an explosion of water burst out, causing a massive river to tumble and cascade down the dry rocks and hills. It was extremely erotic, and I remember playing that bit over and over again. The animation was, as I remember, outstanding. Animating water convincingly is no small feat. I thought of The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia, with a doomed Mickey swirling down the drain, his mouth open in a round black O.

I'm trying to remember ANY other identifying details of this cartoon. Disney? Fleischer? Warner Bros.? Merrie Melodies (not likely!)? Happy Harmonies? Silly Symphonies? Obviously every studio had a version of this: cartoons that were churned out weekly for theatrical release. This one was colour, in my memory at least, and the little creatures reminded me of those cherubs in Fantasia:

(I only had three frames to work with here, so pardon the jerkiness.)

It wasn't Fantasia. I checked. I went through synopses of all the Silly Symphonies, including the much-hated Bugs in Love (which was always being shown on the Mickey Mouse Club, much to our disgust. By that time, Hanna-Barbera had become the standard.) Water Babies, a Disney Silly Symphony from which I made these three gifs, was downright disturbing to me because of the excessive focus on small children's bare bums. At least, they look like small children. Was sexual abuse so unthinkable then that child nudity passed without notice?

After much fruitless and boring searching, I've given up on the lost cartoon. It will ever remain a memory. Though I wish I had some idea how to describe it to Google.

Blogger's afterthought. The more I look at that George Meredith poem, the more alarmed I become. The guy is not just a misogynist: he's a misanthrope, apparently hating the whole human condition. The poet is sick of watching the clock in depression, tired of the hypocrisy of those who seem to hold worldly power. In the company of men, he feels like "prey" (the deer, usually the target of such romps). The "cock of clay" line confused me, until I realized that the guy is fantasizing about skeet-shooting, with his enemies as the target.

And women! Forget about it, they're all tarts and temptresses. But boys pose even more of a dilemma: "Let silly lads in couples run/To pleasure, a wicked fay". I found one meaning of "fay" which kind of disturbed me:

fay (third-person singular simple present fays, present participle faying, simple past and past participle fayed)
To fit.
To join or unite closely or tightly.
To lie close together.
To fadge.

So, to fay is to fadge. Right, it all makes sense now.

The last two verses, which I remember because the tempo changes at the end, are gorgeous:

The torrent glints under the rowan red,
And shakes the bracken spray:
What joy on the heather to bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

The sun bursts broad, and the heathery bed
Is purple, and orange, and gray:
Away, and away, we’ll bound, old hound,
Over the hills and away.

On the last verse we sang, "The sun. . . bursts. . . broad," the part of it which stayed in my head, along with the purple, and orange, and grey. "Over the hill" can of course be a synonym for "old and obsolete", but Meredith doesn't seem to mind: his greatest desire is to get the hell away, as far away as possible, from the whole chaotic human mess.



fadge (third-person singular simple present fadges, present participle fadging, simple past and past participle fadged)
(obsolete, intransitive) To be suitable (with or to something).  
(obsolete, intransitive) To agree, to get along (with).  
(obsolete, intransitive) To get on well; to cope, to thrive.  
(Geordie) To eat together.
(Yorkshire, of a horse) To move with a gait between a jog and a trot.


fadge (plural fadges)
(Ireland) Irish potato bread; a flat farl, griddle-baked, often served fried.
(New Zealand) A wool pack, traditionally made of jute, now often synthetic.
(Geordie) A small loaf or bun made with left-over dough.
(Yorkshire) A gait of horses between a jog and a trot.

Rare animation from 1911

From Little Nemo by Winsor Mccay

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fraish from the cow!

"Fraishness itself! That's Cahnation fraish milk at its best  in nourishment. Straight from the dairy, Cahnation fraish milk is fraish today and every day. Rushed to your door and to your store. Have a glass of fraishness itself. Drink Cahnation fraish milk with Vitamin D added, the milk children love the flavor of, in the red and white carton."

I wish I could get a fix on this accent, for it's one I've heard more times than I can count. It's always American, of course - a Canadian never heard of "fraish" anything, not even a Tim Horton's doughnut (and here I use the classical spelling and punctuation). The "Cahnation" part seems to say Boston or at least New England, but I always thought the weird bending of the short e into something more like "aiee" came from the Midwest. This might just be the most extreme example I've heard, but I remember Clark Gable talking like this in Gone with the Wind (see clip below, around 0:40 - he says "fayyshun" for "fashion") and even my beloved Harold Lloyd, whose Nebraskan roots sometimes showed themselves later in life (as accents are wont to do). If I could pin down where these actors came from - . And I recently heard a woman do it, too, if I could just remember who she was. It was really extreme! 

You no doubt noticed that "fraish" or "fraishness" appears six times in thirty seconds in that Carnation Milk ad. Then as now, that's about average for advertisement. 

One duck on a beautiful lake

One of my more poetical videos. This was an experiment in adding music which worked out fairly well.

Bentley in a box

                                Cat in a box.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bird distress call

I heard this bird sound in the back yard - it just seemed to go on and on. I couldn't see anything or describe the sound to Google, which sometimes helps me identify species (I nailed down Swainson's thrush the other day, after about a century of wondering what it was). Sounded like pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew. . . It was hard to say if the bird was in distress, proclaiming its territory or trying to attract a mate. This video includes perhaps the worst camera work I've ever done, but the audio is very interesting. The sounds accelerate as time goes on until it's a kind of machine-gun bird sound.

Cat video with FOUR MILLION views!

Actually, it's more like 4,087,144. This video features ten seconds of a shaved cat scratching at the door of a vet clinic to get out. I've spent six or eight hours on posts before and gotten virtually NO views. It's the old left-out-of-the-playground thing, I guess - once a loser, always a loser, and there is no beating those dynamics, ever. They are with you for life, like a family curse. I have no reason to want views however - they would add nothing to my life! I know why I am doing this - because I want to.

A lot of people in the comments section claimed it's cruel to shave a cat. Maybe they're thinking of a cat running around all the time with no fur on it. This is actually called a lion cut, and both dogs and cats get it when their fur is matty, dirty, too thick or unruly.

I'll tell you about shaving our cat.

This was in the Murphy days, long ago. He was an enormous cat - 22 pounds at his maximum - with a woolly double coat, and as he aged it got matty and harder to groom or deal with. If I tried to help him with it, I was sliced and diced. Once I got bitten and needed a tetanus shot.

We started taking him to a groomer once a year where they would give him a bath and comb-out, but every year it got harder. Then one year they phoned me during a grooming and said,"Permission to shave him." They didn't call it a lion cut. They didn't call it anything, just shaving him. There was no other way to clean up his dense, woolly fur.

So they shaved him, and he came home looking like a poodle - but the first thing he did was flop down on the rug, purring, and roll back and forth. Then he groomed his back and tummy with an ecstatic look on his face. He got through that hot summer with an immaculate short coat, and by fall it was pristine and new. From then on, he grew himself a new fur coat once a year.

Mothra kicks ass!

BONUS!  Deleted Godzilla vs. Mothra scene from Family Guy!

Bonus-bonus! Godzilla vs .Mothra colouring pages, not made by me.

Mothra chalk drawing

Mothra PicMix page

One more Mothra gif