Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Roman Polanski will, as they say, “face justice” in a child-rape case so old the victim is perimenopausal. Good. There shouldn’t be a statute of limitations on that sort of thing, and no matter what the victim says today, there needs to be a reckoning, 76 years old or not, great artist or not, friend of Jack Nicholson or not.

I saw the documentary about the case. I have read opinions from both sides, those who call it “brilliant” and those who argue it was a cleverly constructed propaganda job (which, in documentaries, is a little like accusing water of being wet). No question that the case was seriously flawed, the judge a fool, etc. No question that the victim wants the case to be dropped and Polanski officially forgiven, as she says she has done. Admirable of her, but has anyone asked if the forgiveness was accompanied by a cash payment? I can’t recall. No question that Polanski, at 76, is likely no menace to society, or even to young girls, anymore. (Although you never know. I remember reading a story pegged to one of the big anniversaries of “Chinatown,” in which screenwriter Robert Towne described doing a rewrite with Polanski at the latter’s house, and how easily distracted Polanski was by the scene out the window, where several young girls frolicked poolside. He liked having girls of that vintage around. If only so many didn’t have mothers who thought that was just swell.)

The older I get, the more comfortable I am with situations that are muddy, complicated, filled with icky people on both sides but still have a clear right/wrong distinction, and this is one of them. Polanski needs to answer for, if nothing else, his flight to Europe. And that’s all I have to say about that, other than this: Like David Edelstein, I’m dreading the resolution of this case; he notes in a brief blog post, “Now, there will be a lot of grandstanding by idiots.” Yep.

If the Achilles heel of the right wing is their seemingly endless supply of family values-bleating, boy- and/or mistress-buggering Republican hypocrites, Hollywood plays the same role on the left, providing their private jets, their money and their glittery stardust and then getting that what? look when someone catches them being a little too artistic in the morality department. I haven’t said anything about Mackenzie Phillips yet, mainly because I couldn’t wrap my head around the nearly overlooked detail of that sordid story: Phillips asks us “not to judge” her father. It takes a very specific sort of showbiz birdbrain to say something like that, to tell us something vile and stomach-turning and them demand our stomachs not turn.

No real practical purpose will be served by locking up Polanski at this point, but (shrug). And if Mackenzie Phillips’ sordid overshare serves any practical purpose at all, let’s hope that it sets the bar so high for celebrity memoirs that fewer get published. The way I look at it, if the next starlet can’t top this with, oh, cannibalism, then the next starlet doesn’t get a book contract. Win-win.

Which brings us to Mitch Albom, who has a new book out this fall, another slim, small, wide-margined, born-to-be-a-bestseller volume called “Have a Little Faith.” The Free Press assigned a freelancer — that’s what “special writer” in the byline indicates — to do their Q-and-A, a wise move even if it produced the usual bootlicky crapfest, accompanied by two photos of the elfin Albom looking dark and broody. If I read the story correctly, the book examines Mitch’s return to Judaism? No, he doesn’t do that. He just has “faith,” preferring to play the piano at an inner-city black church and meet weekly with his old rabbi, who inexplicably has asked Albom to give his eulogy, even though he’s still hale and hearty. So much for rabbis being wise and learned. (I think it was Judaism, or at least Philip Roth, who gave “learned” its two-syllable pronunciation, in fact.)

It may be a sign of my boredom with Albom that I can’t even get pissy about this book, although we’ll see how the publicity tour goes. He has the usual kickoff planned — a star-studded “and friends” weepfest at the Fox Theatre tomorrow night that sounds excruciating. Ernie Harwell will be there; nothing like the presence of a beloved public figure with a terminal cancer diagnosis to get a crowd leaking like a sieve. Maybe Dave Barry can lighten things up, but my guess is, Mitch will settle for nothing less than a two-hanky soaker.

Boy, you can tell I’m working until 2 a.m. all this week, can’t you? I’m a hangin’ judge, and I’m coming for you. Just as soon as I have a little more coffee.

Off to the gym, instead. The only thing that keeps me sane in a week of five-hour sleep is clean living. And naps.

Posted at 9:45 am in Current events |

59 responses to “Guilty, guilty, guilty.”

  1. Brian Stouder said on September 29, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Hello from Nebraska! (business trip)

    This line got me laughing –

    Which brings us to Mitch Albom, who has a new book out this fall, another slim, small, wide-margined, born-to-be-a-bestseller vol­ume called “Have a Lit­tle Faith.”

    The ‘slim, small, wide margined’ part got me. I’m a glacially slow reader anyway, but after something like two weeks of off-and-on reading of Burlingame’s big new biography, I’m only 160 pages in.

    This actually caused me to count the lines per page (44) – and it looks like there are 13-15 words per line…so I think that probably counts for 400 Albom pages, eh?

    Speaking of books, someone last night mentioned the word ‘calliope’ and said that a teacher pronounced it “call-ee-ope”….which IMMEDIATELY reminded me of Laura Lippman’s very fine book Life Sentences.

    Anyway – now it’s time to rack up about 600 (home-bound)miles, mostly on I-80….which is surprisingly beautiful right about this time of year; lots of harvesting is happening, and who knew that so many fields are terraced in western Iowa and Nebraska? I’d never seen livestock grazing on multiple levels before(!)

    I guess, if there was a mad cow out there, you could say she represented a ‘home-grown terraced threat’.

    (or not)

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  2. Peter said on September 29, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Amen to that, sister. Maybe Roman can share a cell with Phil Spector – that would be quite the Wall of Sound.

    I’ll say this much for Mackenzie Phillips – she outdid Michael Jackson on the creep meter, and that’s no small accomplishment.

    And speaking of small accomplishments – how ’bout that Mitch Albom? Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlmen, I’m here all week, try the veal.

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  3. Rana said on September 29, 2009 at 10:29 am

    On Polanski, I think the best single sentence I’ve read on the matter is this, referring to the argument that we should forgive him because of his unique artistic contributions:

    “So goes the breathless defense of the artiste, while the flipside of that particular coin, because thirteen-year-old girls are a dime a dozen, goes unspoken.”

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  4. coozledad said on September 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I guess I am a statist. In some ways I figure there ought to be some subsidized housing for the woolier creative types, surrounded by a tall fence.
    I don’t know whether the whole artist-as-lech thing has to do with a mania for control, or just mania. I was in a band with a guy who had a lot of talent, but once he got out of the studio setting, he was immediately engaged in finding things to stick his dick into. When he was discouraged from doing this, he would produce another song about the “darkness that was eating him” or some “rock on father death!” horseshit. He insisted that his meds were weighting him down. I could have told him that they were keeping him at large, but this was a three hundred pound guy who self-tattooed as a way to bide his more prosaic hours.
    Oh well. Now he’s one of the damn Promise Keepers.

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  5. Danny said on September 29, 2009 at 10:47 am

    …I got promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep. Promises to keep…

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  6. nancy said on September 29, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Peter warms ’em up, Cooze finishes ’em off. Tip your waitresses!

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  7. Sally Vasquez said on September 29, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Does anyone else have a hard time with the fact that John Phillips can’t defend himself?

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  8. 4dbirds said on September 29, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I’ve watched documentaries, read books and seen interviews where a convict insists he’s innocent and drones on about all the procedural issues in his case and how the justice system is screwing him over. Never do I hear them say anything about the victim(s). They manage to take ‘victim’ away from the person they wronged. All I hear is how Roman was treated badly by the justice system but as far as I know he hasn’t said a thing about this girl or his problem with young girls. When he fled the US he went to England where he became involved with the 15 year old Natashia Kinski. Scary also is he is now the father of a couple of young girls. I have much more respect for Patricia Krenwinkel who said she was immensely sorry for her crime and would like the opportunity to be paroled but if it never happened, she was ok with that too because she understood the enormity of what she did.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on September 29, 2009 at 11:45 am

    At least Mini-Mitch’s book will be slender and easy to read. Our Lady of Wasilla, or whatever poor bastard was hired to synthesis her stream-of-conscious ravings into prose, has just completed a whopping 400-page book called “Going Rogue,” which will get a 1.5-million initial printing.

    I’m guessing Vanity Fair will hire Levi Johnston to review it.

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  10. ROgirl said on September 29, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Cooz, I think what you’re describing is narcissism. Not all narcissists are artists, and not all artists are leches, but artists tap into emotional and creative depths that most people don’t/can’t access, and in effect seduce people into paying attention to, and bestowing admiration and love on them and their art. At least, that’s how it seems to go a lot these days.

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  11. MichaelG said on September 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Brian, you’re driving 600 miles each way on a bidness trip? Holy smoke! I’m going to Barstow tomorrow and Riverside Thursday and I ain’t driving and they ain’t 600 miles.

    Also I note your interest in cows grazing. Here in the western part of the country where we have mountains and stuff, cows have legs on one side of their bodies longer than on the other to make it easier for them to graze on slopes.

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  12. LAMary said on September 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    “…cows have legs on one side of their bod­ies longer than on the other to make it eas­ier for them to graze on slopes.”
    I’ve been told that in Scotland, the wild haggises have legs shorter on one side for the same reason. Haggis hunters all know this and keep it in mind when stalking the wild haggis.

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  13. Rana said on September 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Moreover, there are clockwise cattle and counter-clockwise cattle, which keeps the herds separate. Occasionally there are tragedies, when young calves get it into their heads to try something new, and go the other direction, causing them to tumble down the slope.

    This makes the jackalopes laugh.

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  14. ROgirl said on September 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Interesting that the 25th anniversary of “Chinatown” came out at the same time as Mackenzie Phillips’ publicity campaign/revelation about her incestuous relationship with her father. John Phillips as Noah Cross?

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  15. Christy S. said on September 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    You asked if Polanski’s victim received a settlement. Yep.

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  16. paddyo' said on September 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Rana, is that pronounced Jaa-KAL-oh-pees, or JACK-uh-lopes?

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  17. Hexdecimal said on September 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call ‘The Twilight Zone.’ ” – Rod Serling

    Happy (50th) Birthday Twilight Zone! October 1959

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  18. moe99 said on September 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Where to begin?

    First, hats off, nancy, to yet another first rate tightly written essay. I learn more by coming here than reading the MSM.

    What gets me about Polanski (and his ilk)is the lack of consequences. I was brought up and I learned through life, that if you make a mistake, you own up to it and take responsibility for your actions. Otherwise, you spend a great deal of energy avoiding, covering up, denying. And things get very twisted when that happens.

    I’m in a situation where I have to acknowledge reality and do a bunch of things that I really don’t want to do. Or else it will not get better. Committing crimes is no different. I had an attorney friend who did an internship with a prison project and she said the prisoners she worked with were almost uniformly in denial that they had committed crimes. Now, I know that the Innocence project does good work, but I don’t believe that everyone who is behind bars is innocent. I do believe that unless folks own up to what they did,and work from there, nothing really improves.

    So good on ya, nancy! Keep up the great work!

    ps: 4dbirds–just saw your post. Great minds think alike!

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  19. nancy said on September 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Funny you should mention the peculiarities of prisoner thinking, Moe. I used to board my horse at a barn that had non-profit status as a United Way agency (they did equestrian therapy for disabled kids), and hence qualified for community-service hours by non-violent offenders. Nearly all of them were drunk drivers, and they’d come in on weekends to fix fencing, clean stalls, etc. One day I was warming up in the lounge when they were on their lunch break. They were discussing the various judges of the county courts, their relative leniency/harshness, whatever.

    I was struck by the way they talked about their futures. They seemed to see future offenses as a given, not as an option they had any control over. It was all “when I’m in court again,” not “if I.” No one said, “I’m going to stop drinking and driving, and I don’t ever intend to see any judge in this county again, except in the grocery store.” It was an interesting interlude.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on September 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    For me, this is the money quote from Rana’s link: “We have long prioritised men’s art over women’s safety, because there is a belief that a talented man, an auteur with a vision, might change the world, and to truncate that grand possibility with something as bourgeois as justice would be devastating.”

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  21. beb said on September 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Hollywood writer and blogger mark Evanier was arguing that Polanski had suffered enough during his 30 years of flee from justice. He had to be careful of where he went, etc. This would be a lot more persuasive if Polanski hadn’t continued making films, some shown in the US all during his years of criminal flight. And he was arrested in Switzerland as he was traveling to recieve a lifetime achievement award, something he wouldn’t have won if his film-making career had been interrupted by tweny years in the slammer. So, no, I don’t think Polanski has suffered for his crimes. And if the victim wants to forgiv e and forget (mostly forget I’d imagine) there is still the felony flight issue and I think that’s good enough for me.

    “in find­ing things to stick his dick into”… Coozledad, this sounds like something I came across today on

    A Pennsylvania police office was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for feeding young calves his penis. The judge ruled that it would be hard to tell if the calves were traumatized or just confused. Even if they were too young for teeth, their cud-chewing habit could cause some serious damage to a very sensitve area.

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  22. Rana said on September 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Rana, is that pro­nounced Jaa-KAL-oh-pees, or JACK-uh-lopes?


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  23. MichaelG said on September 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Haggis hunters, Mary? I thought the haggis, like the nauga, was an endangered species.

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  24. LAMary said on September 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    It’s a short hunting season. It starts on St. Andrew’s day and ends on Robert Burns day.

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  25. ROgirl said on September 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I imagine a deal will be worked out with Polanski to pay a fine and/or serve a short amount of time.

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  26. LAMary said on September 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Just to remind us all of who Mrs. Roman Polanski was:

    This trailer includes Susan Hayward singing what has been called the world’s worst song. I don’t mean to make light of the Polanski case or Sharon Tate’s murder. Something about the awfulness of Valley of the Dolls makes it irresistable.

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  27. LAMary said on September 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    The powerful moral authority that is Woody Allen is demanding Roman Polanski be freed.

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  28. moe99 said on September 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Not only that, so is Richard Cohen, the guy who had an affair with with Peter Jennings’ wife in ’87, opining that oh yes what a terrible thing but Polanski should get off because so much time has passed and his victim doesn’t care.–_but_first_l.html#more

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Well, if Woody Allen says this is unfair . . .

    If Polanski goes in for prison time, it will be for making “Pirates.” We can all agree with that.

    Rudely bringing up health care again, they just voted down public option in committee. Honestly, i am baffled. If we’re going to go whole hog, then we have to have *some* level of public option involved, right? Unless i’m missing some provision of the “exchanges” as proposed. Deborah, i’m *for* a carefully defined public option, and a significant expansion of Medicaid & CHIP, but if we don’t reformulate Medicare and interstate insurance law, we either should go with single-payer or it’ll become a mess worse than what we have now.

    I don’t believe “public option” is dead, it just need a reframing. Gotta have some form of it. It’s the language of “rights” in areas like housing and health care that i’m allergic to. Huge can of expensive worms. (Dexter, don’t post the worms picture again, please.)

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  30. MarkH said on September 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    LAMary, runner-up in that category you mentioned in #26 would have to be Patty Duke’s manic renditions of her songs, same film, made all the more poignant when her real mania was revealed.

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  31. nancy said on September 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Richard Cohen: Polanski is a great film director — although the much-acclaimed “Chinatown” has a muddled script — but his true talent is to make fools of his friends.

    “Chinatown” is much-acclaimed because it is widely acknowledged to be among the best original screenplays ever written. Reading Cohen — a writer I used to like — is like running into an old boyfriend who’s gone fat, bald and stupid.

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  32. MichaelG said on September 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    That’s right, Mary, and Susan Atkins just died the other day.

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  33. Peter said on September 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Naugas – damn them! I worked on a Nauga ranch in eastern Alberta in the ’80’s – thought I would make the big bucks – but I was wiped out by Mercedes Leather!

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  34. mark said on September 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Sorry. jefftmmmo, the people don’t want to go “whole hog” on health care reform. We can’t afford it right now, there is no sense it will improve anything in a tangible way for the vast majority and there is great hesitation to turn over that much additional control of our lives to the federal government.

    People don’t believe Obama when he says the public option is about “competition and choice” when he is in print and video saying it’s a first step to his preferred single-payor system.

    People don’t believe Obama when he says the public otion is about “competition and choice” and refuses proposals that would let insurance companies offer plans across state lines.

    More months go by without any effort to eliminate the supposedly readily identifiable $50 billion per year of Medicare “waste, fraud and abuse” that is supposed to pay for most of Obamacare, reinforcing the view that this is a rhetorical gimmick not a plan.

    Deficits are growing at the local, state and federal level. Federal employment is the only growth industry at the moment.

    Obama needs to take a breather. Even God rested on the seventh day.

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  35. MichaelG said on September 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Peter, what you are referring to is called “MB Tex”. They are an obscure species of miniature vole that lives in the mountainous tundra of western Guinea-Bissau.

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  36. LAMary said on September 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    There was also a huge increase in Corinthian Chrysler hide ranching in Tierra Del Fuego in the 80s.

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  37. Jean S said on September 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Rana, thanks for that link. And, Woody Allen? Feh.

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  38. alex said on September 29, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Wowee—the Valley of the Dolls trailer was quite something. I’d forgotten they were still using old-time Hollywood diction as late as 1968. And today I learned something about that movie I didn’t know before. Judy Garland was supposed to sing the theme song but got fired for being combative and strung out on pills and booze, so the job was given to Dionne Warwick.

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  39. coozledad said on September 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Now I’m going to have to find a Physician’s Desk Reference from 1968 to find out what those women were taking. I’m thinking the “blue pills” is a laxative.

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  40. piny said on September 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I agree with beb that Polanski’s years in exile haven’t been much of a punishment, but even so: that’s not the convicted criminal’s call to make, is it? His participation in his sentencing was not voluntary.

    I agree, too, that this won’t serve any practical purpose in terms of keeping Polanski off the streets–and that it won’t be much of a strict deterrent, given that most people aren’t in his situation. I do think, though, that there is value in making it very clear that we do not forgive men who rape thirteen-year-old girls, no matter how rich and powerful they are. This wasn’t a sordid interlude. It was a horrible crime.

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  41. Dexter said on September 29, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    ..enjoyed the nauga and jackalope chat. I actually owned a Chrysler Cordoba with “fine, Corinthian leather…”

    I am still mulling over the Starbucks Via instant coffee deal. Starbucks instant? What whores they are!

    And for Jeff MMOne:

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  42. moe99 said on September 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Ok, LA Mary that reference to Tierra del Fuego brought it all back from Firesign Theater:

    “Hiya, friends! Ralph Spoilsport, Ralph Spoilsport Motors – the world’s largest new used and used new automobile dealership – Ralph Spoilsport Motors – right here in the city of EMPHYSEMA! Let’s just look at the extras on this fabulous car! Wire-wheel spoke fenders and two-way sneeze through wind vents, star-studded mud guard, sponge-coated edible steering column, chrome fender dents – and factory air conditioned air from our fully factory-equipped air conditioned factory! It’s a beautiful car friends, with doors to match! Birch’s Blacklist says this automobile was stolen, but for you friends a complete price: only two-ninety-five hundred dollars in easy monthly payments of twenty dollars a week , twice a week and never on Sunday!”

    SCREEEEECH…..”Ralph, Ralph, I’ll take it! I can’t WAIT to get away from it all!”
    “Well OK, fine! Let’s just take a look inside your beautiful new home! C’mon in!”
    “Can I get Duluth?”
    “Duluth? Bucko, you can get Tierra del Fuego!”

    Turns out one of the FST members was from up here and Ralph Spoilsport was based on a local car salesman named Ralph Williams who was sued by the Attorney General’s office for Consumer Protection Act violations in selling his cars. Figures.

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  43. Dave K. said on September 30, 2009 at 3:27 am

    “Honk, honk. What the…? We’re all Bozo’s on this bus!” Funniest group Halloween costumes ever when entire U of Michigan rugby team walked into the “Up and Under Pub” in Milwaukee with Bozo masks. Close second was “The Pope”, tall hat, staff etc., accompanied by several nuns, one of them in a habit with spandex leopard print body suit. They were very bad nuns. Very popular too, as I (vaguely)recall!

    Joe…? Was our costume “Drunken Rugby Players”?

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 30, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Don’t crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers. (What a happy worm that is, Dex.)

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  45. John said on September 30, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Wasn’t 10 mg Valium tablets blue? Not that I would know, that is.

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  46. coozledad said on September 30, 2009 at 9:10 am

    John: Yeah! My parent’s agribaptist medicine cabinet was only used to store antacid, hemorrhoid cream and probably stuff for catarrh and quinsy. My friend’s parents, however, had top of the line pharmacopias. They could have performed appendectomies at home.
    I still wonder why so many adults at that point were eating such huge quantities of Darvon, Valium, and assorted barbiturates. And washing it down with Jim Beam!
    My theory is it was probably because they had difficulty coping with the fact their kids were quadrupling their outlay for pills.

    “And he lay in that land a long time, like worms out of a hot cheese log.”

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  47. alex said on September 30, 2009 at 9:19 am

    More Valley of the Dolls trivia.

    I just read that “dolls” was ‘sixties slang for barbiturates (or “barbies,” from whence came “dolls”).

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  48. del said on September 30, 2009 at 9:35 am

    When we recently watched The Brady Bunch pilot we were surprised at Mrs. Brady urging Mike to double up on tranquilizers for the wedding . . .

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  49. coozledad said on September 30, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Valley of the Dolls as a history of period design:

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  50. Peter said on September 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

    “Antelope Freeway, 1/64th of a mile…Antelope Freeway, 1/128th of a mile…Antelope Freeway, 1/256th of a mile…”

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  51. John said on September 30, 2009 at 10:40 am

    This is my happening and it freaks me out!

    For those of you who prefer the farce instead of the Real McCoy.

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  52. LAMary said on September 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Alex, Judy Garland was supposed to play the Susan Hayward part and she recorded the horrible song Susan “sings.” It was actually Margaret Whiting singing.
    You need to watch the movie. It’s a touchstone of gay culture. The openly gay gossip columnist, Ted Casablanca, takes his name from a Valley of the Dolls character. He does commentary on a special edition DVD.

    Firesign Theatre played a major role in my high school and college years. I still reference it occasionally and then have to do a long explanation of why I said what I just said.

    As for Tierra del Fuego, in my senior year of high school, two friends and I convinced the school paper advisor to let us go along on the annual 11th grade field trip to the New York Times. The three of us had done it the year before, but wanted a day away from school and a free ride into the city. We snuck away from the group and got into a taping of the Who What or Where Game at Rockefeller Center. Before the taping started, cards asking where we were from, did we have any interesting stories etc. The warm up guy came out and started looking at the cards. My friends and I had all put down that we were from Tierra del Fuego. Of course the guy asked, “where’s the group from Tierra del Fuego?” and we all stood up and people politely clapped.

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  53. LAMary said on September 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

    There was a remake of Valley of the Dolls in the eighties. Nathan Lane is in it. It also has the actress who eventually played the wife on the show I can’t believe was ever popular, Seventh Heaven. Although the remake is terrible, it’s not terrible in the same fascinating way as the original.

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  54. MarkH said on September 30, 2009 at 11:22 am

    According to IMDB, Helen Lawson was based mostly on Ethel Merman and Neely O’Hara a conglomeration of Judy Garland and Betty Hutton. In real life, Merman reportedly treated Hutton as Lawson treated O’Hara while in the same show. Ironically, Hutton then went on to take the movie role that Merman made famous in “Annie Get Your Gun”. Lots of fun trivia about “Dolls” here:

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  55. moe99 said on September 30, 2009 at 11:22 am

    “Shadow Valley condoms. If you lived here, you’d be home now!”

    I’ve decided that the tv series, House, MD is an update on the old Firesign Theater quiz show, “Beat the Reaper”

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  56. LAMary said on September 30, 2009 at 11:38 am

    It’s….the plague.

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  57. LAMary said on September 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

    For a few years you could watch the Rose Parade, turn down the sound on the TV, and tune in to a local radio station for Firesign Theatre’s commentary. Best part was every single marching band played a marching band version of Louie Louie.

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  58. moe99 said on September 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    LA Mary, that made me laugh. Damn, I wish I knew about it. Do you think they would come back and do it over the internets?

    Did you ever see the Doo Dah parade the day before the Rose Bowl? There was the precision briefcase drill team and the Phyllis Schlafly cheerleaders who used to chant “69 cents is toooo much!” (69 cents being the average of what women earned to every dollar men earned)

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  59. LAMary said on September 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    We used to go to the Doo Dah parade but it became too mainstream, and the ex and I rehearsed to march with the precision pooper scooper team, but didn’t actually march. The briefcase team is always a favorite.

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