The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just another, great part of the game-changing album, Tommy.

    So much part of the ambience of the period. Always listenable.

    Take it or leave it sort of track.

    Classic.

    Long time in coming for the band. Despite claims to the contrary (Keith Richards), Brian Jones did participate to some degree on this song, and in fact, he had played an acetate of the early version to his father.

    Because its unavoidable in any look back to the events of 1969, here are some of the crimes committed by Charles Manson and his "family" used as a build up to the August 8-9 "Helter Skelter" murders:

    The murder of Crowe, then scrawling "political piggy" on Hinman's wall were significant as Manson believed Crowe was a member of the Black Panther Party. Since Manson had railed against black people to his "family" for years, and preached his plans to start a race war, he believed the Panthers--looking for some "ultimate" revolution against white society (they were not), used this fantasized Panther threat to implicate them to law enforcement, hence the slang "pig" used at Hinman's murder site, thus, with the streets of America already in a constant state of chaos over race and other issues, he believed acts such as Hinman's gruesome murder would send the white law enforcement/establishment on the rampage against black people. In other words, his moronic "Helter Skelter" plot.

    Hinman's murder would be the last act committed by the Manson family before their most infamous crimes.
     
  2. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I actually never knew much about this film, aside from the main stars. Never seemed like my bag.

    That is interesting. I wouldn't have expected that.

    Wow, I had no idea that Toni Basil was in this movie.

    The film seems a bit nihilistic, which is why it's not my bag.

    Not the sunny, happy 60s here.

    Definitely a good soundtrack, though.

    All is Cheese, Cheese is all.

    Fascinating. Makes sense, though, given the mindset of the Punk movement.

    I forgot about Isaac Hayes and Broderick Crawford, not to mention Jack Palance and a few others, including... Ruth Buzzi.



    Only Jack Elam stuck in my mind. And I can't find the commercial that I was actually thinking of, which added a kind of chorus to the ditty. "If you're not sure... what news he's bringing... that can be cured.... 'cause now he's singing...." Unless I'm making that last part up. :rommie:
     
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    The Wild Wild West
    "The Night of the Camera"
    Originally aired November 29, 1968
    As the first episode with a substitute Artie, this one must have been pretty confusing to those going in without a scorecard, as a major plot point involves there being yet another guest agent. I have to imagine given the sudden nature of Ross Martin's condition that the scripts had been written assuming Artie's involvement...and indeed, after a quick bit of expository handwaving, Pike's involvement pretty much comes off like he's playing the same character renamed...the lines, the delivery, he even appears to be wearing Martin's wardrobe, and it looks a bit big on him. And of course, he gets in on the disguise business early on. It's just a little harder to spot the sub in his disguises because I'm not as used to his features, and they seem less distinct to me than Martin's.

    Cranston (Pat Paulsen) gets off on the wrong foot with the other agents when he blows a surveillance and takes action to save Jim that results in the death of the subject...but he proves his worth to the mission when he reveals that he has a photographic memory. The agents obtain a rare book that has letters underlined to indicate opium ring contacts, but the not-so-subtly coded information is spread across two volumes. So they auction off the one that they have to follow the buyer to the other volume. Although he doesn't win the bidding war, the book ultimately ends up in the hands of wealthy Gideon Stix (Barry Atwater). Thus the agents sneak Cranston into Stix's home to memorize the contents of the second volume. When Cranston breaks his glasses on location, Jim fetches a jeweler's glass from the next room with a fishing line gun. All the while, Pike is keeping Stix and his men occupied in another room with a high-stakes game of pool, which culminates in his use of an explosive cue ball.

    The mission ends with a sting operation involving the smuggling of opium in the caskets of bodies being shipped, with Cranston subbing for the body in this case, and once out of the casket, demonstrating his skill in karate. The train coda tosses in one more instance of Jim and Pike underestimating Cranston, when they weasel out of a date involving three female friends of his, only to find that they're quite the attractive trio.

    There was a fight scene with Red West, so some things never change.

    _______

    You guys should gang up on Iggy Pop! Me, I can hear why he'd use that song as his example of what he felt was wrong with the music of the time. It's a goofy, nothing little ditty at best.

    Aw, you brought me the gift of multiple homicide. I...don't know what to say....

    Well, I hope you at least watched the clip about freedom...I found that quite insightful.

    I have no recollection of these commercials whatsoever, though I must have seen them.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I found the Substitute Artie episodes pretty interesting. I especially liked the one with the Skipper.

    I wonder what people called a photographic memory before photography was invented. The technical term is eidetic memory, but who wants to say that? "Thank goodness someone invented cameras, 'cause I could never figure if that was supposed to be eye-detic or ee-detic." But I digress.

    Surak. And Janos Skorzeny.

    Let that be a lesson, boys.

    It would have been funny if Red West had turned up as a Substitute Artie. :rommie:

    Eh, Iggy's entitled to his wrong opinion. :D

    Yeah, I did watch the clips and that was right on the nose.

    I kind of remembered them without remembering them-- the Jack Elam thing is just kind of floating there whenever I hear that song without me really thinking about it.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    The Saint
    "The Scales of Justice"
    Originally aired December 1, 1968 (UK)
    Sounds like an Avengers plot. One director, Sir John, dies while in Templar's company, having arranged a rendezvous with Simon concerning a threatening postcard. What Simon doesn't necessarily see but is made conspicuous to the audience is the presence of a blind man pointing his cane toward Sir John just before his death. Templar proceeds to a planned meeting with five other board members, and we learn that Sir John was the fifth to have died already, all apparently of natural causes. Along the way, he meets Anne (Jean Marsh), the daughter of Gilbert Kirby (Andrew Keir), one of the directors.

    With a bit of a leap in story logic, or at least a lack of proper explanation of the assumed connection, Simon ties this into an incident in which a wall at a plant had collapsed, resulting in a death, and goes to investigate, only to find that the watchman who survived the mishap in question has just been knocked unconscious. Simon pursues a mysterious figure in a hat and trenchcoat (matching those of the blind man) but loses him. Following this Simon attends an official function where another director is killed, but finds a fine needle that had gone through the man's body.

    It appears that Anne's father will be the next target, and he can't stay locked up safely inside because he's being sworn in as Lord Mayor of London, which seems kind of random for a one-off guest. Kirby is also attacked, but the needle is stopped by a bulletproof vest that Simon had him wear under his ceremonial outfit. Films Simon had made of the scene and blown-up photographs reveal that the likely culprit was a sailor on a company-sponsored float at the parade who'd been pointing a telescope directly at Kirby.

    Anne discovers a clue in the photographs that leads to Elliott Stratton (Mark Burns), a youthful board member whose deceased father had felt responsible for the collapsing wall, and whose own company was taken over by the board's company around the same time, though the connection between the two events (which is evidently what spurred Simon's investigation) isn't clearly established. Going to investigate this clue on her own, Anne finds Stratton's workshop with his blind man disguise and telescope needle gun, and he quickly discovers that he's been discovered. He pursues her and corners her in her father's penthouse, but Simon has since discovered a clue of his own and comes to the rescue, albeit delayed by the elevator requiring a key to exit at that level.

    In the coda, Simon reveals that the postcard sent to Stratton's father had a postmark and stamp that didn't match, and exposits that Stratton held a grudge over the corporation having taken over his father's business.

    A rather mediocre installment, and I had trouble keeping track of who was supposed to be who on the mostly gray, old board of directors while the murders were playing out. Jean Marsh was rather fetching in the day, though.

    _______

    The Wild Wild West
    "The Night of the Avaricious Actuary"
    Originally aired December 6, 1968
    And no doubt because of differences between production order and airing order, Ross Martin will be popping in and out of the series for the rest of the season.

    Taney: What the devil?
    Artie: No sir, Secret Service.​

    Jim and Artie arrive at Stately Taney Manor just in time to get its owner (Harold Gould) to evacuate, and as the house is being shaken apart, they see a wagon with a giant tuning fork outside. Jim gets through the thugs stealthily guarding it, but it knocks him out. After he comes to, we're told that the house was demolished. Back at the train, there's a briefing with an Army general and Arden Masterson (Emily Banks!), Colonel Richmond's new assistant. We learn that multiple houses have been hit, and Artie demonstrates the power of regular-sized tuning forks. There are indications that a phony insurance company is behind the house-demolishing scheme, so Artie proceeds to visit a gentleman's club whose members include several existing and potential victims who seem willing to pay up...while Jim investigates the insurance office, accompanied by some of that overly bombastic groovy music. The office turns out to be an obvious front and is guarded by Red West and a couple of other guys...you can guess how that turns out. Jim finds a collection of weight and fortune cards that support a theory of Artie's that the genius behind the tuning fork weapon is a criminal scientist called Dr. Kovacs, who's record indicates that he weighs over 280 pounds...roughly matching the slightly varying weights on the cards.

    Jim proceeds to try all of the weight and fortune machines in the area in an attempt to find one that dispenses the same distinct style of card. A woman working at an arcade gives him a tip about the location of the warehouse that services the machines. Snooping around there, Jim is captured and tied up in a shooting gallery, where Red West and some other goons take shots at him, and Jim meets Kovacs, who's been posing as Taney since he got out of prison, where he lost a dramatic amount of weight. Kovacs unveils his even bigger tuning fork weapon, which he plans to sell to an interested foreign government.

    Artie follows another clue, a gourmet menu that leads him to the Epicurean Society, where he goes undercover as a waiter to find that its members are all heavy-set connoisseurs of fine cuisine...but a guest who comes in place of one of the regular members draws attention to himself with his shockingly crude culinary tastes. Artie follows him to the arcade machine warehouse in disguise...a more convincing one than usual because, as noted in the description, he's played by another actor for much of the sequence. He creates a ruckus during which Jim frees himself and Artie, now apparently played by Martin, sets the smaller tuning fork weapon to start shaking the place apart.

    The train coda has Jim and Artie trying unsuccessfully to impress a couple of coda dates with their tuning fork wizardry.

    _______

    Which happens to be the last episode that I have! I'm sure that he'll do a little more to make the role his own...and they probably won't be squeezing him into Martin's wardrobe.

    Had to look that one up.

    By that point they'd kind of beaten us over the head with a sledgehammer regarding that comedic angle.

    He'd have to have been Evil Substitute Artie, so Jim could have beaten him up.

    The use of Red West in the show has really informed his role in Black Sheep for me...as I recall, he got into fights with Pappy on at least two occasions. Now I know that was a callback to Conrad and West's prior history.

    Had a little 50th anniversary moment this morning...Sirius '60s on 6 played a couple minutes of audio of Apollo 11's countdown and launch at around 9:32, and as it happened I was just leaving for work, so I was blasting off with the rocket! :lol:

    BTW, for anyone who's interested, this site (not sure if it's the same one I discovered at the time of Apollo 11's 40th anniversary, but that's what made me look it up) lets you follow the mission in real time!
     
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  6. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    At 10:19 p.m. EDT, the crew are beginning their scheduled sleep period.
    What a day.
    AS11-36-5350HR_Rev.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes--it was more or less a bit of minor cross-pollination with The Monkees' film Head, which had the same production company (Raybert). In addition to Basil (who was in Head's "Daddy's Song" piece with Davy Jones), other connections were actress Lea Marmer, (as a madam), who appeared in the second Monkees episode aired, "Monkee See, Monkee Die" (9/19/1966) as a phony spiritualist, and in the last season one episode to be filmed, "Monkees on the Line" (3/27/1967 - although it was aired out of production order). The same gold spray-painted football helmet Micky wore in Head appears to be recycled by Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider.

    What's interesting is that film ends with stereotypical "redneck" types killing the counterculture leads, yet in real life, the Manson family--who were eyebrow-deep a majority young, long-haired, drug-taking counterculture group (with some ties many younger culture, music and film elites of the day, including some involved in this film, such as Dennis Hopper) were arguably the worst of almost any murderers of the 1960s, and considering how explosively murderous that decade was, that's saying something about preconceived notions about who was violent or peaceful.

    Underrated actor.

    Very wrong!
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I was about to say.

    Way to not look suspicious.

    Rough year for the boys, with multiple injuries and a heart attack.

    Ahhh.

    I actually saw the last half of this episode when it was on a few weeks ago, and this is about where I came in.

    Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    He's got that same Skipper charm, as he always does.

    I'm not surprised. Did I mention that I'm a giant Kolchak fan?

    Could have worked.

    That gets the day off to a good start. :rommie:

    Nice. :mallory:

    What a week. What a year. What a shame it didn't last.
     
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Very interesting. Good to know.

    Indeed. And, aside from the obvious horror of the murders, one can only wonder at the degree of damage done to the counterculture movement.

    Indeed. :rommie:
     
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  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    And the astronauts are still sleeping! Wake up, sleepyheads! It's a new day 95,500 nautical miles from home!



    There were more connections than that...Nicholson co-wrote Head, and he and Hopper both appeared onscreen in uncredited roles.

    The film was clearly being informed by all of the race-related killing and violence that had been occurring in the South in then-recent years.

    Alas, she was kind of wasted here...they didn't give her a lot to do.

    Well, after nine days in space and two-and-a-half weeks in isolation, I'm sure the astronauts were glad to get home. :p
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    AS11-36-5354HR.jpg
     
  12. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My point was about the film's ending--with a couple of redneck stereotypes vs. the counterculture heroes--a message sold hard in the same year that in the real world, a decidedly counterculture group broke that image by committing what is widely recognized as one of the crimes of the 20th century.

    If the filmmakers wanted to make a parallel to the racial violence of the time, the overall essence of the film should not have been so culturally slanted in a way that appealed more to the white, young counterculture than anyone else, one, because its plot and types of characters were exactly as they were perceived, which focused on their issues, contrasts (to the rest of society) and plight, which was not at all analogous of the white supremacist institutionalized mistreatment and wholesale murders suffered predominantly by blacks in that decade (or would be seen that way).

    Further, if that was the message they were getting across, they were not breaking any new ground; its not as if by 1968 (when this was filmed), anyone tip-toed around subjects dealing with threatened, implied or executed racial violence against black people, as films such as Edge of the City, The Defiant Ones, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Intruder, In the Heat of the Night and a number of smaller, independent films, so if that scene was informed by that, it did not play, considering the type of characters and their life experiences.
     
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Mission update: Halfway there, baby!
    AS11-36-5375HR.jpg

    Different protagonists, same antagonists. I won't cry that the rural Southern types of the time were being "stereotyped," because white Southern conservatives were begging to be cast in that light the decade or so leading up to that. In a 1960s context, it feels frighteningly real to have such antagonists beating longhaired bikers to death and pursuing and shooting at them. Then-recent news was full of incidents of that nature directed at other types of people that white Southern conservatives considered undesirable.

    Critics and audiences of the time disagreed with you a great deal.
     
  14. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I said:

    Further, if that was the message they were getting across, they were not breaking any new ground; its not as if by 1968 (when this was filmed), anyone tip-toed around subjects dealing with threatened, implied or executed racial violence against black people, as films such as Edge of the City, The Defiant Ones, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Intruder, In the Heat of the Night and a number of smaller, independent films, so if that scene was informed by that, it did not play, considering the type of characters and their life experiences.

    Easy Rider broke no ground in that category, because the film was not about the black experience as targets of racial violence--nor was it speaking a language (or shared reality) they would see in the white counterculture of 1969. I'm well aware of many critics' view of the film, but the protagonists' fate--as a message/commentary--was not doing anything (recognizable) that the aforementioned films did--with a direct impact.
     
  15. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    You keep beating this horse about how the film wasn't doing something that it wasn't necessarily trying to do, nor that I was claiming it did. I said that it was informed by the situation in the South, not that it informed the situation. And that was in response to your assertion that depicting white conservative Southerners who were murderously violent was a "stereotype," when it was a horrifying reality in the 1960s. But then...
    ...you seem to think that Manson was worse than the Klan....

    _______

    ETA: At 10:25 EDT, it's beddy-bye time again for the crew...
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    True enough. You've never really been homesick till you've been to the Moon. :rommie:

    Are we there yet?!

    I hate it when I put my thumb in front of the lens like that.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Projecting ahead to the crew's wake-up time in about an hour: TGIF...in 1969.
    AS11-36-5376HR.jpg

    Which reminds me that I'll have a song dedication when the time is right for Michael Collins, who, orbiting the Moon solo in the Command Module, said he was "alone in a way that no earthling has ever been before".

    46,502‬ bottles of beer on the wall,
    46,502‬ bottles of beer,
    Take one down, pass it around,
    46,501‬ bottles of beer on the wall

    (Actually, they whiz through about 7 nautical miles in the time it takes to sing a verse of that.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  18. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And I said if that was their intention--even as analogy/commentary, then it did not work, as using white counterculture types of the kind presented in this film was reaching--essentially trying to copy+paste the experiences of others with characters who would not normally be the recipient of that specific kind of encounter all, just to be topical. That is why it did not work, and was certainly handled with greater, more meaningful effect in other films.

    Hit the brakes. No one said anything about the Klan, and what appears at the end of Easy Rider are not Klan members, no matter what anyone tires to read into that. Moreover, Manson slaughtering far more than the Tate/LaBianca victims (some estimates number as many as 30 people) was intended to launch a nation wide race war. The level of that evil should never be treated as insignificant to the history of crime / terror in 1960s America. California--and other parts of the nation--were on edge when the most famous of his crimes were revealed, but the second his plan was detailed at trial, it sent shockwaves--not just in California, but among black people far and wide. They (including members of my own family) were well-experienced with racism from individuals, groups, etc., but the full measure of Manson's plans (and the fact people were still being murdered on his command after he was in custody) dropped yet another level of tension to black people across the land. That's reality from those who knew/know what racial threats were/are.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    55 Years Ago This Week


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Walk On By," Dionne Warwick (13 weeks)
    • "What's the Matter with You Baby," Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells (10 weeks)
    • "Yesterday's Gone," Chad & Jeremy (9 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)," George Martin & His Orchestra
    (#53 US; #7 AC)

    "I Should Have Known Better," The Beatles
    (B-side of "A Hard Day's Night"; #53 US)

    "I'll Keep You Satisfied," Billy J. Kramer w/ The Dakotas

    (#30 US; #4 UK in 1963; written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney--really Paul)

    "It's All Over Now," The Rolling Stones

    (#26 US; #1 UK)

    "Such a Night," Elvis Presley

    (#16 US; #13 UK)

    "Maybe I Know," Lesley Gore

    (#14 US; #20 UK)

    "And I Love Her," The Beatles

    (#12 US)

    Total Beatles songs on the chart: 4

    _______

    Meanwhile, in 1969, it looks like the astronauts have been spending some time in the Lunar Module.

    _______

    Meanwhile, in 2019...

    We've been talking about white conservative Southerners who committed acts of racial violence. Seemed like a natural association to me.

    And forget Easy Rider, which has nothing to do with Manson. You said...
    That would include the Klan, wouldn't it? (What's more, many in the counterculture of the time would have included Johnson and Nixon in that rogues gallery.)

    Now if you didn't make such broad, sweeping statements, we'd probably be getting into a lot less arguments. Something like this anecdote...
    ...is more substantive and insightful. You should lead with stuff like that.

    And with that I'm dropping my part of this whole Manson tangent. This should be Apollo 11's moment in the 50th anniversary spotlight.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Very true, and very mind boggling.

    It takes a lot of beer to get to the Moon.

    Everybody should have their own theme.

    This is a good one.

    I feel dissatisfied.

    Not their best, but it sounds like the Stones.

    Kind of a random Elvis song.

    Not great.

    This is sweet. :adore:

    We're almost there! Maybe should have held off on the beer....