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C. Spangler and Wavy Gravy, October 12, 1976
Nobody for President

NONE of the ABOVE should be a choice on VOTER BALLOTS

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Someone is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you ~ 7 Graphic by C. Spangler

Notes from ~@~

Valley Fire: Photographs & Story

Closing Photographs:





[Click to continue viewing Valley Fire photographs and story]

Paul Krassner ~ The Realist, Writer, Comic, Investigative Satirist

The Rise and Fall of the National Lampoon
By Paul Krassner

The spoiler alert of this documentary appears right here in the title itself, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead. And, though the National Lampoon was a satirical magazine, full disclosure reveals that virtually every issue included photos of bare-breasted attractive young women in various situations, often with speech balloons.

For example, one such woman asked another such woman featuring what Donald Trump would now describe as a huge bosom, “Are you Eleanor Roosevelt?” The reply was “Yes.” This incongruity was likely borrowed from the context of a Lenny Bruce fantasy about a forbidden sight: “Eleanor Roosevelt had the prettiest tits I had ever seen or dreamed that I had seen.”

There were several editors at different times, each projecting his own personality. Doug Kenney wrote “My First Blow Job” whereas Henry Beard wrote “Practical Jokes For the Rich.” Tony Hendra wrote “How to Cook Your Daughter.” Michael O’Donoghue wrote “Children’s Letters to the Gestapo.” He was a reader of my own satirical magazine—The Realist, which had begun in 1958—and he invited me to write a monthly column for the Lampoon, “The Naked Emperor.”

The contributors all had outrageous imagination. Sam Gross lived up to his name. He was an accountant but wanted to be a cartoonist, so he moved to New York. I published his first attempts in The Realist, from a miniature Nazi oven to a full-page montage, “Humor of the Handicapped.” It was no surprise that years later he would become a regular artist in the Lampoon. Samples: A character dipping a bloody tampon in her soup—no caption necessary. Also, a character with a wire hanger inserted in his head--“No, lady,” he explains, “I’m not a Martian, I’m just an unsuccessful abortion.”

Another contributor, Anne Beatts, was a dazzling writer. Her coup de grace was a fake Volkswagen ad. The illustration was accompanied by her headline: “If Ted Kennedy Drove a Volkswagen, He’d Be President Today!” Which actually is true. The senator was doomed never to inhabit the White House, because he accidentally drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick island off Massachusetts into the water, and managed to swim free, leaving behind his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, who drowned, but not if he drove a Volkswagen Beetle that floated.

Volkswagen filed a $30-million lawsuit for violation of copyright. Although the movie doesn’t disclose the verdict, shrewd Lampoon publisher Matty Simmons put out a press release acknowledging that they were being sued, aware that it would boost sales. In fact, the issue sold out. He agreed to travel around the country and tear the page-in-question out of every issue, but then agreed instead to admit in the next issue that the ad was a parody, and the lawsuit was withdrawn.

Another controversy occurred when the editors ran an illustration depicting a baby in a blender, with a Satanic hand on the pulse button. The Christian Coalition of America, a right-wing group of religious zealots, began a crusade against the Lampoon, and almost all of its national advertisers jumped the Titanic ship. Thus, when I submitted my account of snorting cocaine with the pope, the editors told me that they loved it but were afraid of an organized letter-writing campaign to their advertisers.

There were internal squabbles at Lampoon headquarters. It was bad enough when Michael O’Donoghue learned that Tony Hendra had slept with his then-girlfriend, and O’Donoghue demanded that Matty Simmons fire Hendra. Of course, he wouldn’t, but instead he gave the Lampoon radio program reaching 600 stations. The other feud developed concerning O’Donoghue and his new girlfriend, Anne Beatts. They were a romantic couple bound together by a mutual sense of absolute irreverence.

According to the film, Matty Simmons gave Beatts’ desk to his son Michael, and she was furious, complaining, “It had taken me all that many years to get a desk, and suddenly I didn’t have it any more.” O’Donoghue called Matty and threatened that “Anne Beatts must have an office at the radio show. If you don’t do this, I’m gonna quit.” Simmons: “Well, if she doesn’t like it she can quit, and if you don’t like it you can quit.” O’Donoghue: “I quit.” And that was it. The anarchistic pair departed and never returned. Ironically, Michael Simmons was O’Donoghue’s assistant for a couple of years, an interesting job for a teenager, and he had a desk outside his office from which he would do his bidding.

However, Michael Simmons says: “Being the boss’ son has never been the easy ride some may think. Lampoon contributor Anne Beatts claims in the documentary that her boyfriend Michael O’Donoghue quit because Matty ‘gave’ me Anne’s desk in early 1974--an utterly absurd fallacy. She’s been repeating this canard for 40 years. I was living in upstate New York at the time and didn’t have an office at the Lampoon. Matty was the Chairman of The Board--not the Chairman of Desks.”

When Matty originally launched the Lampoon in 1970, his son was 15. Like many kids, Michael worked after school and summers at "Dad’s store." He was the first “True Facts” editor, among other gigs. As the magazine expanded into show-business areas, so did Michael Simmons’ participation. By 1973, he was the doorman at the Village Gate where National Lampoon’s Lemmings played and for which he handled underground/rock press and radio PR. In 1974, he was company manager for their second stage show, The National Lampoon Show, with John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray.

When NBC conceived of doing a Saturday night satire show, they approached the Lampoon, but Matty Simmons turned them down--too busy. Instead, NBC hired Lorne Michaels, who proceeded to snatch away some of Lampoon’s brightest talent. Belushi, Radner and Chevy Chase joined Saturday Night Live, as did Michael O’Donoghue, who became the show’s head writer. And eventually Michael Simmons would become the editor of Lampoon at age 29.

Meanwhile, Doug Kenney produced Animal House. It was a fucking blockbuster hit and he enhanced his happiness with cocaine. But then he made Caddyshack with Chevy Chase. It got such awful reviews--a 5-star failure—that he enhanced his bottomless depression with more cocaine than a dozen popes could snort. He was beyond addiction. He would place coke along his arm and sniff it all away, then lead a Lampoon meeting. The folks there urged Chase to take him away for a week in Hawaii.

In 1980, when I was living in San Francisco, I got a call from Kenney. He was on his way to Hawaii and wanted to get together with me. I was the head writer for an HBO special about the presidential campaign, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the White House, and since I was deep into the final throes of material, Doug and I agreed that we would get together on his way back.

But an extremely unfunny thing happened in Hawaii. Doug fell off a cliff. Chevy thought he was hiding somewhere and decided to leave, unaware that Doug, his best friend, had died at age 33. There were rumors that he had committed suicide. I didn’t believe it. Not only had we planned to meet, but John Landis, the director of Animal House, said Doug also wanted to see him back in Los Angeles when he returned from Hawaii.

It was unspeakably sad. An old friend who was one of the writers for that HBO show, Rex Weiner and I attended a memorial wake for Doug on the rooftop of the Magic Castle in Hollywood. There was an all-you-can-eat buffet provided by a Japanese restaurant. Rex and I considered starting a food fight, inspired by that scene in Animal House/ in honor of Doug—“He would have wanted it that way”--but we decided it would be in terrible taste, and out of respect for all the other mourners, we resisted the temptation.

It was there that I first met my friend Michael Simmons. Now he reminisces: “It was a heady, exciting atmosphere for a hippie teenager in the early 1970s—the funniest, edgiest and smartest people I’ve ever known, concentrated under one roof. At the same time I’ve wondered if the Lampoon’s ‘everything’s a target” philosophy set the stage for the post-irony we’ve endured for the last twenty or so years.

“Not that I’d have it any other way—one can find the absurdity in most endeavors. But when everything’s equally absurd, what’s left to satirize? A world in which Donald Trump is considered a serious presidential candidate is a self-parody, and I’m not sure satire can out-do reality in a case like Trump’s. I was a Lampoon editor from 1984 through 1989. We knew the golden era had passed.”

Nonetheless, the timing of Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead succeeds in presenting the war on taboos that contrasts so blatantly with the current reincarnation of political chickenshit correctness.

Notes from ~@~

Carlin Step ~ DJ Steve Porter & Eli Wilkie ~

The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering) ~

Beautiful Child

One Day ~ Matisyahu ~

Unsung Hero ~ Still Anonymous ~

Rock Of Ages ~ DJ Schmolli / Video: Panos T ~

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech aren't really important unless they're heard...It's hard for me to stay silent when I keep hearing that peace is only attainable through war. And there's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicated this Emmy to all the people who feel compelled to speak out and not afraid to speak to power and won't shut up and refuse to be silenced. ~ Tom Smothers

Dahbud Mensch ~ is SANITY the PLAYGROUND of the unIMAGINATIVE ?

John Titor on Civil War

I remember 2036 very clearly. It is difficult to describe 2036 in detail without spending a great deal of time explaining why things are so different.

In 2036, I live in central Florida with my family and I'm currently stationed at an Army base in Tampa. A world war in 2015 killed nearly three billion people. The people that survived grew closer together. Life is centered on the family and then the community. I cannot imagine living even a few hundred miles away from my parents.

There is no large industrial complex creating masses of useless food and recreational items. Food and livestock is grown and sold locally. People spend much more time reading and talking together face to face. Religion is taken seriously and everyone can multiply and divide in their heads.

Life has changed so much over my lifetime that it's hard to pin down a "normal" day. When I was 13, I was a soldier. As a teenager, I helped my dad haul cargo. I went to college when I was 31 and I was recruited to "time travel" shortly after that. Again, I suppose an average day in 2036 is like an average day on the farm.

There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years. In 2015, Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States (which is the "other side" of the civil war from my perspective), China and Europe. The United States counter attacks. The US cities are destroyed along with the AFE (American Federal Empire)...thus we (in the country) won. The European Union and China were also destroyed. Russia is now our largest trading partner and the Capitol of the US was moved to Omaha Nebraska.

One of the biggest reasons why food production is localized is because the environment is affected with disease and radiation. We are making huge strides in getting it cleaned up. Water is produced on a community level and we do eat meat that we raise ourselves.

After the war, early new communities gathered around the current Universities. That's where the libraries were. I went to school at Fort UF, which is now called the University of Florida. Not too much is different except the military is large part of people's life and we spend a great deal of time in the fields and farms at the "University" or Fort.

The Constitution was changed after the war. We have 5 presidents that are voted in and out on different term periods. The vice president is the president of the senate and they are voted separately. ~ John Titor ~ The Unraveling of (sic) Ahmerika

Perfect conditions for airstrikes on Syria,
says weather forecaster on Russian TV

State TV broadcasts weather report that analyses flying conditions for Russia’s fighter jets and shows aerial footage of recent bombing raids [Click to view video and article]

Russia will pay price for Syrian airstrikes,
says US defence secretary

Ashton Carter predicts reprisal attacks on Russian soil over Vladimir Putin’s military campaign to prop up Bashar al-Assad’s regime [Click to view article]

Nobody for President ~ NONE of the ABOVE should be a choice on voter ballots

American Dream, George Carlin ~ from Ishtar ~

Nobody should have that much power

Nobody for President 2016 = NONE OF THE ABOVE on Voter Ballots

Oh, I hope that I see you again I never even caught your name As you looked through my window pane ~ So I'm writing this message today I'm thinking that you'll have a way Of hearing the notes in my tune ~ Where are you going? Where have you been? I can imagine other worlds you have seen ~ Beautiful faces and music so serene ~ So I do hope I see you again My universal citizen You went as quickly as you came ~ You know the power Your love is right You have good reason To stay out of sight ~~ But break our illusions and help us Be the light ~ The Promise by Mike Pinder

Why I Think This World Should End from Brandon Sloan

Without love in the dream, it will never come true. ~ Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. ~ John Lennon