Friday, May 30, 2008

BC Girls- A Fugue




You know what they say...

... about BC girls. Those BC girls.

They got cars of their own, give you a whirl,

Fast BC girls, gone BC girls.

They got a card of pills in their purse,

BC girls, huh. BC girls.

They smell good, better 'n North Side girls.

BC girls, nice BC girls.

Saw Candy at the Osseo Legion Hall.

She's a BC girl. Fine BC Girl

Dancin' the dog, the dirty, dirty dog,

BC girl. Naughty BC Girl.

The thing about this girl, there's no fuss or fight-

BC girl, my, my, BC girl.

Throws a party for me ev'ry Saturday Night-

Crazy BC girl. Wild BC girl.

The thing about the party I really enjoy-

BC girl, Ooooh, BC girl.

There's three other girls and I'm the only boy!

THEY'RE ALL BC GIRLS!

BC GIRLS! BC GIRLS! BC GIRLS!

Yeah.



-with my apologies to Wilson Pickett and Gregory Pincus


By Professor Batty




Comments: 2



Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Real Iceland

Over the last four years I've tried to impart a sense of what I have found interesting about Iceland. Maria Roff, whose blog is titled Iceland Eyes, has been writing and posting photos about her life in Iceland for that period of time as well. Her latest project, Iceland Says consists of posts from her students on the theme of "My life as an Icelander." This is essential reading. If "the child is the father/mother of the man/woman" then these teens are the literate parents of the next generation of Icelandic adults. They are just kids, but they already have a keen sense of their place in their country and the world. A great, great blog.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 1



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Party

                                                                     1976

Attended an afternoon party for the Weaver and her workmates.

Her retirement is imminent.

She'll be able to devote more time to her looms, more time to her own needs.

A definite milestone.

Now that is something to think about.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 3



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stairway To Heaven

My maternal grandfather was a man of few words. Spoken words, that is. He was quite the reader, however, his newspaper was devoured in its entirety every day. His "secret stash" of reading material was kept in bookshelves which were cleverly built into the stairway to the second floor attic. this stairway was more like a ladder, very steep, tucked into a corner of the "cold parlor." The cold parlor was not heated in the winter when it served the function of a walk-in cooler. The stairs rose at about an 80° angle, with small shelves on the left of each tread. Grandfather's tastes ran toward Westerns, with Zane Grey being his favorite author. The attic was unfinished with rafters of rough-sawn wood which combined with the pulp in the paperback novels, gave this "library" a distinctive aroma, similar to an antique shop.

What is old is new again, of course, so I was not really surprised when I ran across this image.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 1



Monday, May 26, 2008

Car Show

             
Every Saturday throughout the summer, our town hosts a "Car Show", it's really just an excuse for vintage car enthusiasts to "strut their stuff." There are no prizes, no awards, just folks with old cars that have been more-or-less restored. Most of the vehicles shown are "muscle cars" of the 60's and '70s, but a few older Model A's and even a "Bucket T" or two will show up:

    

There is even a pokey Nash Metropolitan sitting near a wickedly fast Cobra GT:

    

A lot of dreams and memories are on show here. First car, first date, car you never had but always wanted, and of course the biggest dream of all: Youth.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 5



Friday, May 23, 2008

Google Planning Session- Top Secret - Eyes Only

"In light of all the activity by Myspace and Facebook, it's time for Google to fill an important gap- the anti-social network: InYourFaceBook™, perfect for trolls, misfits and other miscreant "get-a-lifers."

"How about a Twitter-like module?"

"Already done, it will allow instant insults, put-down and slurs, with mobile computing support as well."

"Advertising?"

"Of course, we'll start with political ads, PAC's and Swift-Boaters, working our way up to lease-to-own furniture and even getting into those nightly news staples- laxatives and incontinence."

"Brilliant, Sergey!"

"Hush! I told you no names at these meetings, you never know who's listening in..."


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Conspiracy

They are everywhere.

These "intelligence agents" tirelessly working around the country.

Linked with electronic networks, they monitor the activities of their "patrons", keeping detailed records of these unsuspecting innocents.

They share this and other information, documents and media of various sorts, throughout the country.

I became aware of them at an early age when they would stamp little slips of paper that allowed me limited access to their archives, but little did I understand of what they were really up to.

I am older now, and wiser. I have started to understand their "system" and the tables have begun to turn.

My primer:



Your secrets are no longer hidden, all your (data)bases are now mine.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 3



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dragged Kicking and Screaming...

... into the 19th century!



Work has finally begun on the Commuter Rail Station in my home town. We actually had rail transit here before- in 1890! Some things go round in circles I guess- although this Commuter Rail will only go back and forth to Minneapolis, at least at first. I found it interesting that some communities opted out vehemently, but this was before $4 a gallon gasoline, however. Maybe, just maybe, I will finally be able to fulfill my dream of walking to Iceland.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To The Graduate

You did it! It seems like was only yesterday when you were pondering the GREAT LEAP: going to the University, moving away from home, leaving friends and family, making a definite break with your past. Now you've come to this new turning point in your life, a point past which you will encounter even greater uncertainties and challenges. If you still have doubts about the satisfactory completion of your undergrad studies, don't be too hard on yourself. They could never be perfect, as the world is never perfect. Things are done, or left undone, without complete logic or understanding- sometimes without any reason at all. But we do continue to try, moving forward, sideways, or backwards; always moving, even when the gains we do make are sometimes accidental or counter-productive. As the venerable sage once said: "There is no try, there is only do, young Skywalker."

I've been this occasional voice on the sideline of your quest, supplying what I hope were a few words of encouragement. I've got no secret supply of BIG TRUTHS, just a few more years of experience, some of it needlessly bitter. I'm not even much of a father-figure, I'm just another traveler in the wilderness who happened to spot a rising star in the southeast.

Rise higher, southeastern star, let your voice be heard, and let your mind remain open, the world is full of the good and the bad and indifferent, your education has given you a taste of wisdom, use it to look within yourself and also beyond yourself and you'll do just fine.

The things that are written on these sometimes silly blogs may have only the smallest effect on the world at large. But they have an effect, and anyone who believes in what they write will also believe that the effect is a positive one. I hope I've given you something of merit here. Congratulations, Comica , and thanks for all that which you have given me.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 1



Monday, May 19, 2008

Midnight Serenade


Lobby of the Hotel Borg, 2000

It was really just a whim.

A spring break vacation taken to Iceland, of all places.
We booked a mid-week package and decided to upgrade the
accommodations to include three nights at the Hotel Borg.
Right in the center of town, what could be more convenient?
When we arrived we were completely charmed by the hotel's
Art Deco motif. That day was spent wandering aimlessly,
everything was new and strange and mostly delightful.
That evening we found a little restaurant by the harbor,
Jonathan Livingston Malvern, ate a delicious meal
and returned to our room, completely satisfied in both mind
and spirit, and completely exhausted in body.

Our room was above a bar, and at about midnight the bar's
patrons began to sing. Not a raucous drinking ditty, but a
real song, with numerous stanzas, sung in harmony!
If we had possessed even an ounce of strength, we would
have gone down and joined them, as it was we just fell
asleep to the beautiful music.

This memory was brought to mind by this post
by Elise, in her blog The Reyjavík Harbor Watch.
It is an elegant muse about the joys of group singing,
singing in public, singing just for the joy of it.
It is something that has been lost here in the U.S.,
something that wouldn't be tolerated at all,
and more's the pity for that.

The Hotel Borg has gone through some renovations since '00, a double room is about $500 a night now- probably not really an Icelandair package option anymore.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 1



Friday, May 16, 2008

100 Needles


A package of needles.

"One hundred", no irony intended.

Mom, Missy, and Little Sister; happy and harmonious.

Mending a button, hemming a skirt.

Puffy clouds in an azure sky, drifting past verdant mountains.

Blossoms in a cobalt vase.

The glory of domestic life- through a golden eye.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cease and Desist?

Oh dear. Found this on my site-tracker tonight:


For those of you who have never read the "Flippism" link in the sidebar, "Flipism" made its first appearance in a Donald Duck comic in the mid 1950's. The villain of the story, Professor Batty, was a pitchman who sold Donald a self-help book entitled Flipism Is The Key. Donald took its advice literally, basing all of his decisions on flipping a coin. Needless to say, disaster ensued. When I started this humble effort Professor Batty was just one of a number of fictional characters (thankfully, this early version of the blog has been long deleted.) When I started writing regularly I took up the Professor's persona- that of a fast-talking con-man- but applied it to broader and more non-fictional uses. I had actually used the Flippist name for a record business in the 70's and 80's; there is even an IRS tax number under that name.


So, if you are from Disney legal and are monitoring this blog- give me a break, please. I've got a case for prior use, and at least I spelled it right.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 4



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This Bird Has Flown



With the headlines full of disasters,
it was your news today which struck me hardest.
It's silly to feel this way.
We just shared a few thoughts
and one Sunday afternoon.
But you brightened, enlightened and
sometimes even frightened me, almost every day.
If I was too much at times,
I'm sorry, it was just my nature.
You never did me any wrong.
It was probably too weird from the start.
But I'm glad it happened.
Good-bye, and good luck.
You're always welcome here.
When I see you
Fly away without me-
Shadow on the things I know
Feathers fall around me
And show me the way to go-
It's over, it's over.

-"Birds" original lyrics by Neil Young
-"Icelandic Falcons" original image by James Audubon


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jungle Boy


   It seemed almost normal at the time. Gigging as a sound man with a variety of bands, I came to expect almost anything, especially when working with The Wallets and their visionary leader Steve Kramer. Even though this night was Halloween the "Jungle Boy and the Nuns" theme was used on more than one occasion by the group, and always to spectacular effect. Their big "hit" at the time was a little ditty entitled "Totally Nude" with this chorus:
They're totally nude!
They're totally naked!
They're totally nude!
They're totally naked!
And they're waiting for you!
In Saint Paul!


   Jungle Boy, Nuns, and the tag line from a strip club...

   ... it all seemed almost normal at the time...

   More on Steve here.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Monday, May 12, 2008

Fleurs du Mal



Come in, honey.

The lawn will keep.

All that sun will only wreck your skin.

There are plenty of other yards that are worse than ours.

Come in, have a drink, do the crossword, take a nap.

There's not enough time in the world to pull all the dandelions.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 2



Friday, May 09, 2008

On the Revolutionary Trail



"You say you want a revolution, we all want to see the plan..."

- John Lennon

Tonight's search, inspired by Rose's post, brings us to this futuristic edifice. We are searching for a document of the greatest importance, part of a larger body of work that is revolutionary in scope and is destined to conquer the world...


Karl Marx did much of his seminal work in the Library of the British Museum, this is an equally auspicious place, as well...



... strolling through the stacks, the "Vibes" become stronger and stronger, it won't be much longer now...



... Eureka! The revolution is growing, one institution at a time...


By Professor Batty




Comments: 4



Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Problem of Pink and Purple

In a current series on gender identities, NPR featured a story concerning the therapy that two young boys with feminine traits have been receiving. The story speaks for itself, but one aspect of it connected with me. One of the boys, whose therapist (Dr. Ken Zucker) was keen on coercion, had his parents take away his "girly" toys and in their place the child was given "gender appropriate" ones. As a result the boy stopped playing with toys altogether- he spent his days drawing instead. His subjects were rainbows and unicorns and faeries, drawn in hues of pink and purple and pale yellow. The linked transcript above is abridged, in the radio broadcast it was mentioned that the therapist then had his parents take away the offending crayons.

Pink and Purple crayons? Isn't that a bit much? They then "taught" the poor kid how to draw boys, with presumably more masculine colors (burnt umber, battleship gray?); the child had realized that the only way he could get them off his case was to comply, which he did- in a perfunctory manner. Another budding artist destroyed.

All sorts of alarm bells started going off in my head when I heard that. I remember certain favorite toys taken away, and I remember many hours of my childhood spent doing things I detested, in a resentful manner, just to make the coercion stop. Some of the damage took a long time to even identify, much less resolve.

Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, the other featured therapist in the radio show, took a more measured view:
“If we allow people to unfold and give them the freedom to be who they really are, we engender health. And if we try and constrict it, or bend the twig, we engender poor mental health.”

These boys figured out from an early age that girls get nicer clothes, have the most social opportunities, and have the best style sense. Adolescence will come upon then soon enough, when it does which child will be better able to face it- the conflicted but "normal" one or the one in harmony with him/her self?


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No Post Today...

... even a batty old professor gets "lucky" once in a while...


By Professor Batty




Comments: 0



Tuesday, May 06, 2008

THAT GIRL



The current IT girl, we've all seen THE IMAGE numerous times

We've heard the great hue and cry from those easily offended.

But they protest in error!

This image is not as it really was, for it existed in a variety of earlier states,

each skilfully altered to hide THE NAKED TRUTH!

The released version shows a somewhat petulant teenager, half-covered with a satin sheet.

Pleasant, but hardly arousing- it's actually a flesh colored body stocking, covering up...



...the FUR COAT! PETA take note!

Form-fitting to accent her animal charms.

Actually, it was quite cold in the studio.

It was worn to prevent goose-bumps.

To discover the truth, the REAL NITTY-GRITTY as it were,

let us proceed further, to an even earlier rendition:



Now we're getting warmer, (as she's getting colder!)

Her monkey fur has been removed revealing a shimmering silver lamé blouse.

But all of these pictures have shown THAT GIRL with a ton of make-up.

Who is the real person beneath the lipstick, powder and paint?

Is this just another dream, another twisted Hollywood fantasy?

What is she hiding?

WHO ARE YOU, O GIRL OF MYSTERY?














Offered with my apologies to the REAL Sharon, welcome back!


By Professor Batty




Comments: 1



Monday, May 05, 2008

Everything Is Beautiful

A day spent outdoors, a walk around town without a parka, some Home Improvement and a whole summer yet to come. I'll take it at face value- there has been a lot of gnashing of teeth and unfocused anxiety at the Flippist World Headquarters as of late. Too many hard times for everyone. I'm still breathing, I'm still blogging (albeit somewhat incoherently) and there ain't nothin' nobody can do about it!

Beautiful, baby, beautiful.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 2



Friday, May 02, 2008

Joe Mayhew



When we were doing the Boho Dance, living in "reduced circumstance" our neighbor was a Viet Nam Vet and itinerant trucker named Joe Mayhew. Joe's drummer had a different beat, so to speak, but he was OK, if just a bit scary. His house had been fair at one time, but the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune had reduced its appearance from merely humble to squalid. Joe tried to be sociable but his efforts were occasionally misguided- such as the time he gave us some meat (from a refused shipment!) that even the dog wouldn't eat. Joe had a hard time with authority, when it came to pass that the city wanted all the properties in the area for redevelopment, Joe fought them all the way, even after they had leveled his domicile.

In defiance, Joe put up this display of of flags. The city policy wonks went to the trouble of putting a quasi-legal notice up, which remained until the land was sold to a developer.



Right on, Coyote!


By Professor Batty




Comments: 1



Thursday, May 01, 2008

Action Figures

Barbie's LoungePhoto by Nicole Houff, copyright 2008, used with permission.

My sister's Barbie dolls were a vital source of sex-ed information in 1962. I had undressed dolls before, but these were different. This doll had shapes other than chubby cheeks or pudgy baby hands. And what distorions these shapes were, impossible both in anatomy and gravity. Not really so different than the Venus of Willendorf except for a fecund belly and shortened, not lengthened, legs. Still, there was an odd attraction to these sexual talismans, both old and new.

Neither Barbie nor "Venus" were capable of standing unaided.


By Professor Batty




Comments: 2