9/23/14

The Painted Wall

Joke #1 -  A Sherwin Williams hand model demonstrates their new extra-capacity Spectra-Lux paint cannister, which features a molded hand grip and super-wide mouth for maximum dispersion. The company promises the new painting tool will allow customers to paint a room in half the time at twice the distance.

Joke #2 - Mrs. Rorschach freshens up the sitting room for spring.

Joke #3 - New York Fashion Week's "Hot for Winter" 2014... Sheep's blood in. Goat's blood out.

Joke #4 - After investigating the strange paint-splattered wall, experts could not explain why anyone would do something so strange, and why paint would drip in exactly such a pattern. History Channel consultants concluded it mush have been aliens.

Joke #5 - She missed again. The fly moved. This was going to get worse before it got better.


9/22/14

The Blog that Might have Been - Not really a post, and Word Jazz.

Sorry for the "no-post" blues, everybody (both of you). Know what's just slightly better than nothing? Something! Barely! Today we bring you the name that we almost chose for this very blog! In doing some routine maintenance and file up-backing, the Phil Are GO Resource Management and External Hard Drive Dusting-Off Team (RMEHDDO Team) came across a very old header from the very early days of P.A.G. In fact, we weren't even Phil Are GO back then. We were originally going to call ourselves...... wait for iiiit......

The Thirsty Eye! See?


"The thirsty eye never drowns". That little tagline underneath it is a wee little tribute to Ken Nordine. See, back in 2006 or so, Ken Nordine released a DVD called The Eye is Never Filled. Now, I'd been a Nordine fan ever since like the mid nineties when I found his radio show on NPR by accident. It's on WBEZ on Sunday nights at midnight, "when the big hand and the little hand get together to chime the time." Yeah, baby. Word jazz. Stare with your ears.

Anyway, the "The Eye is Never Filled" DVD is sort of meh. Sorry, Ken. However, the title is fantastic. I thought The Thirsty Eye was a brilliant ripoff/tribute to the DVD's title, and it was. Hat tip to me for thinking of it. Trouble is, lots of other people are similarly brilliant. For example, it's an art gallery in England. Shitballs. So, on to plan B. What's plan B? Well, the old Thunderbirds show was alternately hilarious/fascinating/ridiculous, and those are my three favorite emotions. I thought I'd use a parody of their slogan, "Thunderbirds are Go!". Nuff said. Done. Phil Are GO!

So who's Ken Nordine? Well, he was one of the original Beat poets. He's a Chicago native. He had a long career in voiceover, so you'll know his voice from lots of commercials, like, for example, Levi's Jeans, from the Seventies and Eighties...




Ken lives in an idyllic corner of Wisconsin now, and he still does some stuff, but he's like two hundred years old. Cut him some slack if some episodes of the radio show are re-edits of his old shows. He invented this thing he calls "Word Jazz", which is like surreal free form dreamy conceptual poetry. It's cool as shit and you owe it to yourself to search FaceTube for more. You won't regret it, unless you're an uptight square.

The purest and best form of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz was the album that bore the name, released in 1957. It's up on FaceTube, but people can't resist editing in their own images to go with the tracks. Oh well.


Here's some fun trivia. I used to work at a cartoon studio here in Chicago that did a lot of work for Warner Bros. They farmed out some episodes of Animaniacs, Histeria and Road Rovers (ugh!) to our studio. WB didn't trust the whole "digital" thing yet, even though this was already like 1998. They insisted we work in film. In their defense, they have underground vaults full of negatives of Bugs Bunny and loads of other Warners cartoons that survive to this day. They know how to preserve film for a hundred years. Digital was still "new and strange" to them. Whatever. anyway, when we had to animate something for Warners, we had to get it transferred to film somehow, and that meant sending  stuff to a film lab in downtown Chicago (we were in the suburbs) where worked one Kevin Nordine! Yep. That's Ken's son. I never got to meet the guy, sadly, though I would have loved to. The film cannisters were always couriered to and from the lab to our studio, so few people ever met in person. Anyway, our stuff was, more often then not, transferred to film by Ken Nordine's son. And guess what? You can hear Kevin Nordine's voice on one of the old tracks from The Best of Word Jazz. He's the voice of the baby on "My Baby", which is one of my favorite tracks from the album. You can hear him going "be bum, be bum, bah bo, bay-beeee." It's a crazy world, man.

Waiter, two glasses of warm milk.




9/19/14

A procreant and His (or Her, or Shmer) Orb - Construction begin.

Greetings, colonist. Thank you for choosing to Make a New Life in the Offworld Colonies. Today's Instructional Narrative Requirement involves the construction and feeding of your youngling's Companion Orb. It is required by The leader. It is The Way. It shall be done.

Your procreant will require a Companion Orb for optimal biological development, as proscribed in The Flight Manuals, which were discovered, as you know, in the Wreckage of Our Glorious Arrival, in the Blessed Smoking Crater, so long ago. The Flight Manuals may not be contravened. The leader has spoken thus.

The procurement of a Companion Orb is precise and must be done exactly. So, inform your Dome Supervisor that you will be requiring an additional ration of oxygen to keep your mind sharp. Cerebral hypoxia has been the cause of many a misshapen Companion Orb, and many an unsuitable procreant youngling, resultantly.

Begin by venturing into the Forbidden Plains, where you must find a suitable Orb Seed Pod. Wait until the vegetative herds have moved on from their nocturnal encampment, and you will find many Orb Seed Pods in their leavings. Choose one of special roundness and give thanks to the Mighty Engine that brought us here, to behold such wonders.

In your hydroponics bay, cover the Orb Seed Pod in warm peat loam for not less than seven diurnals. Upon the seventh diurnal, your Orb Seed Pod should have sprouted. Praise The Leader! All thanks to The Mighty Engine!






In the fullness of time, your procreant will attach itself to the Orb, and your youngling's cycles will begin. On such a day, be sure to wear your protective radiation garment at all times. A cycling procreant and Companion Orb unity will emit not only alpha particles but also gamma rays rating very high on the Rutherford scale. Rejoice at the unity from a minimum safe distance of seventy meters, or simply hide in a trench for a few days, rejoicing from there.

Note that the orb is gaily bestriped in varying concentricities that are to remind us of the motions of the stars, which we once could read, but whose knowing is now lost to us. The bestripedness of the Companion Orb will determine the gender of your procreant. There are three bestripednesses, for the three possible genders of He, or She, or Shmee. The left-placed image depicts the bestripednesses of types A and B. Praise the Leader.






If your procreant is so chosen by The Mighty Engine to have a star-bestriped Companion Orb, then you are truly lucky. Huzzah! For, the star-bestriped Companion Orb denotes the birthing of the New Leader! Truly huzzah!



The youngling receiving a star-bestriped Companion Orb will not only become the New Leader, but Shmee will receive a triple ration of nutrient tablets, in preparation of battling the old leader to the death. Huzzah! Thank The Mighty Engine.



9/18/14

Watch Repair - Hunch your back.

Let's forget. for a moment, that a bunch of companies are trying to make your watch into something that you throw away and re-buy every year. Some people like wearing watches despite the fact that they don't really need to any more. They just like them.Time was, when your watch broke, you got it fixed by some kind of local human with ruined posture and very sharp eyes. Enter the part time watch repair guy. This could have been YOU! Isn't that wouldn't have been exciting?

Glamour. Travel. Adventure. If these are the things you longed to abandon, then you should have send for the Chicago School of Watchmaking's free sample lesson in watch repair. Let tomorrow have been the first day of the rest of your squinty, bent-over life.

So what's at 2330 Milwaukee now? Get ready to have your mind not blown! It's a poorly stitched-together lawyers' office! Woooo! Underwhelming!



I scream, you scream. We all scream for a Graphic Gift of a broke guy! I love that song. He's a PNG, and that rhymes with "alpha channel" which is the first letter in "transparent background", so get your rude finger ready to right-click this cranky pauper onto your hard drive in three, two, one, RIGHTCLICK NOW!


He seems way more likely to find frequent employment in fun little notes around the house than the strangely specific people in the Quix Suds ad from Monday's post. For example, You could use him in an email to your son when he asks you to send him some medicinal marijuana money at The University of Bleeding You Dry. You're welcome!

Click for big.



9/16/14

P&B Wools - Rowland Emett! Whimsy for everyone!

More great stuff from our friends across the pond today. This time, we bring you  our discovery of a new favorite illustrator in this 1947 ad for P&B wools, who, for some reason, use a beehive as their logo. Weird. Anyway....Rowland Emett!

Until a few minutes ago, I'd never heard of Rowland Emett. Thankfully, one of our cub reporters dropped this ad on my desk, exposing my foolish ignorance, humiliating me. How dare you, cub reporter! Also, nice work! I'm giving you a raise and then firing you. You can have the corner office. I'm sorry, but you'll have to clean out your desk as soon as you move in.

So who's this Rowland Emett guy? English illustrator and sculptor. 1906-1990. His dad was an amateur inventor. This makes a lot of sense. Have a look.





Here's some FaceTube video of some of his sculpture. You may want to turn down the music. Why oh why do so many amateur video editors insist on forcing music into everything? I think most of the time, "nat sound" would be better. It is well shot, though. You have to shoot Emett's stuff like this, as a series of close up details. You wouldn't get it all in with just a wide shot.

It's interesting (read: disappointing) to note that so many people, when posting videos about Rowland Emett, can't resist tacking on the line "Marvelous Machines", as if they're the first person savagely clever enough to come up with that description. It's ironic that Emett was so inventive and original, and people use that stupid cliche to celebrate his work. This reminds me of the phrase "think outside the box". In praising originality, we use tired, pre-packaged thoughts and worn out catch phrases. Well done, us. People who urge you enthusiastically to "think outside the box!!!" have never even seen the edge of "the box", let alone spent any time thinking outside it.



Here's a news reel on Emett from British Pathe', which, by the way, has uploaded tons of their clips to FaceTube, indexed into playlists no less. Thanks, Pathe'!



In this video, they mention his design work for Chitty Chitty Bang bang. I had a feeling he had some involvement in the Willy Wonka movie also, but facts don't seem to bear this out. We couldn't find any evidence that he worked on that film.



His stuff doesn't really represent well at small scale, which makes today's ad a little unfortunate. It's about 4" by 4.5". Good thing that promoted guy I fired spotted it. We can use a sharp-eyed go-getter like him around here. I should hire him.

Click for big.


9/15/14

Quix Concentrated Suds - Blame the messenger?

Today we have another mysterious artifact from The Ancient Land. It's an ad for Quix Concentrated Suds, which apparently was a brand of dish soap you could buy in a distant land ever such a long time ago!

You can tell this ad came from England, even though it doesn't make any mention of their nutty currency in one of dozens of denominations of coins, each of  which has five different names. For one thing, you can tell because they say "washing-up" instead of "doing the dishes". Then there's their use of the word "crockery". Psst - That means "the dishes". So now you know.

The shrewd observer may notice that in this little cartoon, the implication is that the woman does the dishes and the man approves her work. Don't be mad at advertising. The ad business always just does it's best to reflect the state of popular culture. It never drives it or dictates cultural morays, despite it's ardent wish to do just that. Advertising is like the pathetic loser kid that does whatever he thinks will make him "cool". He's doing his best to be liked by everyone. The lady in this ad is a housewife because this was 1951 and, well, you know... 1951. Actually, I'm guessing that, in '51, the English were still pretty happy to not get bombed by the Germans every night. Gender equality could wait a few more years.

How bout some strange clip art to start your week off right? These illustration, taken out of context, become strangely specific, yet vague. They're the kind of thing that's not very useful until you absolutely need it for the perfect party invitation or love note, you know?






Click for big.






9/12/14

Science News! - Like news, but sciencey!

Steam-powered, butane-fueled motorcycle is somehow preferable to one that is just butane-powered. Inventor dislikes questions. Very slowly sped away after igniting boiler, waiting for water to boil, and adequate steam pressure to build.

Home-made baby terrifyer is cheaper than commercially-available forms
of baby torment, allows you to capture magic moment of adorable horror.

Graduated tempered-glass monkey mug is tough enough for monkey use,
accurate enough to prevent accidental over-roofieing of monkeys.


Tire-Flator fills leaky tire from spare, resulting in two tires at half-pressure soon, two flat tires later.