Eight and a half-wit
Flickhead, age 5
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and that they should read your blog.
Eight facts about me
His Lordship—“Mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” according to Lady Caroline Lamb
1. I have a connection to Lord Byron. My mother’s family are Clairmonts, descendants of Claire Clairmont, the mother of Byron’s illegitimate daughter Allegra. Does this not entitle me to my own castle? A dowry? A tea party, perhaps? Claire was a character in the films Gothic (1986) and Haunted Summer (1988). A familial footnote: my great-great grandfather John Clairmont (a.k.a. Old Turkey Skin) was an inventor who owned the original patent on what would eventually become the Otis Elevator. After a lifetime of building and losing fortunes, he spent his last years buying and selling luxury automobiles for the Chicago Outfit.
2. I once sent part of western New York into a tizzy. It was either 1976 or 1977 when the prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson trial and Helter Skelter author Vincent Bugliosi was scheduled to lecture at my alma mater, Niagara University. This was less than ten years after the Tate-LaBianca murders, and I’d heard in the local pub that astrologist Jeane Dixon predicted the Manson family would visit the campus and taunt the student body. One night, armed with a case of beer and my Royal manual typewriter, I wrote an article for the University newspaper: “Manson Family to Swoop Down on Niagara U.” Inspired by Hunter Thompson (my then-idol), it ‘detailed’ the impending invasion of shaven-head, machete-wielding crazies ready to cut up the suburban swells, complete with ‘interviews’ with locals (all fabricated) and ‘documented evidence’ of Ms. Dixon’s prediction (ha!). Inebriated, I slipped it under the office door of the University paper at around two in the morning, figuring the thing would go directly into the trash after giving the editor a good laugh. Three or four days later I was getting breakfast and that week’s edition of the paper, only to find my ‘article’ on page one with the title in bold headline type. The aftermath was intense: hundreds of students were evacuated by their parents, state police patrolled the campus, and the ‘story’ made the local papers and the ten o’clock news, complete with response by a shaken Ms. Dixon. (She never made the prediction in the first place.) I was called to the carpet by the head of the English Department (“Mr. Young, how could you write such insane lies?!?”), but flipped the discussion around Gonzo-style and demanded that whoever OK’d the piece be expelled—“Get that third-rate pig-licking hack out of here immediately, if not sooner!” (Yes, I was wearing sunglasses, Hawaiian shirt and smoked my cigarette with a holder.) After all was said and done, Mr. Bugliosi visited, lectured, signed my copy of Helter Skelter, and the Manson Family was nowhere to be seen.
3. I procrastinate with my art. As a writer and musician, I’m terribly slow. I’m sure I could capitalize on my qualities, but deadlines are for work, and once my art turns to work it’ll no longer be art.
Image swiped from the excellent
4. I’ve seen the James Bond movie Thunderball more than 150 times. I actually lost count after I’d seen it more than twenty-five by the time it showed up on ABC’s Sunday Night Movie in 1974, but now, three decades later, 150 seems a good, perhaps conservative, estimate. It blew me away when it premiered in 1965: I was seven-years-old, easily amused, enamored by the brassy, colorful imagery and willfully manipulated by the publicity and exploitation. Before the ABC-TV premiere, before DVD, VHS and online downloading, we went to the movies often and a lot of films played for months on end. You could probably find Thunderball showing somewhere ten years after its release in venues charging anywhere from two dollars to fifty cent bargain matinees—if we tallied admissions instead of box office grosses, I’m sure the numbers would dwarf those for Star Wars. Thunderball was first re-released in 1968, paired with From Russia, with Love, and again in 1970, on a double bill with You Only Live Twice, programs I saw over and over. Today I certainly recognize its flaws, but Thunderball’s evolved into blissful, slack-jawed, cotton-brained nostalgic trip for me.
5. I have a foot fetish. Specifically women’s, preferably dark n’ dainty. Halle Berry’s got a nice pair, superb arch, delicate heel, perfect skin tone, just right. Yum! Yum! She’s delightfully barefoot in The Flintstones, elevating that awful film to a position of imaginary greatness. This particular fixation provides an upper hand when appreciating Buñuelian and Sternbergian nuance, titillating subtleties often lost on academics and mundanes alike.
Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid
6. I don’t watch episodic television, except… I’ve kept up with the daytime soap General Hospital for nearly two decades.
7. For two years I worked out in the Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco gym without realizing it. Having skipped the story as it was unfolding in the papers, I never knew the dark and grimy sweat box I went to four days a week was that notorious couple’s hangout. I didn’t mingle with the clientele, for they were a beefy, intimidating bunch. After reading Amy Fisher: My Story on a rainy afternoon, the reality hit. Soon after, I found the door locked, the interior cleaned out, and my remaining six months’ membership gone with the wind. The building was sold and refurbished into a children’s exercise and daycare center.
8. I’m introverted, shy and terrible at small talk.…not the best person to invite to a party.
I’ll pass the baton over to the following folks (please don’t hate me too much):