Violence in America: From Greenie Stik-M Caps to Blackwater

Baby Snake
Before he was Snake Plissken, trying to Escape From New York over and over again, Kurt Russell was Agent Zero-M in a toy commercial for the Mattel Sonic Blaster.

View to a Kill
It's hard to imagine today but in the mid-20th century, kids were immersed, marinated and basted daily -- no, hourly -- in TV commercials, TV programs and comic books that were all about guns, bullets and shooting to kill.

Greenie Stik-M Caps were five cent boxes of gunpowder that kids bought at the candy store so their toy guns would look, sound and smell authentic when they fired off a few lethal rounds at friends and family.

Yeah, that's right. Gunpowder.

Violence was part of the culture that was, to a large extent, sold to consumers as fundamental essence of the American character.

The heroes of the era were indeed those who would shoot first and ask questions later.

The cowboys and private detectives on the glowing box in the living room were men who took the law in their own hands and delivered justice from the smoking end of a blazing six-gun.

You know, like the Blackwater mercenaries that shadow our US military today.


Booty Call

After providing us with her extensive alphabetized list of words for the old buttisimo, as Body by Jake used to say, Canada Peg wrote us a mock-rant letter in an effort to try to incorporate each of the many names to describe the backside at least once.

Dear Apocalypzian Smart-

Moons over Miami!

You're as low as the
hind ends of slaughtered hams heading for the lard bucket on a hot day.

blog post of April 28 belongs in the dump. Your half-arsed use of my cataloged bootay of buttocks--which was right on the beam--as the impetus behind your latest blog is the bottom of even your barrel.

You turned my serious
seater study into the butt of a joke, and added many a bare-bottom pic, no less; indeed, it was spheropygian in presentation, but to what end? I had a haunch that you were using my pulchritudinous talents in order to seat your own back end on the throne of fame.

duff my hat if you'd ask if you can bum the list. But you just grabbed the ill-gotten booty, like a pie full of yams and ran with it, to out flank me.


There was no warning to
cushion the blow to my fundament-al sense of trust, my in-nate innocence. It felt like my glutes got rear-ended by a freighter hauling 10 cars and a caboose!

This isn't the first time I've seen the
underside of mankind; oh, no. I've been taken up the yin-yang, down to the South Pole, and all through the wazoo, but have never gone past the posterior as you have, with your heinie-ous act that pushed the limits of the backside of decency.

Get off your
rump, and follow your own callipygian route to its tail end rather than follow where my tush has already led. I'm not about to take a backseat to your verbal talents. Your rhetoric will forever tail mine...and I had once thought your lingual abilities surpassed even the great Gluteus Maximus himself.

I think you should repair to the rear of your
hindquarters, tuckus your tushie away, and write, for many a moon, till you're so tired you're draggin' your wagon...unless you're afraid it would just be a load of junk suited only for a trunk in the outerparts of your garage.

I hate sounding so
stern, but this really frosted my buns; I bet you figured you're such a cute patootie that your derriere would shine after just a tiny apology. Hah!

You're sorry, my

I wouldn't care if you took a
pratt fall in the parking lot and landed on your keister!

Love, Canada Peg :)


Flashdance and Michael Sembello's Maniac

Flashdance changed the whole idea of musicals in 1983

Tailor-made for the budding MTV generation, this movie about a steel-town girl who dreamed of one day being a professional dancer was exciting, energizing and inspiring.

And the driving pulse-beat of the film was the excellent song, Maniac. Though not written for the movie - and originally conceived as a country song - Maniac was the lifeblood of this Hero-Journey of a welder-turned-dancer.

And at the core of Maniac was a sizzling guitar solo that I have tried unsuccessfully for years to learn how to play.

Who knew there was this interesting tapping trick to it?

Here are four guys of have mastered that bit of musical magic...

Ago Tambone takes on the entire song. This excellent guitarist is in a class all by himself. (The solo is at 3:00 into the clip.)

The original Flashdance video


YouTube Wonders: The Guitar Magic of Ago Tambone


The Wisdom of Pigs

Pigs are fourth on the list of intelligent animals, after chimps, dolphins and elephants.

Separated at Birth?
A cat will look down to a man. A dog will look up to a man. But a pig will look you straight in the eye and see his equal.
Winston Churchill

Great Expectations
A pig has its own nature; no one can take that away from him, it cannot be changed, why blame the poor thing?

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.
Robert Heinlein

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.

The Food Chain
Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Ambrose Bierce

The difference between involvement and commitment is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was involved - the pig was committed.

Animal Farm
No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
George Orwell

A guy visits his friend, Farmer Bill, and they walk out to see the livestock. "Look at that pig over there," says the guy. "He's got a wooden leg! How come?"

"Well, lemme tell ya about this pig," says Farmer Bill. "Remember last month, how I got stuck when the tractor fell over in a rut? Well, that durned pig came over and rooted me out!"

"Wow!" says the guy. "So how come he's got a wooden leg?"

"Well, lemme tell ya. Remember last week when we had that garage fire? Happened at night. Whole house woulda burned down, except that durned pig came around and banged his snout on the bedroom window and woke me up."

"Wow!" says the guy. "But how come he's got a wooden leg?"

"Well, heck! A pig like that ya cain't eat all at once!"
Jim Hull


Jerry Battiste: Apocalypzia's New Poet Laureate

Jerry Battiste is a star reporter for the Bluffton News-Banner, short story author, a great Dad, a terrific clever guy and a great friend and supporter of Apocalypzia.

He recently issued a challenge to his Twitter followers and online friends to suggest random words that he would then weave into a coherent poem for an Open Mic poetry reading.

We think what he was able to produce is nothing short of genius.

By Jerry Battiste

There was an entredentolignumologist
who fell in love with a primatologist--
with vampiric eyes of blue.
He fancied her
and she fancied him too.

Their love was hypergolic
to say the least.
They'd share a taco
and call it a feast.

Luscious chocolate star-filleddreams
Iridescent orange bubbles
burst their hearts at the seams.

Happiness for them was ubiquitous
Nothing-they said-
will ever come between us.

Her dad harumphed
and her mother did blubber.
But the lovers were recalcitrant
and refused any other.

They moved to Manhasset; to
a package they thought was fantastic.
The entredentolignumologist
got a real job-
but nothing too drastic.

He played a zombie in
an off-broadway show -
He had the viscera to give it a go.

She was the reincarnation of Dian Fossey;
a loquacious supporter of primates
and quite bossy.

The dichotomy of their life
was a lesson in faith.
Their differences evanescent
transparent as a wraith

Redemption was theirs
because they both were compliant
careful, causing consideration

(I said all of that just to rhyme

They lived lives full of joy and wonder
and not even death itself
could tear their love

Go to his blog and check out some of his excellent short stories.


Fiomily: Just Dance

Look out Lady GaGa...
Anyone who follows us knows that we are huge fans of the singing sisters aka Fiomily. These not-so-long-ago cute adolescents are now blossoming into lovely young women, blessed with enormous talent.

Their harmonies are tighter than ever and they both, younger Fiona especially, bring a wisdom beyond their years to their art.

The guitar work of Emily is exceptional, providing the ideal accompaniment for the beautiful music the duo makes.

Fiomily has issued amazing and entertaining covers of songs by the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, The Killers, Paramore and Avril Lavigne.

Here they take on Lady Gaga and do it in grand style.

And their stutter-step on ju-ju-ju-just dance is ingenious!

More by Fiomily:

Emily and Fiona Sing the Beatles

Fiomily (Emily and Fiona) Encore

The Music of Fiomily: Its Emily and Fiona: Back to Back!


The Sarah Palin and Larry King Show

A while back we asked our readers to feel free to take a shot at creating an animated short film using the clever Xtranormal technology.

Our good friend Canada Peg, author of the hilarious song parody, North to Alaska, answered the call and sent us this animated video she created.

Beyond the Palin
Around here, we call her the Amy Winehouse of politics -- odd, hard to listen to and possessing a fame that seems untethered to any known or meaningful talent.

The world, much of which is apparently visible to her from her front porch, calls her Sarah Palin.

The Queen of Bizarro Burlesque, Palin represents the most current, and certainly most talked-about, humanoid on the political evolution chart which has, since the middle of the 20th century, shown a disturbing backslide to Neanderthal beginnings.

But let us be clear here.

The blame for this particular downshift in political discourse doesn't really lie with Palin.

Palin is just a shameless opportunist raking in the dough as fast as people are willing to throw it her way.

Nor does the blame lie with John McCain, the Dr. Frankenstein who brought this political oddity to life when he hoped that through her lightning would re-energize his flagging presidential bid in the summer of 2008.

No, the fault lies in ourselves.

The fault lies in those of us who feel so bewildered by the new world order that we hang tea-bags from our hats and incite a revolution that hopefully will not conflict with middle school soccer practice on Saturday.

And the fault lies in those of us who believe we have the luxury to be amused by overwhelming stupidity and to be smug in our false belief that someone so naive and blundering as the semi-Governor of Alaski could ever be within reach of the nuclear football in the Oval Office.

Or should we say nu-cu-lar?