Archive for April 2010

What you DIDN’T see at Pecha Kucha Redding Night (Lucky Duckies)

April 20, 2010

This would have been my presentation in the 20×20 Pecha Kucha Redding event April 16th. That’s 20 slides at 20 seconds per slide, each with my brilliant running commentary. I got the bit in late so the organizers didn’t get a chance to see it until the day before the event. Well, they didn’t deserve the mess I turned in, so in a hastily prepared “Plan B” we put something together hours before the presentation that went off without injuries, so it’s all good. Here’s the Pecha Kucha you were spared…

Greetings. Welcome to my Peachy Kachoo presentation, “The Illustrated Secret History of Shasta County.” This is the true story of the region we call home. You won’t find this information in any history books and the Shasta County Hysterical Society has long ignored these facts and, conveniently, replaced them with documented evidence. We’re not here for evidence; we’re here for the truth. So, follow me.

Back in the days before time began, our four fathers came upon this land and stopped. We believe they stopped because they spied four mothers. We are lucky there were four fathers and four mothers. Had there been five fathers and four mothers, things could have gotten ugly. But fortune smiled upon us and everything worked out. Out of this chance meeting sprang the first subdivision.

It’s true the first peoples to inhabit the valley were squatters, it was their squatting that made the land so fertile. It also gave parts of the region a distinct aroma… well, stench, actually. Now, of course, we know that area as Cottonwood. But, in those days it was just known as Port Au Let. A little misleading as there really wasn’t a port, per se. But it was a warm, low-lying area in which to squat.

Still, time went on… and the landscape continued to evolve. For example, there was a mountain, soon to be called Shasta. Many of you here today cling to the false belief that the great mountain that looms to the north is a long dormant volcano. Untrue! It is actually the residual dirt pile from the excavation done by the indigenous peoples who were making a pit to house the region’s first casino.

These people took their name from the pit they had excavated. Yes, the were the Pits. And, the first overseers of the casino became known as pit bosses. Unfortunately, the displaced dirt had been heaped atop the neighbors, the Lemurians, who live under the mountain to this day. Though they’re still not happy about it. You wouldn’t be happy about it either, I’ll bet…

I just want to stop here for a moment and point out that we’re barely two minutes into my presentation and look at all you’ve learned! I bet you thought you were going to leave Petcha Choo Choo Night in Redding just as dumb as when you came in. Ha! Fooled you! We’ve managed to kill about 36,000 of your brain’s neurons since we’ve started, so you’re leaving here a lot dumber than when you came in! You’re welcome.

Now, back to our history, already in progress. Life continued in the region quite happily for a few eons. In part, because of the life-sustaining Sacramento River. “Sacramento” being the native word for “that which moves slowly, if at all.” The river brought water, salmon and tourists to the valley. The waterway also helped carve out the area’s distinguishing features. As everyone knows, for every river you need a bridge, and our river was no different. But, it wasn’t enough for our four fathers to have just a bridge. They wanted a bridge that could tell time!

So, they built a big sun dial on the banks of the That Which Moves Slowly If At All River. It was a good thing they built a sun dial because nobody in Ancient Redding had ever built a bridge. In fact, they weren’t very good at building sun dials either. This one ran three minutes slow and seemed to need constant winding. So, in a fit of frustration the people pushed the big sun dial over… and it fell across the river. Voila! A bridge!

With a new bridge, the two sides of town were now united. No longer would the Shasta High football team have to stand on one side of the river and throw rocks at the Enterprise football team. Now, they could cross the bridge and get a much better shot… in fact, both sides began wearing helmets as the frequency of “direct hits” had gone up considerably since the bridge became functional. Unfortunately, the rivalry has lost much of its luster as both teams now are nothing more than patsies for Foothill.

As we have reached the halfway point of my presentation. We will pause for a 15-second intermission.

There. I think we all needed that. Let’s leap ahead in time — since not much was going on except peaceful hunting and gathering for thousands of years. Things started getting interesting again around  the 1800s. That’s when guys with mules and some with pack animals started showing up. They had two things on their mind… well, three things… Gold, logging and medical marijuana cultivation. Things began to boom in Shasta County. Some of the booming was small arms fire, but progress is progress.

With all the new folks coming to town, lured by gold, logs and glaucoma cures, a city began to emerge. Buildings, roads, hospitals, schools and RV Parks all began to sprout up. The city was named Redding. Why the name Redding? No one knows. Anybody who says they know why Redding is called Redding are delusional. Especially those whackos over at the Shasta Hysterical Society… what with their documents and all. The fact is, the naming of Redding “Redding” is a complete mystery.

Even though the naming of the town remains an enigma, the fact is that a burgh needs stuff. Like a city hall. The first city hall was erected in 1901 and served as a multi-purpose building. By day, it was the city hall… by night it was one of the region’s first full-service brothels. This tradition carried over into modern times as the current city hall has been known to rent office space and stairwells at an hourly rate. Or, so I’ve heard.

Still, as Redding grew it began to discover what it was really good at, and what it was really good at was making large amounts of pancakes. The town was so good at it that all the local cowboys gave up punching cattle in favor of whisking batter. The cattle were grateful for less punching, but the additional butter demands sort of made the whole deal a wash. Hey, cooking up thousands of pancakes got us on Good Morning, America – which was, after all,  pretty cool.

Today, Redding takes pride in its political and cultural diversity. Latest census figures indicate that there are now 11 Democrats in the county and, most shockingly, there are now 38 people who admit to having watched a film with subtitles… but in truth, neither of these claims can be proven and many of us are convinced that more Sasquatches than Democrats can be spotted roaming the promenade. Although, things may be loosening up as we hear there’s now an Episcopalian family within the city limits. Tolerance, thy name is Redding.

You may have noticed that as this Pecker Coochie presentation has gone on that there has been a steady decline in both the actual content and the quality of the artwork. Well, that’s because I had to come up with over six minutes of material all by myself. It’s widely known that I can’t keep anything up for over six minutes, let alone an informative and entertaining Power Point presentation. Ask anybody. They’ll tell you.

At some point I’ll resort to cheap tricks like slowly drawing…. Out….. my….. words…..and… using… a …. Pencil…. And…. No…. color …. For….The …. Drawings…. Themselves….

You, as an audience may begin to feel cheated by these lame tactics, but I have a question for you. How much did you pay to get in here tonight? Huh? Shell out a lot of dough to take in the festivities did you? Well, I’ll fill you in on a little secret… I agreed to prepare this Pet Your CooCoo slide show in exchange for half the gate receipts. That’s right… I get half of what you paid to see the show.

But, I suppose if you feel that strongly about out, I’ll refund your price of admission out of my own pocket. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of the stuff you paid with tonight. Tons of it. I’ve got so much nothing that I’ve taken to donating large amounts of it to various religious groups. I’m making a killing with the Buddhists, but I think the Episcopalian family is on to me. Hopefully, they don’t stay up this late and I can make my getaway before they even figure out I was here.

Don’t let it be said that I didn’t adhere to the Pooty Kojack format, this is in fact… the twentieth slide… which is all I agreed to do. Thank you all for your kind attention but you’ll have to excuse me… I need to find the organizers so I can pick up my check… I bet it looks a lot like this screen… good night, and if I managed to offend you… well, that’s what I get paid for.

NOTE: Larry, Tish and the organizers of PKN Redding should be commended for their sense of decorum and good taste. Even though they shot-down my presentation, the one we did in its place was more fun and a lot looser. I think it was more in keeping with the spirit of the event. I’m just glad to have been invited… but, they should have known that if they let me in, chances were that I’d end up piddling on the carpet. They know better now.

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Pecha Kucha, Tea Parties and God Bless Patrick Henry Jones

April 18, 2010

Here’s my latest cartoon, as seen (much smaller) on A News Cafe Dot Com… and, below my latest masterpiece (I colored inside the lines, didn’t I?) is a snapshot taken by (I think) Larry Harris at Pecha Kucha Night Redding this past Friday wherein I blathered on for 6.67 minutes about the trials and travails of being an editorial cartoonist in Redding. Which, thanks to consistently bizarre behavior by public officials (hooray for the Mayor!) really isn’t as difficult as I like to make it out to be. Anyway, Happy Sunday!

Taking Cartoonists Seriously

April 17, 2010

I’ve had brushes with capital “J” Journalism, I worked at a newspaper for Christ’s sake. But, I wasn’t a “journalist.” I was never accepted into The Fraternity Of News Professionals. Mainly because I never sat through the requisite hours at some state university listening to old poofs with dribbles of dried semen on their chins prattle on about the importance of the properly placed semicolon in a functioning democracy. I sat in classrooms listening to old poofs with dribbles of dried semen on their chins prattle on about the The Golden Rectangle and why, without it, the Madonna of the Rocks would just be calendar art.

Well, today I’m in a bad mood and feeling very cynical. So, here’s what I have to say to the those old poofs who lie to our children at $800.00 a semester unit…

Shut the fuck up and go after the machinery you provide fodder for.  Start teaching students to be wrenches. Wrenches that can be thrown into the sparking mess of meshing propaganda gears. Teach them how to bring this idiotic American Idol episode gone beserk crashing to the ground. Sarah Palin should be selling feminine hygiene products during commercial breaks of “Lost” while the rest of us should be trying to rebuild a country trampled by years of rooting grub-eating pig-snouted, mongering Weasels with flag pins on their lapels and buck shot in even their friend’s asses. TEACH THEM THAT NO ONE, ESPECIALLY JOURNALISTS, SHOULD EVER CONCEAL THE TRUTH.

AND LONG LIVE THE FUCKING RUN-ON SENTENCE!!!!

There. I feel a little better.

Poetry In Lotion (Theroretical Discourse on the Nature of the Poetic Word)

April 8, 2010

I don’t really have much use for poetry

I like the way words look on my computer screen

I like to arrange the letters in patterns

I like to think that somehow

   their Randomness

gives them meaning

But that cavalier attitude flies in the face

of the measured discipline

that poets claim makes

Their Words

somehow better than ours

I don’t mean this little

exercise

to be an indictment of poetry

Nononononono No!

I like poetry

especially the kind that

has a   lot   of   space   between   the   words

Because, quite frankly, that’s where I generally

let my mind’s eye linger.

Leonard Cohen Prints

April 7, 2010

I’m working on a series of prints documenting the work of Leonard Cohen. If you’d like to order a nice 9×12, signed and numbered print, let me know.

The Firesign Theatre Downloadable Webzine…

April 3, 2010

It’s Just This Little Chromium Switch Here

Tom Gedwillo and I have made available the second issue of “Chromium Switch,” a webzine dedicated to the legendary comedy troupe, The Firesign Theatre.

This issue includes tour news, updates on The 4 or 5 Crazee Guyz, a full-length e-interview with David Ossman and his lovely wife, Judith Walcutt. Not to mention interviews with Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame and L.A. radio legend Shadoe Stevens. Speaking of L.A. radio, there’s a feature on the return of Peter Bergman and Radio Free Oz to the webernet airwaves. In fact, there’s over 40 snazzy pages of photos and All Things Firesign. Check it out!

While you’re at it… check out Radio Free Oz. too!