The year is 1949. A young writer of pulp fiction struggles with the feeling of death that surrounds him as the city tears down the great amusement pier in Venice, California. There will be no more rides, no more side shows, no more games of chance, no more fortune tellers and snake-oil salesmen. The huge movie marquee, where great names like Fairbanks, Chaney, Garbo, and Hepburn once lent their grace, reads only GOODBYE.
Death hits closer to home as well. Four bodies turn up – one trapped in a lion cage that lies submerged in the Venice canal, one in a cheerful flophouse, and two others in houses across town. The deaths could be natural, or they could be accidents, but our unnamed writer (Bradbury himself, at age 29, as he would have been in that year?) doesn’t think so. It just feels wrong. And although he claims to believe only in facts, Detective Elmo Crumley has to admit that he, too, doesn’t trust the appearances of innocence that surround the deaths. Unfortunately, it will take clues and facts to solve the crime – if there is one – and no one seems to have a motive of any kind. Continue reading “Death is a Lonely Business”
TRACKS: 1—Game of Lightning; 2—Dream Rider; 3—Stay As You Are; 4—Our Place of Being; 5—Winds of Change; 6—Hold Me Tight; 7—Edge of Valhalla; 8—Never Far Away (vocal); 9—The Triad; 10—Play for Your Heart; 11—Soothe the Beast; 12—Seasons of Kusac; 13—The Ninth Tale; 14—End Game
TAGS: Instrumental, Furry Artist
RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2015
I’ve not heard a great deal of Fox Amoore’s music, although all that I’ve heard seems well-represented by the works on this album. He’s a good craftsman, carefully composing solid work that, for the most part, sounds like something to back a video game or a movie that’s based on one. In itself, this is not a bad thing, but the range and effectiveness of the music is sometimes limited by this evident preference. Largely predictable in his musical construction, he can be counted upon to crash in with an overdose of electric guitar or percussion when he runs out of good ideas for taking the piece in a new and interesting direction. Continue reading “FA:7 Collection”
(PG) David Stratharin (Edward R. Murrow), Patricia Clarkson (Shirley Wershba), George Clooney (Fred Friendly), Jeff Daniels (Sig Mickelson), Robert Downey Jr. (Joe Wershba), Frank Langella (William Paley), Ray Wise (Don Hollenbeck). Music: No general soundtrack (songs performed by Dianne Reeves). Screenplay: George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Director: George Clooney. 93 minutes (black and white).
Tags: Docu-Drama, Government Terrorism, Censorship, History, News
Notable: Shirley and Joe Wershba, who were actually part of Morrow’s news team, were directly consulted at every stage of production, making the story as historically accurate as possible.
The year is 1953. Television is brand new, the world is rebuilding from World War II, and the junior senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy (a.k.a. “Tailgunner Joe”) was convinced that America had been infiltrated by “card-carrying communists” whose mere existence would destroy the country. CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow began his reporting of McCarthy by finding one incident – a young man thrown out of the Air Force because his father may have had some sort of contact with “communists” – and exposing McCarthy’s extremism, building the story piece by piece until McCarthy himself became the subject of a Senate investigation. Continue reading “Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)”
These segments in the blogsite are about words. The use of words. The origins of words. The changing nature of words. The outrageous character of words. The raw beauty of the perfectly chosen word. The outright hilarity of the ill-chosen word. The power of words to invoke the worst and the best in each of us. My goal here is to inform, amuse, educate, incite curiosity, provoke response, and – to the very best of my ability – to entertain. Continue reading “Welcome to Wordsmything”
Extreme (Pat Badger, Nuno Bettencourt, Gary Cherone, Paul Geary)
TRACKS: 1—Decadence Dance; 2—Li’l Jack Horny; 3—When I’m President; 4—Get the Funk Out; 5—More Than Words; 6—Money (In God We Trust); 7—It(‘s a Monster); 8—Pornografitti; 9—When I first Kissed You; 10—Suzi (Wants Her All-Day What?); 11—He-Man Woman Hater; 12—Song For Love; 13—Hole Hearted.
RELEASE DATE: August 7, 1990
TAGS: Rock, Horrible, Indecisive, Fuggeddabowdit
Although this is the second album by this band, it’s the first I’ve heard of them. I was suckered into buying the whole album, back in the day before you could buy one song out of the bunch. (To really date myself, I happened to be channel-surfing, in those ancient days when VH-1 actually played — GASP! — music videos, and I heard “Hole Hearted,” which is apparently the band’s only hit.) The balance of this album is so radically different from that one cut (read: “Hole Hearted” is the only song worth anything), and it’s definitely not a keeper; meanwhile, I thought I’d take a long look at who and what these guys are, or at least what they tried to be. Continue reading “Pornografitti”
Tags: Social Morality, Science Fiction, Existential
The world of Stangerup’s main character, Torben, is both strange and familiar. Some of its elements would seem to be part of modern day Europe – perhaps Denmark (the author’s home country), or Sweden or Switzerland – while other elements seem part of a future that had only been conceived in George Orwell’s nightmarish visions of 1984. In this strange, familiar, antiseptic, perfectly balanced world, Torben kills his wife Edith in a fit of rage, and he is taken away by the Helpers to a state hospital. He is treated well, with compassion, and with understanding and forgiveness that surpasses all human comprehension. When his case of aggression has been duly dealt with, he is released back into his caring, clean, orderly society, free from any stain of crime or guilt. Continue reading “The Man Who Wanted to Be Guilty”
(1972, not rated) Christopher Walken (Pvt. James Reese), Joss Ackland (Dr. Frederick), Ralph Meeker (The Major), Ronny Cox (Sgt. Boford Miles), Marco St. John (Shannon). Music: Phil Ramone and Chris Dedrick (performed by Free Design). Screenplay: Ron Whyte, based on the play The Happiness Cage by Dennis Reardon. Director: Bernard Girard. 94 minutes.
Notable: Christopher Walken’s first starring role.
Army Private James Reese has anger issues, which lands him in a highly secluded and heavily secured country estate somewhere in the West German countryside. He and two other American soldiers are under the exclusive care of Dr. Frederick, who seems to be anything but an ordinary general practitioner. As Reese discovers that his orderly, Shannon, behaves more like a sadistic prison guard, and that his doctor has a separate laboratory with monkeys who appear to have had some sort of surgery performed upon their brains, he comes to realize that his presence is less for recovery than it is for experimentation. Continue reading “The Mind Snatchers (1972)”
As I get more familiar with this whole WordPress thing, I’ll begin posting “actual content,” meaning the book, film, and music reviews that The Wolf’s Den of Black Wolf’s Imaginarium is all about. Many of my readers and fans are under 30, and some are convinced that nothing of particular value happened before they got here. My job is to show them otherwise, so much of what I talk about here will be about the pre-2000 years. I’ll also be alerting them to things in the current millennium that are worth noting or worth avoiding.
There will also be a segment called “Wordsmything,” which is about writing and language usage. It’s my attempt at saving what little is left of language, communication, and proper usage. I realize that I may fail, but one may hope.
Eventually, I’ll have a better template for all this, too, and it’ll make more sense. However, for those of you curious to know what I’m attempting here… well, here’s the start. Keep checking back. Little by little, I’ll actually make something of this site.
UPDATE, December 31, 2017: Having just learned how to create a new page (rather than simply add a post), I’ve created a page that explains better what this site is about. Come have a look at the new page!
I’ve been enjoying the complete Quantum Leap series recently. Those of you who are familiar with it may recall that it became a running joke to have time-traveling Sam Becket arrive in his new location, look around, and say, “Oh Boy…”
Time: Sunday evening, October 22, 2017. I get to play with a whole new toy, and since I’m planning on taking this very slowly, don’t be surprised if I’m less-than-swift to post something of consequence. Until I can find a copy of “WordPress for the Utterly Incompetent,” I’ll be feeling my way along. Here’s hoping I don’t bump into anything too sharp (my wit, obviously, not qualifying!).