Dear Friend of Science,
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the debut on New Orleans television of House of Shock, hosted by Dr. Momus Alexander Morgus. . . . I’m happy to report that the Doctor is alive & well, and still tinkering in the Old City Ice House. And I know that he’d be tickled if you could show your support and appreciation by helping him celebrate this special day by logging into the website and sending him a special 50th anniversary greeting in the Guestbook. . . . — Dr. Chuck Brillowsky, webmaster
The House of Shock was a weekly television program that we watched as kids in New Orleans, featuring a horror movie hosted by a mad scientist named Morgus the Magnificent (created and played by Sid Noel). Morgus would introduce the movie and do wrap-arounds, returning before and after commercial breaks to continue his “experiments.” I never cared for horror movies, but I did love Morgus. I’d get up, leave the room, and find something else to do during the movie, but hurry back during the breaks to catch Morgus’ antics.
Everybody in New Orleans loved Morgus. One of my mother’s prized possessions was a lock from Morgus’ fright wig that Sid Noel had bestowed upon her at a party for local media people in the 1960s. In the early ’90s, I had the pleasure of meeting Sid Noel myself, when I created a television campaign for the local cable company starring mad-scientist Morgus trying to invent a machine to steal cable programming.
Noel subsequently dropped by the house to visit with my wife and me, bringing along autographed photos of Morgus for the kids. Believe it or not, the man behind the mad scientist had developed a comprehensive character education program that he hoped to sell to the public schools, and we helped him prepare some promotional materials for it.
Back in the early 80s, I worked with a bunch of crazy, creative people at an advertising agency in New Orleans. So, when I decided to have a costume party for Halloween at my apartment on Magazine Street, it seemed logical to announce a theme and see what they would come up with.
The first year, 1981, the challenge was to come as a character in a personally modified TV show or movie. Mike T. showed up in a Patton-like costume and announced that he was “General Hospital.” Sid B. and his wife came as characters from “The Best Little Whorehouse on the Prairie.” Alan H. and his wife came in blackface and police uniforms as “Chocolate CHiPS” — which wasn’t the sanest idea for the neighborhood I lived in. I dressed in drag as one of “The Dykes of Hazzard.”
In 1982, I had a “come-as-I-am” party and invited everyone to dress as me. (I don’t recommend this for the thin-skinned.) Some of my guests managed to achieve a reasonable verisimilitude, while others seemed to take a malicious delight in gross exaggeration. Stan S. wore an absurdly long miniature rifle as a tie tack (in imitation of the police-style revolver and handcuff tacks I favored at the time). Linda L. came in khakis with an authentic Jesuit High School bookbag. I, of course, had the most authentic costume.
In 1983, with the New Orleans World’s Fair on the horizon, I asked everyone to come as a World’s Fair attraction. I can’t remember what anyone else was, but my wife-to-be, who was still dating someone else at the time, came as the woman featured on the official World’s Fair Poster, with a working fountain cascading from the top of her head, in accord with the “Waters of the World” theme. I was a video machine in an East European arcade: “Warsaw Pactman.”
Groups of Anglicans will now be able to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the Anglican spiritual and liturgical tradition.
This policy has been established in a forthcoming apostolic constitution the Vatican announced last week.
It responds to requests from Anglicans who have expressed wishes to become Catholic, particularly as the Anglican Tradition continues to take steps toward opening their priesthood and episcopate to women and active homosexuals, and blessing same-sex unions. – Zenit
If converts can recognize the true Church, why do so many cradle Catholics not see it?
How far the president will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin. – Thomas Sowell
If Obama acts like a marxist, talks like a marxist, and looks like a marxist, he must be a marxist.
Feel free to publish, post, or pass on Your Weekly Politickle by F.R. Duplantier:
IN THE DOGHOUSE
“My poor siblings and I are so sad:
He’s the best friend that we ever had,
With a heart of pure gold,
But he has gotten old,
And it’s time that we euthanize Dad.”
From the archive:
“Now, children, please don’t cry.
It’s time to say goodbye.
Today’s the day
We booked in May:
It’s Grandma’s turn to die.”
“We would never overtly deny
Any care we’re prepared to supply;
If we do have to ration,
With a practiced compassion
We’ll decide who deserves most to die.”
Last week’s limerick:
SAFE AND UNSOUND
There’s “safe sex” and “safe schools” and “safe touch,”
“Safe this” and “safe that” and “safe such,”
But, if “safe” now means “queer”
And is said with a leer,
The word “safe” doesn’t comfort me much.
Sometimes it takes a great shock to remind us what our priorities should be. We may take offense at the suggestion that our ambitions, our lusts, and our greed are more important to us than the health and safety and happiness of our loved ones, but how often do we find ourselves acting as though they are? — “An Adult Movie Rated PG,” F.R. Duplantier
Having worked in a couple of advertising agencies, I can vouch for the verisimilitude of the one depicted in Nothing in Common. As the product of an unhappy marriage that lasted 41 bitter years, I can also attest to the accuracy of the parental relationship therein portrayed, first as backdrop to the story, then as its main focus. As a kid, I wondered what was wrong, and why my mother and father didn’t love each other the way other kids’ parents did. As an adolescent, I found the prospect of a marriage just as bad as theirs terrifying. As a spouse, I hope I’ve learned from their mistakes and that my luck will hold.
USSR, 1959: I am a “young pioneer” in school. History classes remind us that there is a higher authority than our parents and teachers: the leaders of the Communist Party.
USA, 2009: “Progressives” control the government. Children in some public schools sing songs about the president and study his directives. – Svetlana Kunin
Is anyone paying attention?