Painful to Watch

VaselineMany years ago, when I was paying a fortune to put down my ideas on 16mm film (Forty bucks to develop and print 100 feet of film—less than 3 minutes!) I had the idea of doing a video of just a guy talking into the camera, saying interesting things. At least I thought they were interesting: comments about life and stuff. This was before YouTube when everyone was (or tries to) do this. There was a time when I at least thought a talking head was interesting. One example I remember:

I don’t know much, but I do not that if you need to go to the store to buy a cucumber and a jar of Vaseline, you are best to make two trips.

I’ve been trying to put together a series of 5 minute videos that will not be painful to watch. It is potentially for the website Blifaloo. But who knows depending upon just how far I go with the cucumber/Vaseline jokes. It turns out, it is really hard to make a 5 minute video that is not painful to watch.

I’ve come up with something that I think works. Unfortunately, I’ve been too sick to record the stuff. But there’s a good side to this. It’s forced me to write a script. Because I respect people a lot, I will not print it here.

The basic idea—admittedly stolen from Beckett’s Endgame—is that there are two twins: Frank and Joe. Frank is never let outside the house and Joe is never let in. A stupid conceit, you say? I don’t think so. I could go on and on explaining thematic elements about how they represent a single person’s inner and outer personas, but I don’t even buy that shit. The main thing is that it allows me—Frank Moraes, bad actor—to do really short takes as well as allowing me—Frank Moraes, bad director—to switch scenes to different locations so that the stuff written by me—Frank Moraes, bad writer—isn’t painful to watch.

Ha cha cha cha!

The series is called “Good Bad and Uglies” and thus has three segments. The cucumber/Vaseline is the ugly part. The good part is about how Mr. Ed was the same show as ALF, except that Mr. Ed was funny. And the bad part is a little how-to about using Samuel Beckett to avoid panhandlers.

You can’t wait, can you?

I’ve been wrong all these years. It isn’t that Wilbur won’t tell anyone about Mr. Ed, it is that Mr. Ed will only talk to him. Of course, Mr. Ed is always calling people, so the show’s not exactly consistent. Here is the first half of the pilot episode. It is very funny.

Byron Dorgan’s Crystal Ball

One of the main things that the Banking (Glass-Steagall) Act of 1933 did, was to separate banks as most of us know them (places where you have a checking account) from investment banks. The act had already been cut back in 1980 with the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act. This led to the Saving and Loan Crisis. And then it was repealed completely in 1999 with the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. This led to today.

It is not that no one saw what this all meant. Here is Byron Dorgan in 1999 (mostly). It is remarkable. I’m amazed it hasn’t gone viral.