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nanowrimo 2010


Diary of a Blind Madman

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sad, smiley
Don't tug on that. You never know what it may be attached to.

Memoirs of Reddy.data

I guess I'm on a nostalgia kick. I recently watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show bringing back memories from three different decades. Now I've watched The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and my mind keeps dragging me back to the '80s. In many ways, the '80s were the best and worst times of my life. Jeanneton and I began adopting kids. She passed away and I went on raising the boys. We moved from place to place in Miami, took movies as our primary recreation, and all adopted the Blue Blaze Irregulars (BBI) as our lifestyle. We belonged to the BBI our movie fan club, 100 strong and were pretty happy.
I was working as a programmer for the local power company. I was making righteous bucks for the '80s and we were living to the limits of them. Our family was the seed of the Mid-Miami Squad of the Blue Blaze Irregulars. I can't explain that other than to recommend that you watch Buckaroo Banzai, read the book by Earl Mac Rauch, then address the question again. In practice we were a movie-going group with a devotion to the movie. Movies en masse were a once or twice a week event.

Now you have to understand what I mean by en masse.The BBI had a membership of over 100. It was common for 30 people to show up at any movie we decided to go to -- and that included every science fiction, horror, or even remotely quirky movie released. At Robocop, we filled three rows, side to side of an enormous auditorium (there's a story about that) and numbered 97, our best-attended premier ever.

We typically bought a block of tickets in advance (well, I bought 'em and was perpetually getting stiffed) and reserved a restaurant afterward. It is amazing how much respect you get from theatre managers when you buy 100 tickets a week. The same can be said of restaurateurs and meals. We tended to be catered to by both groups.
Not much to this story except the image it leaves -- Ms Atlas and I (we all had monikers) were late to the premier. Everyone else was seated, occupying three entire rows at Aventura (I think) theatre, an enormous place. We had to sit separately, and were unfortunate enough to sit right in front of two young snots who insisted in speaking (and deriding) in normal tones through the opening of the movie. I am the sort that just sighs and puts up with such behavior, but Ms Atlas turned and chastized them a couple of times. This made them louder.

To get some relief, I went forward a few rows and whispered to Flickers. He passed the word, and Ms Atlas and I watched as the plan circulated. When everything was coordinated, our two talkers cooperated nicely by saying something even louder than usual and three entire rows (97 people counting Ms Atlas and me) shouted "Shut up!" at the top of their lungs.

They (and everyone else in the theatre) sat their quietly for a moment then our talkers (and several other people) quietly shuffled out.

The theatre manager came in and began talking to people, eventually was directed to me and we discussed the matter. I explained what we had done and he (trying to keep a straight face so hard he was blinking back tears) barked a laugh and asked me to simply come and get him in the future and "please" not to do such a thing again.

We never did, but it was quite a moment.
I'm very nostalgic for such days. There was a great deal of tragedy in my life back then. Jeanneton and I lost our son. We adopted Brandon and he died as well. Then I lost Jeanneton to a bad driver. Conversely, I had five boys at home at that time, Don, Jon, Bob, Greg, and Joey. Max was always around in those days and almost counted as living at home. Chapeau (Christina) hung around with another Greg (Punchline) and practically grew up through her teen years in my living room. OK, not quite, but it feels like that. I was very busy, working long hours for the power & light and scrambling to keep a horde of teenagers in check while managing the movie fan club aspect of the BBI. I eventually became Squad Leader for the Mid-Miami Squad, but it didn't amount to much difference for me. Between work, family, and recreation, I didn't have a moment to do anything else. I guess that is what made it a pretty good time. I finished my first novel in those days, an homage to Buckaroo, of course, called Invisible Enemy it has yet to see publication, but I may send it to one of the vanity presses some day just so the few people who remember me from 1986 might have a copy.
The Movie I started this entry to talk about the movie Buckaroo Banzai and side-tracked myself. That's hardly a surprise to anyone, I'm sure.

I'd forgotten how good the movie is. It is certainly dated. It gives me a reference point for the word "quirky". It absolutely is not a movie for the masses. Many people will simply miss many references and inside jokes. In it's way, it is as convoluted as Rocky Horror. Buckaroo Banzai has attained cult status, but it is definitely one of those minor "geeky" cults that the "real" cultists denigrate.

Watching Buckaroo again, I noticed the incredible cast. I suppose everyone knows Peter Weller was Buckaroo, but have a look at the cast credits:
  • Peter Weller .... Buckaroo Banzai
  • John Lithgow .... Lord John Whorfin/Dr. Emilio Lizardo
  • Ellen Barkin .... Penny Priddy
  • Jeff Goldblum .... New Jersey
  • Christopher Lloyd .... John Bigboote
  • Lewis Smith .... Perfect Tommy
  • Rosalind Cash .... John Emdall
  • Robert Ito .... Professor Hikita
  • Pepe Serna .... Reno Nevada
  • Ronald Lacey .... President Widmark
  • Matt Clark .... Secretary of Defense McKinley
  • Clancy Brown .... Rawhide
  • William Traylor .... General Catburd
  • Carl Lumbly .... John Parker
  • Vincent Schiavelli .... John O'Connor
  • Dan Hedaya .... John Gomez
  • Mariclare Costello .... Senator Cunningham
  • Bill Henderson .... Casper Lindley
  • Damon Hines .... Scooter Lindley
  • Billy Vera .... Pinky Carruthers
  • Laura Harrington .... Mrs. Eunice Johnson
  • Michael Santoro .... Billy Travers
  • Jonathan Banks .... Jack the Orderly/Lizardo Hospital Guard
  • Robert Gray .... Radar Blazer
  • Gary Bisig .... Radar Blazer
  • Kent Perkins .... Mission Control
  • John Ashton .... Highway Patrolman (as John David Ashton)
  • Kenneth Magee .... Duck Hunter Burt
  • James Keane .... Duck Hunter Bubba
  • Yakov Smirnoff .... National Security Advisor
  • Leonard Gaines .... Artie Duncan, Owner of Artie's Artery (Bar)
  • Francine Lembi .... TV Anchorwoman
  • John Walter Davis .... Star Surgeon
  • Read Morgan .... Exhibitor
  • James Rosin .... John Ya Ya
  • Raye Birk .... Reporter
  • Jane Marla Robbins .... Reporter
  • Kevin Rodney Sullivan .... John Gant (as Kevin Sullivan)
  • Jessie Lawrence Ferguson .... Black Lectroid Commander
  • Radford Polinsky .... Marine Lt.
  • Sam Minsky .... Kolodny Brother
  • Robert Hummer .... Kolodny Brother
  • Gerald Peterson .... Rug Sucker/Pug Soldier
  • Jamie Lee Curtis .... Sandra Banzai - Buckaroo's Mother (scenes deleted)
  • James Saito .... Masado Banzai, Buckaroo's Father (scenes deleted)
  • Michele Hess .... (uncredited)
  • Greg Mires .... Young Buckaroo (uncredited)
  • Matthew Mires .... Young Buckaroo (uncredited)

I've bolded the names that I recognize as actors familiar to many. There are doubtless others you'll recognize. Think of who these people were in 1984 and think of what they brought to this movie. No wonder it is a cult hit.

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I loved, and still adore, Buckaroo Banzai. I have somewhere one of the headbands.

I still wish that they made the second one, with that fantastic music at the end. It's the music I always want to hum when I'm feeling good, but I never quite do it, and end up with the Peanuts theme instead.

And, well, that's never quite as good.

It's interesting to find out more about you. It's easy to see why you were happy. During the years I was younger, and felt included in fandom or the SCA, I had so much to look forward to and to be excited about.

You took alot of people into your home, and that shows what kind of person you really are.

These days, everything is a whole lot more grey. Alot. Too many things in pieces on the ground. It makes me sad too.

I envy you the headband. I had one back in '86 and it was stolen from me at the World Science Fiction Convention in Atlanta. *sigh*

The script for "World Crime League" is out there and worth finding for a single item... the cameo of "Jack Burton" a truckdriver that was later featured in "Big Trouble in Little China".

My boys keep in touch. It is a solace to me.

Congrats. One fo the few horribly long journal entires people type (my own included) that is actually a good read. :) Well done. Maybe there is a movie fan club or SF fan club where u live? I know, MO is pobably a black hole... or rather the place in the black hole that nothing goes so no physisists have concieved it yet... Small towns suck like that. It's nto so much the town or the people who live there but the fact that the various subcultures run thin enough there not to have centural hubs like conventions night clubs, festival ect. Maybe a theatre in St. Louis will show Rocky Horror or something and u can go meet people. *shrugs*

Y'know? If there is such a club or group in Jefferson City, MO I think I would not get involved these days. Heraclitus said, "It is impossible to step into the same river twice" and I think that those days are gone forever from my life.

People denigrate the place they live with "armpit of the nation" and such... well Jefferson City is the Porta-Potty of the nation. It has all the qualities of a Porta-Potty. It is too hot all summer, too cold all winter, not a place you choose to be but unavoidable ... and it stinks. Yet here I remain, trapped for a few years at least by circumstance.

Thanx, by the way, for your compliment as to the readability of my entry. I try, usually, not to think about an entry too much in terms of who will read it while I am writing. I want my diary to be an honest diary and not something to elicit drama from those who read. I (mostly) forget that other people read my diary and I prefer it that way. I should use lj-cut when I ramble on, but I don't usually have long entries and I hope those who do read will forgive me.
I would spend more time in St.Louis or Kansas City, cities I much enjoy, or even in Columbia which has a life distinctly different from Jefferson City but for my constraints on travel. The only thing I really miss since losing my vision is my ability to travel. I could take a bus or such to St. Louis, but what used to be a day trip becomes a full weekend or more and exhausting rather than exhilarating.


Jeeze, don't even get me starte about MARTA, that's the Atlanta bus and train system. Traveling is quite an inconvieneiace for visually handicapped people. Tazis are too expensive to go anywhere beyone a half hour from where I live.

What I have learned to do is plan things way ahead and save my money. This means, I don't go to the small sci- fi cons, but I do save and go ot Dragon Con and put up w/ the train once a year. Well, this year its AWA. But yeah, u get the point. Or this June, if all goes well, I'll be going to a concert w/ a friend, but I've got my money fairly budjeted for a year or so, which means I knoda know how much i can spend and where I can make etire weekends out of things.

Yeah... it's a bitch... a real pain in the ass, a time consuming incoviniant pain in the ass, but if there are ways to adapt.

And did I meantion public transportation sucks? lol

i might need to see Buckaroo Banzai on your recommendation. If only because I love John Lithgow in anything he does.

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