Eleven years ago Richard Black took paintbrush in hand and changed the face of modern art forever…
Let’s take a closer look, hmm?
In the foreground, we’ve got a rather stern-looking woman in her classic LBD. She’s not a dame to be trifled with, by that look on her puss!
She contemplates life as she peers out over the ocean. Has she been stood up? Perhaps she’s just broken up with someone. Or is she angry that despite trying the controversial and painful hot-glob-of-tar-to-the-scalp treatment, at least one stubborn, hardy arachnid from that tarantula infestation on her head still remains?
And that churning sea — does it call to her? Can she sense Cthulhu beckoning through that vestigial tentacle she’s thrown stylishly over her shoulder?
Now as for the wreckage behind her: A Porsche has careened off the road, onto the sidewalk and crashed into the railing. The impact has caused the hood to fly up with enormous force yet instead of crumpling into a dented, folded, collapsed wad of mangled steel, it now resembles a sliver of uncooked beef at a Mongolian barbecue — a phenomenon someone with a better understanding of physics than myself could probably explain.
Did the driver, or driveh, as the vanity plate reads, survive? Is that him (or her) looking at the Woman at the Railing, or is it merely a pale, black-clad passerby, stopping to peer at the carnage inside, on his or her way to a beat poetry reading at a local café?
There’s no right answer. It’s up to the viewer to interpret the scene.
One thing’s for sure, though: If he did crash because he was distracted by the painting’s main figure — and he survived — he should thank his lucky stars. There was no way he’d have walked away from hitting head-on that enormous wall of matzoh bread that the road dead-ends into just a few yards farther.
Mmm-mm! Green watermelon frosting!
…Or there was a big argument and subsequent falling-out.
Or maybe it just got weird in general having this around, as it offers no clue as to whom it refers.
Presumably, this large wooden block — it seems to be an about 10″ section of a two-by-four — was a gift from one “bestie,” as you kids insist on saying, to another.
But then what? The recipient puts it on her coffee table or a shelf in the living room and everyone who comes over starts wondering, “Is she just really friendly?” “Is that about me?” “Does she think I’m her best friend?” and “Sheesh, I’m just here to fix the cable. Now apparently I’ve got to clear my Sunday for brunch with this woman.”
And, dear God, what happens if two of her friends visit at the same time?! The confusion! The awkwardness! The inevitable catfight!
Nope, she was right to get rid of it.
Of course, the curse strikes again with whoever buys it and gives it next.
*Second best would be newspapers, and that’s what we have for you today.
“Your mother’s too weak to make dinner tonight so everyone into the car, gang — we’re going to Rickett’s!”
“Aw, gee, Pop, it’s so dark in that place and they’re always out of milk.”
“Enough of your bellyaching and help your sister with her leg braces.”
“I’ll bet Zelda Fitzgerald doesn’t have to wear funny hats to help support her husband’s writing career.”
“I, um, wouldn’t know, Mrs. Cronin.”
“And that Pauline Pfeiffer. You think Hemingway has her doing these sort of things?”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. I-I’m really just here to take the photo.”
“…the lovely bride-to-be is the daughter of Mildred and Nosferatu McMullen.”
“…And that Grace Kelly. You think Hitchcock has her doing these sort of things?”
Note that Hollywood Bread featured “a particular blend of selected ingredients” — as opposed to those lesser brands made with just a random combination of whatever’s handy.
Directions: Swallow two tablets with a full glass of goat’s blood every four hours. Do not mix with pea soup.
“Billy Ray Wilder and Libby Ferguson were picked as Homecoming King & Queen by sympathetic and increasingly unnerved members of the Class of 1952 after Billy Ray was tragically killed in a car accident last month but reluctant to completely leave this world and move on…”
Here’s hearty, well-fed Augustus Gloop, outside the gates of the Wonka Candy Factory, waiting to get in:
Here’s a bunch of poor, hungry Jewish kids inside the gates of Auschwitz, never to get out:
The top image is of course from the beloved, non-Tim Burton film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971).
And the bottom image is from the infamous Jerry Lewis train wreck, “The Day the Clown Cried” (1972).
Now, that kid in the tan trenchcoat just to the right of the center probably isn’t Michael Bollner, who played young Gloop in Wonka, but the important thing is he kind of looks like him, I guess he could be him, but even if that’s not the case I’ve just started some sort of ridiculous urban legend with no basis in fact. Let that be my legacy.
If nothing else, it makes you think. Maybe that pipe Augustus got sucked up didn’t go to the fudge room after all.
Here’s a ¿What’s Bueno? item for the 16.67% of my, what?, six readers who are big fans of all them Marvel superheroes:
Available at 99¢ Only, it’s a bag of organic pretzels with Captain America on the package!
Since pretzels are already a low-fat snack, and these are organic as well, here’s a snack I can feel good about eating!
…And as such, I wanted nothing to do with them, instead choosing something sweet & fatty from the Hostess shelf.
They’re also made in the USA, so that’s a good fit for patriotic Captain America! Heaven knows we Americans have had it up to here with all those cheap, imported pretzels. No artificial flavors, either — and I can’t tell you how sick I am of eating half a bag of pretzels before noticing the first ingredient listed on the bag is “artificial pretzel flavoring.” Not a problem here, folks!
Best of all, the irony of Super Soldier Serum-enhanced Captain America appearing on an organic brand called “Pure Growth” makes these pretzels — which, again I didn’t buy and have never tasted — that much more delicious!
My rating: 6.5 out of 7 stars, because why not? No one reads these things for the ratings anyway. Who am I kidding? No one reads these things period.
Well, it looks like some kind of Simpsons-type joke come to life, anyway.
Kind of an unfortunate name, too.
All it’s missing is the rich, creamery butter.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat them, though.
AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, yesterday California voters went to the polls — that is to say, in the last few weeks, California voters mailed in their absentee ballots, because who has time to go to the polls today? None of us, that’s what! Especially here in Los Angeles, where things were so confusing at your place of envotement, your vote wouldn’t have counted anyway!
Anyway, this is not a political blog, but one thing we all enjoy is when I review the stupid political flyers I receive for local elections — like I did here and here…and to a lesser extent, here — and this year it’s been another bumper crop.
The final tally:
Janice Kamenir-Reznik: 5 mailers for, 1 against
Matt Dababneh: 15 mailers
Shawn Bayliss: 2 mailers
David Pollock: 1 mailer
Henry Stern: 16 mailers for, 4 against
Steve Fazio: 3 mailers
Sleazy ‘Voter Guides’ Designed to Look Vaguely Official: 6 mailers
As happens during every election season, I just throw out the first few days’ worth of these mailers until I notice they’re so numerous that I realize it could be a thing on the blog — at which point I start keeping them. So the actual totals are a bit higher, probably.
But counting those alone: That’s a grand total of (at least) 53 mailers that were sent to me. Honestly, they don’t make a bit of difference as to how I cast my vote. Crazy talk radio and paranoia-ridden websites with flashing neon text on a black background — that’s how I research the candidates!
As to the mailers, here are some of my, and now your, favorites:
You won’t be able to read beneath “Henry,” but it says “A Nutty Blend of Big Oil, Big Energy and Big Auto Contributions — 0% Truth. 100% Hypocrisy.”
Like you do, I love that they used an Oh Henry! candy bar for this anti-Henry Stern ad. And like you, it drives me crazy that they didn’t put the “Nutty Blend” copy above “Henry” and “Stern” below it. Or better yet, just leave “Stern” out, because it’s completely unnecessary with his face on the wrapper and his full name in the line below the art. As it is, it reads like “Oh Stern Henry!”
The back side, or verso [industry term], takes it down to pool-scene-in-Caddyshack levels (though they used a Baby Ruth bar):
It’s probably a safe assumption that whoever put this ad together didn’t waste a lot of time getting permission from Nestlé.
Here’s one for Matt Dababneh:
Here Matt goes after the all-important puppy and bunny vote. The verso, or reverse, of this shows one more rabbit, two more puppies, two adult dogs, two cats and a bird. And it also mentions what he’s done to protect wild and domestic animals. Folks, this being touchy-feely LA…? This ad is brilliant.
This one’s pro-Henry Stern:
I’m a big fan of this one because it’s so bizarre. In fact, it’s so complicated to explain that it requires the flyer to fold out to 11 x 17 to give us the details. And it’s not that interesting. So as a successful political mailer, I’d give it a 3 out of 10, at best. But for weirdness, at least an 8.
Speaking of animals, as we were a few mailers back, here’s another anti-Stern mailer:
The “NOTHING” is in response to the copy on the other side: “Sacramento bureaucrat Henry Stern got a free trip to Peru. What did we get?”
The thing to note, however, is this is probably the first time in American political history that an alpaca has appeared on an election mailer.
Yet another anti-Henry Stern mailer:
Here we see Henry knocking on doors, shaking hands, while a bunch of “Special Interests” groups offer him money and gifts.
I especially like these three villainous types, just as — we must presume — you do. We’ve got the requisite “Fat Cat,” a generic masked bandit who looks like one of the Special Guest Villain’s minions on any episode of the 1960s Batman, and behind him, apparently, Cthulhu.
Henry struck back with this ad which answers a question no one asked:
(The answer, in case you’re interested: “Corporate Special Interests.” Like you, I thought it was maybe the opposing candidate’s, I dunno, grandmother or milkman or someone.)
But the important thing to take away from this mailer is, 1) whoever designs these things loves those horrible oversized Ben-Day dots; judging by the look on her face, this woman is not only extremely impressionable but also very invested in this race for California State Senate District 27; and most importantly, evidently there was another anti-Henry Stern ad using these same three villains but drawn by a different artist…and they didn’t send it to me!
Look, candidates, if you’re going to cram my mailbox with useless crap like this, you might as well send me all of them.
The good news is there’s a runoff election in November with Stern in it and with that — more mailers!
Eight lousy ounces of lame, “lite” whipped topping for 99¢ only…or sixteen ounces — that’s a full pound or pint (depending on whether the whipped topping self-identifies as a solid or a liquid ) — of the regular, fatty, good kind for that same 99¢ only!
And if for some reason you’re still on the fence, here, let me push you over with this bit of information: You’re only saving a lousy 5 calories per serving by eating the lite version!
Anyway, I trust you’ll make the right decision.
REMEMBER how the other day I was going on and on and on about coloring books and then it devolved into me complaining about the lousy image quality on WordPress? Sure, we all do.
Well, as regular readers of this blog know, the other night I had dinner at El Gallo Giro. (I of course had one of those tortas — or ‘Mexican sandwiches of deliciousness.’)
So while I was waiting for them to prepare it, I noticed on top of one of their counters, they had little boxes of crayons…and placemats, that — following this recent trend of coloring in things — that you can color in.
As you would have done, I distracted the counter-help and stole one!
Here it is!
“Yeah, big deal, Ted, you jackass! You’re always stealing something! That’s how you people are!”
Okay, you got me — and my people — there (sheesh, I tell ya, us Slovaks are the last demographic it’s still perfectly acceptable to stereotype!). But aren’t you at least the least bit curious about her?
The lady, I mean! No, no — not Abuelita, at the left end of the table.
This one, below, at the right end of the table! Look! Look!
This one! Up there! Her!
The rest of the people were obviously drawn by one person, in the Gallo Giro coloring placemat illustration house-style [industry term], but she sticks out like a sore thumb! Or more precisely, like an overlong finger!
Anyway, I contacted Frank H. Knudsen, Jr., head of Coloring Placemat Design at Gallo Giro Corporate and he said—
…Okay, no, of course I didn’t contact anyone!
But today I noticed Gallo Giro’s current billboard and ads feature that same lady, in real-life, and so that’s why she’s on this month’s placemat.
Like you, I love that they used her image, in line-art form [graphic design term] for that thing! But more importantly: mystery solved — we can all go to bed now!