Monday, September 18, 2006

Holy Screeching Scratchings, Batman!

Grumpier than thou.

I resisted the temptation to include a picture of Sylvester Stallone.

Sturdy Yeomen, for some reason, it has been a while since I gave you a series of synaptic tangents to connect someone of something to the delightful porcine world. I would remind patrons of this blog that no camera trickery is used during this performance and that the use of flash photography is strictly prohibited

Today, I take as my starting point as Oliver Burgess Meredith . Born in Cleveland Ohio, Burgess Meredith will always have a place in my heart as a Grumpier Old Man. This more than offsets his complicity in the Rocky series. (Note 1)

Probably the best comedy villain EVAR. Superheroes hated it when people captured them with their tights going baggy at the knees.

Given the title of this entry, our first synaptic leap took us to the Batman TV series of the 1960s. (Note 2) Burgess, having had his legitimate career cut short by appearing on the Hollywood Blacklist (And please note that I didn’t attempt to draw parallels between McCarthyism and the current “War on Terror” – that would have been too easy), was forced into organised crime in Gotham City. As “The Penguin” he somehow managed to strike terror into the hearts of every man not wearing tights.

Gotham City wasn’t short of villains. In a master stroke of governmental planning, the US had all the super villains (well those they could identify anyway) shipped off to Gotham City. They were probably encouraged to stay there by the promise of inept policemen and the regular display of a priceless antiquity or jewel collection to the museum (with an additional promise that the museum would keeps its outmoded security systems).

The first and probably the best remembered Catwoman - - Julie Newmar.

The next connection takes us to Catwoman, a fellow Batman villain – well in the TV series at least. In the other parts of the Batman franchise, Catwoman took on the role of anti-hero. (Note 3) Poor old Catwoman must have been one very confused pussy.

In each of the synaptic tangents, there has to be one that is incredibly obscure. The next link is at best obscure, though some will say I’m clutching at straws. In the animated Batman series, Catwoman had a black cat called Isis. (Note 4)

Which brings us to the amazing porcine slice of trivia. According to one web site, the pig was sacred to Isis.

OK, so it is one website and it is buried halfway down, but hey. It allowed me to have a wallow in nostalgia with the Batman theme tune running through my head.

Well, all is left is to point you to a piece of self-publicising drivel from John O'Farrell. I don’t know why, but it really annoyed me.

From 14th June, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: One of the great things about these synaptic tangents is that you learn some odd snippets along the way. In this case that Burgess Meredith found his way to the Hollywood Blacklist after falling foul of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. For some this won’t come as too much of a surprise after learning he came from the weird part of Ohio. He was in good company on that blacklist. Others included were Dorothy Parker; Larry Addler; Leonard Bernstein; Lee J. Cobb; Orson Welles and Arthur Miller. Click to return

NOTE 2 : At the risk of ridicule and being in the minority of one, I will admit that this is my favourite of all of the various outings of the Batman Franchise. Sitting firmly in the “so bad that it is good” school of TV drama, I used to watch the Swiss cheese plots unfold in formulaic style and thoroughly enjoy the climax. There is something about choreographed fight scenes, the way that the various brass instruments replaced the sound of flesh pummelling flesh and the way the words “POW”, “BAM” and “OOPS” that really added to the excitement. Click to return

NOTE 3: The more cynical amongst my good yeomen may think that Catwoman is dragged out as an excuse to have pictures of a sexy girl dressed in a figure clinging body suit and a kinky mask. With the idea being that it would sell more magazines / grab more viewers / fill up cinemas. As the latest Catwoman film showed, even Halle Berry in a figure hugging suit cannot save a film from being a turkey.. Click to return

NOTE 4: Of course, I could take a more obvious step and point to the fact that Catwoman is a character from aDC Comic . Isis was also a character in eight comic books titled “The Mighty Isis”. Trouble is, that is such a boring link. Click to return

The Goddess Isis. Likes her pigs does our Isis.

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