Friday, May 1, 2015

Show notes for HMOTD 005: Hot Blooded

Please note: when we've got multiple authors for the notes from here on out, we'll make sure to mark the notes from guests with brackets, as seen at 3:15 and 5:55 below.

3:00 I could explain all the in-jokes in this first 3 minutes or so of the podcast, but it's probably better just to leave this here and say all our jokes and jibes about faeries and Frankensteins and steampunk are in good humor. That being said... man, fuck that Matt Grasso guy.

3:15 [Chris] I think the podcast may have been my [Chris’s] idea actually (being inspired by Just One More Thing – the deep-dive Columbo podcast hosted by RJ White and Jon Morris. The astute reader will note that I then bailed before any of the real work began. Typical.

5:55 [Chris] WPNS used those call letters only for about a year (September 1986 – October 1987) before someone explained the joke to the station owners and ruined everything.  From 1956 to 1986 it was known as WCAT, and it reverted to those call letters after the WPNS days. The station went on to have more colorful adventures in the exciting, glamorous world of radio call letters, briefly using WWBZ until the much larger WBZ in Boston took umbrage (its sister station on the FM band snatched up the call letters WFNX in 2013 after the legendary alt-rock station in Boston folded).

WCAT/WPNS was an automated station in the late 80s, receiving all its music and DJ banter via satellite from the creatively named Satellite Music Network. It briefly featured a R&B/Soul format, which was not very popular in rural west/central Massachusetts (and which in conjunction with the whole WPNS thing makes this author question what exactly the station owners were thinking) but switched to adult contemporary/easy listening/not quite Beautiful Music fairly quickly.

Lastly, oh my God this author stole so many records from there you guys. What, it’s not like they were using them anymore.

8:30 Tim Burton not only used Sylvia Sidney in Mars Attacks but also, as you can hear and probably remember here, a memorable turn in Beetlejuice.

10:15 Okay, let's explain this in a little more detail: Raymond Chandler wrote a short story titled "The King in Yellow," which very very obliquely referenced Robert Chambers's story: "The King in Yellow. I read a book with that title once. He liked yellow, I guess." Two notes on this: the combination of hardboiled detective fiction with Robert Chambers of course calls to mind America's recent favorite wacky police duo, Marty and Rust. Second: like Umberto Eco's narrator in Foucault's Pendulum, who sees RCs everywhere in Jules Verne as a testament to Masonic and Rosicrucian lore, I'm seeing this alignment of Raymond Chandler and Robert Chambers as even further indication of Rosicrucian messages in pop culture.*
I would wake up in the middle of the night with the realization, for example, that René des Cartes could make R.C. and that he had been overenergetic in seeking and then denying having found the Rosicrucians. Why all that obsession with Method? Because it was through Method that you arrived at the solution to the mystery that was fascinating all the initiates of Europe... And who had celebrated the enchantment of Gothic? René de Chateaubriand. And who, in Bacon's time, wrote Steps to the Temple? Richard Crashaw. And what about Ranieri de' Calzabigi, René Char, Raymond Chandler? And Rick of Casablanca?
*And, for that matter... RUST COHLE.

11:00 Here's a blog post outlining the barest features of the Oedipal subtext coursing through Frankenheimer's Manchurian Candidate.

11:40 He's cool, he's hip, he's 45.

13:00 I'm going to confess, I've never been a big fan of Chris Elliott, but his early 90s series Get a Life was really seminal for expanding the borders of American situation comedy. I could argue there would never have been a Golden Age of The Simpsons, or a Mr. Show, or a Being John Malkovich, without Get a Life.

16:35 Here's some gorgeous VCR retrotech for you.

19:10 This is the syndicated half-minute promo for the legendarily abysmal Star Trek: The Next Generation second-season clip episode "Shades of Gray."  Also, everyone appreciate the immortal Ernie Anderson (a.k.a. Ghoulardi, a.k.a. The Loooooooove Boat guy, a.k.a. Paul Thomas Anderson's dad) today.

20:30 Check out that Nixon era culture war tag line on the That's Entertainment! poster! "Boy. Do we need it now." Just sheer exhaustion with 1970s outlaw cinema dripping from every word there! There were three That's Entertainment! installments made, by the way. A little bird tells me you can see the entirety of It Came From Hollywood on YouTube as well. Watch Cheech and Chong watch 50s monster movies!

24:30 We used the first bit of this clip last week to talk about Big Guy as Fisher King; here, it acts as a great way to demonstrate exactly how profound the silence Chris was mentioning is.

27:45 The first thing I thought of when I heard the end of the Mr. Macho commercial ("ask for Clarence") is of course: "For the best in men's clothing, call Paul's Boutique. Ask for Janice."

31:35 You may be spoiled if you read this Very Special Episode feature from The A.V. Club on WKRP's second-season episode, "Mike Fright," but if you do you'll see buried in the article the quote from Mary Tyler Moore that Rob references here.

38:30 Fernwood 2 Night exists on the same hoary continuum of Ohio, middle-American leisure suit/polyester kitsch as of course WKRP and Devo. Let's also not forget to mention that Fernwood was a spinoff of the groundbreaking, really quite odd and ahead-of-its-time late-night soap opera, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, another show I have very vague and uncanny memories of from childhood (again, probably in syndicated reruns). This article should give you the full cultural context for Mary Hartman.

39:55 The founders of Fametracker did indeed go on to found Television Without Pity, which I think pop culture historians will decades from now acknowledge as the beginning of internet TV recap culture.

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