Category: Oddities Page 1 of 2

The Allure Of The Unexplained

So I’m ferociously late to the party in appreciating this (late in doing everything, one might argue, evinced by the limited posting in recent years), but nonetheless I wanted to share the sketch from Saturday Night Live which – tech permitting – you should find below.

I wish I could explain what I find so oddly compelling about it – it could the performances, the funky dancing, the line ‘Any questions?’, or the reactions from the normal people in the sketch, which escalate in confusion but also make absolute sense. I can only conclude that, sometimes, plain stupidity is enough – and with that failed attempt at explaining myself, and/or the sketch, I shall get out of the way.



…told you it was compelling.

It’s Like Ted Striker In Airplane! All Over Again

The instructions from a box of Optrex, but I can’t help thinking it looks more like a deliberately mischievous series of diagrams telling a new drinker what to do with vodka shots…

I Used To Work With Someone Whose Parents Wouldn’t Let Her Watch Magpie When She Was Young On The Grounds That It Was ‘Common’…

… but looking at this LP from one of the presenters, I think that they were probably just trying to shield her from the wanton perversion simmering below the surface of a seemingly innocent children’s TV programme.

Shocking, it is. I’d write to my MP if I was confident he could read.

Hands away from the swimsuit area please, Mr Robertson.

Two Comic Covers From 1984

Normally, I’d suggest plagiarism, but these were both drawn by the same chap (Brian Bolland), so I’ll just chalk it up to a similar approach taken to both the pieces of work.

No criticism here at all, by the way; Bolland’s an absolute master of comic art: if you want clean lines, he’s yer artist. And I particularly like the way that the design plays on the left-to-right approach to reading, drawing the eye across the image to make you wonder just who or what is firing at the characters.

Anyway, this slight coincidence freaked out my 13-year-old self, so I thought I’d share it.

The Very Definition Of An ‘Art Installation’

Apologies if you’ve seen this before, but if not, ladies and gennelman, I give you The Kansas City Library.

A terrific bit of architecture, I’d say – and I’m rather taken by the eclectic choice of books as well.

Bravo, Kansas!

“Lee-ah” like Leela or “Lei-a” Like Layer? We Were Never Sure At School

For me and many other males of a certain age and inclination, the reaction to Princess Leia in the Star Wars films was one which changed as the years went on and morefilms came out.

When the first film came out, and I was 7 or so, she was just, well, there, being captured and rescued and arguing with the male characters and then dishing out medals at the end. I think I may have had the Leia action figure which came out, but it wasn’t my favourite or anything.

Then The Empire Strikes Back came out, and I seem to remember Leia having more to do – she was in charge on the ice planet, and more like one of the troops. Still, as a boy of about ten, I saw that she was a girl, and of course that meant she probably smelled like flowers and liked ponies or something. I don’t know, all right? I was young and foolish then (as opposed to older and … well, yes).

But a few years later, in Return Of The Jedi there was a frankly gratuitous scene with Leia in a metal bikini (much referred to amongst boys of a certain age, and the focus of an episode of Friends), which coincided with certain age-wrought changes in me to the extent that… well, yes, I found the scene oddly compelling. That’s how shallow and facile I was then (and probably am now, some might say).

As I say, the scene with Leia in a metal bikini in the 1983 film was pretty unnecessary really, and I don’t think it would be stretching it to say it was sexist. Fortunately, in 1995 a remodelled version of the Princess Leia action figure was released, and I think it’s fair to say that it went some way to addressing the unnecessary sexualisation of the character:

… well, maybe you find that alluring. It doesn’t do it for me, and I’m not alone in that, as apparently collectors call this the ‘Monkey Face Leia’ figure. I can see why, though it looks both simian and constipated.

Still, Carrie Fisher has demonstrated a sharp sense of humour about all this, I feel – in 2008 she said “Among George’s many possessions, he owns my likeness, so that every time I look in the mirror I have to send him a couple of bucks. That’s partly why he’s so rich.”

Proving That, Even In The Far-Flung Future, Intelligence Will Not Equate With Social Skills…

… in the 25th Century, Brainiac 5 demonstrates his contempt for those members of the Legion Of Super-Heroes too stupid to figure out how to make their own flight-rings.

Go on, Brainy! Flick them the rods!

Not So Much A Blog, More A Way Of Scoring Points

None of my schoolfriends believed me when I maintained that there was something… unexpected on Penelope Pitstop’s car dashboard.

But this screengrab vindicates me. Oh yes.

And now, with this decade-spanning disagreement finally resolved in my favour, I can move on with my life.

NB: There is a possibility the above is slightly exaggerated to justify showing an innuendal image. Do not panic. All is well. Please do not adjust your ‘nets.

Channel Surfing

My current reading material is the second volume of Michael Palin’s Diaries, a very thoughtful Christmas pressie from Mrs S. It covers the 1980s, when Mr P was featuring in an impressive array of films (Time Bandits, The Meaning Of Life, and Brazil, for example).

However, for sheer unexpectedness, one of my favourite onscreen Palin moments is the following from 2006:

All things considered, I think he underplays it rather nicely; good to see an extra not trying to scene-steal in any way whatsoever. Ahem.

A Well-Known Joke Amongst Comic Readers, But One Which Deserves A Wider Audience, I Think…

It’s almost impossible to conclude somebody didn’t giggle when they suggested the title of this comic to the folks at Marvel.

Probably a good job that search engines didn’t exist at the time. How many innocent comic readers* would have been made to look like a filthmaniac by their Internet History?

*Possibly a contradiction in terms, mind you. I’ve been to enough shops and conventions to know. Oh by jiminy yes.

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