Sunday, October 29, 2006

Two very different forms of comedy are in this week’s DVD column.

Nacho Libre

From the 1920s through the 1960s, many comedians working in films
routinely developed personas they carried from role to role and character to
character. In the last 25 years, though, we’ve seen comics such as Steve
Martin, Jim Carrey and Robin Williams who might have signature bits of
business they use in their films, but not a re-occurring character.

Adam Sadler has reversed this with his aggressive man-boy character and
Jack Black is another who has established a character he brings from film to
film.

Black has risen from being a supporting actor in films such “High
Fidelity” and “Orange County,” to a star in films such as “School of Rock”
and “Shallow Hal.” His roles tend toward aggressive blowhards with a manic
quality.

“Nacho Libre” marks a toning-down of his comic persona. Perhaps it was
the influence of director Jared Hess – known for his break-out film
“Napoleon Dynamite” – but Black’s character of Ignacio is one of his most
calm yet.

Ignacio is a cook at a Mexican monastery who is obsessed with being a
masked wrestler. He is torn between his love of the children at the
orphanage the monastery operates and his need to fulfill his destiny as the
best wrestler in Mexico.

Complicating matters is the arrival of Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la
Reguera) to the orphanage who becomes both an inspiration and an forbidden
love for Ignacio.

Ignacio’s somewhat unwilling tag team member is Esqueleto, a tall thin
young street person who doesn’t share Ignacio’s vision, but does like the
money even losing brings him.

Ignacio wants to earn money to buy the children better food and, despite
his obsession, he is really the first sweet character Black has played.
That’s what makes this film different. Despite the wrestling plot line,
there is actually a gentleness about the story. The result is this film
doesn’t have as many belly laughs as some of Black’s previous films, but it
might stand out a bit more as something decidedly different.

I liked the film a great deal, but then I’m a sucker for anything
dealing with Mexican wrestling.

For more information, log onto www.paramount
entertainment.com/homeentertainment.

Wonder Showzen: Season Two

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped in a disc from this two disc
set of the MTV 2 comedy series and I have to say that I was genuinely
surprised, amused and appalled at what I saw.

Imagine “Sesame Street” on angel dust and you might have a glimmer of
what this show is like. It’s not only a parody of the beloved children’s
show that features puppets involved with drugs and violence, it’s also a
show with a reality edge. There are regular sequences in which kids go out
on the street with un-scripted “man on the street” bits that are totally
outrageous.

My favorite reality sequence, I’m ashamed to admit, had a group of men
as part of a focus group in which they watched a calculatedly offensive
parody of “Hee Haw.” None of the these guys thought the show was in poor
taste. Their humiliation was increased when they were brought back months
later and shown how they were deceived on a national television show.

Some of the sequences are fairly funny and inventive, while others
pretty much horrified me.

This is very dark, cynical stuff and it most definitely not for
children.

For more information, go to
www.paramountentertainment.com/homeentertainment.
Two very different forms of comedy are in this week’s DVD column.

Nacho Libre

From the 1920s through the 1960s, many comedians working in films
routinely developed personas they carried from role to role and character to
character. In the last 25 years, though, we’ve seen comics such as Steve
Martin, Jim Carrey and Robin Williams who might have signature bits of
business they use in their films, but not a re-occurring character.

Adam Sadler has reversed this with his aggressive man-boy character and
Jack Black is another who has established a character he brings from film to
film.

Black has risen from being a supporting actor in films such “High
Fidelity” and “Orange County,” to a star in films such as “School of Rock”
and “Shallow Hal.” His roles tend toward aggressive blowhards with a manic
quality.

“Nacho Libre” marks a toning-down of his comic persona. Perhaps it was
the influence of director Jared Hess – known for his break-out film
“Napoleon Dynamite” – but Black’s character of Ignacio is one of his most
calm yet.

Ignacio is a cook at a Mexican monastery who is obsessed with being a
masked wrestler. He is torn between his love of the children at the
orphanage the monastery operates and his need to fulfill his destiny as the
best wrestler in Mexico.

Complicating matters is the arrival of Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la
Reguera) to the orphanage who becomes both an inspiration and an forbidden
love for Ignacio.

Ignacio’s somewhat unwilling tag team member is Esqueleto, a tall thin
young street person who doesn’t share Ignacio’s vision, but does like the
money even losing brings him.

Ignacio wants to earn money to buy the children better food and, despite
his obsession, he is really the first sweet character Black has played.
That’s what makes this film different. Despite the wrestling plot line,
there is actually a gentleness about the story. The result is this film
doesn’t have as many belly laughs as some of Black’s previous films, but it
might stand out a bit more as something decidedly different.

I liked the film a great deal, but then I’m a sucker for anything
dealing with Mexican wrestling.

For more information, log onto www.paramount
entertainment.com/homeentertainment.

Wonder Showzen: Season Two

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped in a disc from this two disc
set of the MTV 2 comedy series and I have to say that I was genuinely
surprised, amused and appalled at what I saw.

Imagine “Sesame Street” on angel dust and you might have a glimmer of
what this show is like. It’s not only a parody of the beloved children’s
show that features puppets involved with drugs and violence, it’s also a
show with a reality edge. There are regular sequences in which kids go out
on the street with un-scripted “man on the street” bits that are totally
outrageous.

My favorite reality sequence, I’m ashamed to admit, had a group of men
as part of a focus group in which they watched a calculatedly offensive
parody of “Hee Haw.” None of the these guys thought the show was in poor
taste. Their humiliation was increased when they were brought back months
later and shown how they were deceived on a national television show.

Some of the sequences are fairly funny and inventive, while others
pretty much horrified me.

This is very dark, cynical stuff and it most definitely not for
children.

For more information, go to
www.paramountentertainment.com/homeentertainment.

© 2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs. These words are mine alone.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The governor's race here in Massachusetts is heating up with daily press events and a slew of negative ads. What's a voter to do if he or she is undecided? That was my point of the following piece. Unfortunately, politics is a religion. Either you have the faith or you don't and too many people feel that to question their own status quo could result in finding out they are wrong.

And people hate to be wrong.

Hey what do I know? I voted for Mitt Romney thinking a political outsider who was an expert in job growth would be good for the state. Guess what? I was wrong.

That didn't hurt a bit.


The war of words in the gubernatorial race is getting more intense and three of the candidates seem to be trying to one-up each other.

Let me share with you excerpts from press releases I've received.

First, let me say I received several e-mails a day from the campaigns of Kerry Healey and Deval Patrick. Interestingly, I've never received anything from Grace Ross or Christy Mihos.

Here are two, both dated Oct. 4:

"Democratic Candidate for Governor Deval Patrick today was joined by public safety and law enforcement officials from across the Commonwealth who gathered to express their support for the Patrick/Murray ticket. The officials, part of a growing group of police officers and other law enforcement officials, praised Patrick's public safety plan, and pledged to work with him to fight crime and violence in Massachusetts...

"'Our response to crime must above all be firm. I see 1,000 new officers on the streets to restore community patrol ranks. Because prevention is the best and cheapest form of public protection, I will also implement proven prevention strategies, working together with youth workers, parents, civic leaders, schools and churches. We need to be tough on crime, and smart about crime, too,'" said Patrick...

"In the last 18 months, Patrick has received endorsements from several Massachusetts law enforcement and public safety officials and groups, including former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral, Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, several sheriffs and district attorneys as well as the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and the International Brotherhood of Corrections Officers."

Okay, now here is the one I received from the Healey-Hillman campaign:

"Kerry Healey and Reed Hillman are the team Massachusetts can trust to be tough on crime and protect families, the State Police Association of Massachusetts and a broad coalition of law enforcement officials said today in endorsing the gubernatorial ticket.

"John Coflesky, president of State Police Association of Massachusetts, said Healey has been a leader and a champion of laws that crack down on sex offenders, drunk drivers and gangs, making Massachusetts' streets safer. Healey's leadership on Melanie's Law and tougher sex offender laws is evidence that she has what it takes to hold the Legislature accountable and pass tough anti-crime legislation.

"'Kerry Healey has refused to accept half-measures and Band-Aids, and pushed the Legislature until they got the bills right,' Coflesky said...

"Healey recently signed a new law mandating sex offenders be registered before being released from prison and extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting child rapists. Last week, she and running mate Reed Hillman called for dangerous Level 2 offenders to have their identities posted on the Internet, as is the current law for Level 3 offenders.

"Hillman spent 25 years with the State Police, with his final three years as Superintendent.

"Kerry Healey and Reed Hillman's extensive background in public safety and their priorities moving forward stand in stark contrast to Deval Patrick, who has been called 'soft on crime' by Attorney General Tom Reilly. Patrick supports restricting the content of criminal history reports available to employers and wants to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens."

Now who is the best when it comes to supporting public safety and fighting crime? Patrick has been a prosecutor with the Department of Justice, but also a defense attorney. He's being endorsed by Democrats and groups traditionally aligned with Democrats. There are few surprises there.

Healey has had expertise as a researcher on crime and Hillman was a State Trooper for 25 years. The endorsement from the State Police Association is as obvious as those supporting Patrick.

So on this issue who do you choose? That's the challenge. Voters must cut through the rhetoric to look at substance and try to discern the truth that works for them.

©2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs. My words alone.

Monday, October 16, 2006





The western Massachusetts crew is back from its triumph at the 2007 Rock and Shock Convention at the DCU Centre in Worcester, MA.

(First photo: myself and Amberly Ashe; second: The Rock and Shock Glowing Screen table crew of Jeff Allard, Matt House, Marty Langford, Darren Langford, Scott Kittredge, and Karl Konopka; third, Steve Bissette being interviewed; and last another shot of Amberly, what the hell!)

I say “triumph” because Marty Langford & Company sold a bunch of “Magdalena’s Brain” and the Western Mass Horror Show DVDs; I sold three-quarters of my “I Hate People” wristbands: and Amberly Ash managed, through handing out free candy to passersby, to sell quite a number of the horror film in which she appears, House of Carnage.

Honorary western Mass. resident (I can hear him snort now!) Steve Bissette also made a tidy sum on Sunday when he joined us. Steve is of course, the legendary cartoonist (“Swamp Thing,” “1963,” “Tyrant”), publisher (“Taboo”) writer (contributor to many books and magazines who now is a teacher at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.

This was Steve’s first convention appearance in many years and people were gob smacked to see him behind a table once more.

Now Rock and Shock is an interesting concept in that it’s a horror film convention and a heavy metal rock show. We all went to it last year and were impressed enough we wanted to try to do something at it this year.

Steve and I worked a table at Chiller Con in New Jersey for years and this show is about one-tenth the size of that one. The advantage, though, is Rock and Shock is not as over-powering and as crowded as Chiller.

There were a number of guests selling autographs at $20 a pop and while I think it’s fine for actors to make money directly off their own fame, it’s sad that you simply can’t go up to them to say how much you admire their work without the awkward silence when they expect to sell you a photo.

Some of the my fondest memories of Chiller revolve around the guest stars coming around the tables and talking to you since at that time the Chiller staff mixed the guest and dealers together.

It all changed at Chiller the year that someone who shall remain unnamed convinced Mary Oromo and Barbara Steele that they were big stars that should charge people for their autograph even if it was on an item owned by the fan.

Working a show like Rock and Shock can be fun, but it’s also tiring. To get the folks to stop your table, you need to engage them in some way. Our technique was straightforward: say hello and try to establish eye contact. Of course this didn’t work so well with the guys wearing some sort of horror make-up and determined to stay in character.

Well, at Rock and Shock, film makers Marty Langford, Warren Amerman, Scott Kittredge, Jeff Allard, and Karl Konopka got to mix with other independent film makers, which was a plus at this show. Attendees were impressed with what these guys have done and rightly so.

I got the satisfaction of having accurately judged the audience and created a product that moved off the table at the right price point.

Media Blasters interviewed Steve for an extra on an up-coming DVD. His reward? A tee shirt!

And we all got a charge out of Amberly offering candy to guys walking by and then quickly convincing them to buy her film and an autographed photo.

Would we do it next year? It’s tempting to say “yes,” but I think we’d all want bring something new to the show and that’s the rub.


© 2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs. My private life has nothing to do with my professional one, so understand these words are my own alone.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Two great, but very different, documentaries and some classic television are in this week's DVD picks.

SCTV: Best of the Early Years
Before the great comedy show "SCTV" was a 90-minute weekly network show, it was a half-hour syndicated offering. This new three DVD set collects 15 of the very best episodes of the shows first broadcast between 1978 and 1980.

"SCTV" poked fun at television in a way that has seldom been matched. Despite many topical references, these shows are still very timely and funny today.

In these programs, the "SCTV" cast members developed their characters such as SCTV station owner Guy Caballero who uses a wheelchair to gain respect; station manager Edith Prickley; incompetent newsman Earl Camembert; horror show host Count Floyd; and ├╝ber Canadians Doug and Bob McKenzie.

There's some very funny stuff here including the wonderful episode in which Woody Allen (played by Rick Moranis) tries to make a movie with his idol Bob Hope (impersonated perfectly by Dave Thomas). There's also another dead-on Moranis impersonation when he becomes Dick Cavett interviewing schlock comic and "SCTV" regular Bobby Bittman played with a crass appeal by Eugene Levy.

In some of the shows, John Candy and Catherine O' Hara are missing and were replaced with Robin Duke and Tony Rosato. These shows are a little weaker than those with Candy and O'Hara, but generally they are still more entertaining than much of what passes for comedy on network television today.

There's a great extra in the collection that is a vintage Canadian news story on the popularity of the McKenzies.

For more information, log onto www.shoutfactory.com.

Off to War: from Rural Arkansas to Iraq
If you missed this 10-part documentary series when it was first broadcast last year on the Discovery Times Channel, you now have the opportunity to catch it on DVD. The entire series plus extras will be available Oct. 17.

Two brothers, Brent and Craig Renaud, embedded themselves with the Arkansas National Guard between 2003 and 2005. They followed 57 men from one small town in Arkansas as they prepared to go to Iraq, their experiences in the war zone and their lives after their tour of duty.

The filmmakers clearly were not only interested in how the war affected the Guardsmen, but how it affected their families. An over-riding concern is how many of the Guardsmen would be able to make money once they return, as their jobs might not be waiting for them.

This is very compelling viewing. It poses many of the questions people have about the purpose and legitimacy of the war from the perspective of these citizen soldiers.

It's not easy viewing, either. The unit sustains casualties and fatalities and we see how these men react. We see how the families must cope with a wounded family member and how the nightly news reports fill them with dread.

It's also troubling to see soldiers fighting a war who don't understand what the war is all about or why they are fighting it.
This is television at its finest. You have to watch this series.

For more information, log onto www.kino.com.

Tales of the Rat Fink
Documentary director Ron Mann has fashioned a thoroughly original look at an American original: Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

"Big Daddy" who?

If you don't remember the custom cars and crazy cartoon characters by Ed Roth in the 1960s, then you should know this is a man who changed American popular culture in some very big ways.

Roth was an artist, a mechanic, an iconoclast and a savvy businessman. A man who barely made it through high school, Roth was part of the hot rod culture of the 1950s. Out of that time, when he was building hot rods and designing custom paint jobs, Roth developed the first tee-shirt with a design to be worn just by itself. That's right, Roth is the guy who invented the style of tee-shirts that have become part of the modern American lifestyle.

He also was the first car designer to use fiberglass as the material to push custom cars from hot rods made from Detroit cars to works of moving art.

His character of Rat Fink - a reaction to Mickey Mouse - helped people embrace weirdness as a positive rather than negative social norm. Roth was a classic outsider who changed the mainstream of American culture. He helped make it possible for other outsiders to do the same thing.

Mann tells Roth's story in an unconventional but entertaining way. He includes few film clips - the standard documentary element - and instead uses animated photos of Roth that accompany a narration track by John Goodman who plays Roth. Goodman is a Roth fanatic who met the man and does a great job with the vocal performance.

Mann also has cars "tell" Roth's story and employs the talents of people such as ZZ Top member Billy Gibbons, artist Robert Williams, Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Jay Leno and Ann-Margaret to play the succession of custom automobiles.

Funny, nostalgic and educational, "Tales of the Rat Fink" is a great salute to a one of a kind man.

For more information, log onto www.shoutfactory.com.

© 2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs. My words alone.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

First, the big news...the Inkwell Productions "I Hate People" wristbands have arrived. They will be making their debut at the Rock and Shock Convention in Worcester, MA this weekend, but you can order one from me for just $4 ($3 plus a dollar postage). E-mail me for ordering details. Comes in two sizes: large and extra large.

The following post is my story on the recent gubernatorial debate here. If you're a non-Massachusetts resident, I'm sure this wil be fairly boring, but for in state readers, I hope it will be an alternative to the debate coverage from the other local press.



SPRINGFIELD - Some debates are like boxing matches with two opponents trying to take each other out.

Others resemble the elimination wrestling bouts in which participants gang up on each other until two are standing in the ring.

The western Massachusetts gubernatorial debate on Oct. 3 at American International College was definitely more of a wrestling match with the four candidates squaring off at each other.

Lt. Governor Kerry Healey, the Republican candidate, and Democratic candidate Deval Patrick were clearly interested in engaging each other in the issues. Standing in their way, literally and figuratively, was independent Christy Mihos who was taking pot shots at Healey every chance he could get.

And although Green-Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross might have been initially discounted as too far to the left to be taken seriously as a candidate, she showed an ability to talk about issues aimed at both the middle class and voters who are middle road.

***
Patrick began his time in Springfield with an afternoon press conference at which he and his running mate Mayor Tim Murray of Worcester received the endorsements of Mayors Rick Sullivan of Westfield, John Barrett of North Adams, Michael Sullivan of Holyoke, Charles Ryan of Springfield, James Ruberto of Pittsfield, Mary Clare Higgins of Northampton, Christine Forgey of Greenfield, Michael Tautznik of Easthampton and Michael Bissonette of Chicopee.

Patrick also received the blessing of Congressman Richard Neal and, perhaps more significantly, the endorsement of the Springfield Patrolman's Union. The local has traditionally backed Republican candidates for the corner office and when asked why the change this year Union President Tom Scanlon replied with a smile, "We've finally smartened up."

Patrick said that unlike one of his opponents - Healey - he is not a "criminal theorist." He said that he headed at the Department of Justice under President Bill Clinton, the largest criminal investigation in the history of the department prior to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

He pledged to put 1,000 new police officers on the streets of the Commonwealth if elected and to use resources to help prevent crime as well.

Patrick's stand on crime was both a subject of the debate and of the days following the debate with news stories breaking that Patrick had written letters in support of a convicted rapist who he thought may not have received a fair trial.

The Healey campaign also brought to light a Florida trial in which Patrick successfully argued to reduce police killer Carl Ray Songer's death sentence to life in prison.

In a statement released on Thursday by the Healey campaign former Florida prosecutor Tom Hogan wrote, "Every voter in Massachusetts needs to know and understand the facts of this case, and the devastating effect it had on Trooper Smith's family and our community. Massachusetts needs to know these are the types of cases Deval Patrick agreed to take as a private attorney.

"In my career, I prosecuted numerous capital murder cases. No one deserved the death penalty more than Carl Ray Songer. Unfortunately, Mr. Patrick came in and worked to get his sentence reduced, on a technicality."

The Patrick campaign was also questioning Healey and running mate Reed Hillman's past in law and order issues.

In an Oct. 4 statement, the Patrick campaign wrote, "It is the height of politics-as-usual that the Healey/Hillman campaign is criticizing Deval Patrick today, when their Lt. Governor candidate Reed Hillman's record includes contacting the parole board on behalf of James W. Mitchell, a 'buddy,' who was accused of assaulting a police officer and other crimes; when Kerry Healey skipped more than half of the meetings of the Criminal History Systems Board during her two year appointment there; and when the Romney/Healey Administration has vetoed support for the sex offender registry and their record on crime and public safety is one of cuts in public safety initiatives and rising crime and violence."

***
Public safety was a concern with some of the demonstrators outside of the Sprague Cultural Center on the AIC campus. About 200 people carrying signs for their Sprague Cultural Center on the AIC campus. About 200 people carrying signs for their candidates were gathered and one group had signs that were more provocative than most alluding to Healey as "soft on crime."

The protesters were from the Massachusetts Corrections Officers Federated Union. The union's president, Steve Kenneway, explained the 5,000 member union wants voters to know the Romney-Healey administration has taken steps which have "endangered officers" in the Commonwealth's correctional facilities.

***
Although there are more debates scheduled this was the only one for western Massachusetts. Produced by WGBY, moderator Jim Madigan policed the debate's time limits to the best of his abilities, but it was clear that candidates were willing to stretch the rules.

Healey asked the first question to her opponents on whether or not they would go with the will of the voters and roll back the state income tax to five percent.

"Is your will more important than the will of the people," she asked.

Mihos said he would support a rollback, but any governor would need the support of the Legislature, something he said Healey has not sought.

Patrick said he would rather reduce property tax and fees.

Ross said that people in Massachusetts have talked about "no new taxes for 16 years and we're drowning in no new taxes."
She said she would work for a new formula for the state income tax so the lower economic groups would pay only their fair share.

Healey declared that no one had answered her question, a statement that might have been technically true - no one did address whether or not their will was more important than the will of the voter - but was disingenuous. All of the candidates had stated their goals for revamping the state income tax.

Mihos asked a question about all of the candidates crashing a closed door meeting on health care. Ross said with a smile, 'We're going," but Mihos's questions was clearly aimed at Healey and the transparency of a Healey administration.

"Answer me," he asked Healey. "You didn't answer me."

Looking at Patrick, Mihos said, "He'd go to the opening of a letter."

Finally, a slightly exasperated Healey said, "I'm not with you."

Patrick, taking on a parental role, said, "All right, you two."

Within the first few minutes of the debate the pattern of relationship had been struck, Mihos, who briefly discussed how he had been removed from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and the board of the University of Massachusetts by Acting Governor Jane Swift as part of political payback, seemingly was in this race to be a spoiler.

He seemed fixed on a course on challenging Healey when political wisdom would have called on his challenging the status quo represented by both Healey and Patrick.

With the release of his television commercial in which officials place their heads in a difficult place to reach to avoid answering questions about Big Dig cost over-runs, one wonders if Mihos simply wants to be the monkey wrench tossed into the machine of this election.

Mihos, who in his concluding statement said with a broad smile, "It has been a pretty good debate," did get to specifics at several points during the hour-long forum.

When Patrick asked what three specific steps each candidate would take to rebuild the state's economy, Mihos said he would put a cap on property taxes; increase local aide to communities from 28 percent of the state budget to 40 percent; and eliminate any busing fee for Massachusetts school children.

Ross said that bringing in big corporations to develop jobs was a failed policy and she said she would increase the state minimum wage; develop a single payer healthcare and put more money into local infrastructure to " take the weight off of the taxpayer and small businesses."

Healey said she would lower taxes, reform the permitting procedures businesses face and change the state's automobile insurance system.

Patrick asked her why she and Governor Mitt Romney haven't already accomplished these goals, especially streamlining the permitting process. For Healey, this was an example of the double edged sword of having a record. She is both running on her record as the junior partner of the administration, while at the same time distancing herself enough to be seen as someone out of Romney's shadow.

Patrick said that he would be a governor who wouldn't go around the nation making Massachusetts the butt of his jokes as Romney has during his undeclared run for the Republican presidential nomination.

***
With the debate in Springfield questions on local affairs were raised including the future of the Finance Control Board (FCB) set in place by Romney and the Legislature to take over much of the governing of the financially strapped city of Springfield.

Patrick said that, while the FCB has been helpful in managing the city of its crisis, he would speak to local officials about the Board's future to ensure Springfield could stand on its own.

"I want to be an active participant" in the city's recovery, he said.
Healey credited the FCB for the city's ability to recover from a $40 million deficit and work toward a balanced budget. She thought the reforms the FCB instituted - putting the city's pension fund and health insurance plan into the systems run by the state and instituting merit pay for teachers - could be implemented around the state.

Mihos would "take the Board out as soon as possible." He thinks annual outside audits would prevent another financial collapse from happening again.

Ross said she didn't know the Romney administration supported democracy as they had "removed most of Springfield's." She said she would look for "realistic" plans to help the city.

"Springfield has brilliance that's not being tapped," she said.

***
The clumping of reporters around the candidates after the debate always is an interesting barometer of their popularity. The reporters seeking a post-debate quote mobbed Healey and Patrick, while Mihos attracted substantially less interest.

Ross seemed to care less about the ritual. She left the stage and went about the audience greeting supporters and talking with people.

© 2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs. My words alone. Blame no one else.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I posted the draft of the first chapter of my Fleischer book over on Made of Pen and Ink. Check it out! Chapter Two should come aboard some time this week.

Hey, I'll be joining my pal Marty Langford (Magadelina's Brain) at his table at the Rock and Shock Convention in Worcester, MA, Oct. 14 and 15. Marty will be selling his and other independent movies and I will have a new product firmly aimed at the disenfranchised....a black silicone wristband that reads I HATE PEOPLE.

Yes it's a wristband for the rest of us! Inkwell Productions is back in business with something no one needs but I hope a lot of people will want!

Big bad Steve Bissette will be making an super duper rare convention appearance by joining us on Sunday. He'll have goodies to sell and sign as well. If you are a Bissette fan this may be your only chance to see Steve at a convention for years to come! It's hard to pry him out of his Vermont mountain compound! We had to use a crowbar!

We may have a couple of other guests at the table as well, but they have yet to be confirmed. Our spot will be the place to be. I will be handing out complimentary Squirrel Nut Zippers as long as they last.

Google Rock and Shock and get the latest details.

© 2006 Gordon Michael Dobbs. Boy, I hope I haven't offended any one!