Alley Oop and Woogazoola

In search of the ineffable WOOGAZOOLA.

My youngest sister C. recently posed a question in an electronic forum. It addresses an etymology that continues to pique the interest of my oldest sister: T.

“My sister T. and I are trying to figure out what a “Woogazoola” is. Our mother used to say our hair looked like a “Woogazoola” when it was messed up. My understanding was that it was a comic strip character from maybe the 1920’s or 1930’s. Anyone have any idea?”

A response from H. followed in short order:

“My mom thinks it might have come from the comic strip Alley Oop from the thirty’s.”

hamlin_arizona-2

I think H.’s mom has hit a nail on the head. Let’s take some time to consider this clue. I have discovered an Alley Oop comic strip from sometime between 1932 and 1939. My mother would have been from 11 to 18 at that time, perhaps already remarking upon classmates’ messed hair. Here we see Alley Oop with The Grand Wizer:

alley.oop.wizer

A point to ponder: text contained within comic strip balloons is scarcely as googleable as:

===> this here text <===

Internet search engines do not parse the words in a balloon, so I decided to actually read some more Alley Oop comic strips from the 1930’s.

In the highly unlikely event that you are reading these words, I will point out that my findings are anecdotal at best. They are also probably incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial — I leave it to the judge to decide that.

Well then, I shall now toss in a few presumptuous conjectures. These have been peer-reviewed by our cat Loki: my go-between editor (Loki is sitting in a cardboard box between the keyboard and the monitor).

oop.punctuation

Now, let us consider context. We already know that “messed up hair” elicited what I am tentatively calling an incantation: “Woogazoola.” Additional research is needed to find other contexts that would have elicited the motherly exclamation “Woogazoola.”

But let’s work with what we have: two words that beggar the imagination. Consider the 3rd frame. The Grand Wizer has a skull on his head, he incants: “GAWOIK GEEEZOOOIE !”

Hamlin has a way with ALL CAPS, bold fonts and the gradual change in font size. Witness GEZUNK! and ZONG!

Look for the consonants G K W and Z, for example. Then switch over to vowels that wow you with their repetition: OO, OOO. The name of Oop’s girlfriend? OOOLA.

Ooptimemachine4939

Modern science fiction owes much to Hamlin’s vision. He set a model for time travel that is still familiar stuff. Take a look at The Precisely Rendered Blam to whet your interest 🙂

Woogazoola!

Thanks for reading.

 

Veganism Confronts Alternate Reality

Philip K. Dick has a great definition for reality. Slip into a time machine of some rare device and glide back 39 years to this PKD instruction manual:

“How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (1978)

Philip K had a way with clever titles too.

From that essay:

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

it-is-sometimes-an-appropriate-response

I’m confident he would be amused to visit this place 39 years after publishing that essay, but consider the depth of his vision — he may have understood the fearsome circumstance of contemporary reality with fierce accuracy. Science fiction is good at that sometimes. 

Alternate histories are the unexpected consequence of historic events preceding the present moment. Charting the present is a matter of connecting historical dots.  The past is fully explicable, though it might have struck you at break-neck speed. Many suffer from whiplash. I am but one.

Days that happened include the 8th of November 2016. Once you regain equilibrium you wake up to a hard (or soft) landing. You realize that “it” happened.

Let’s consider that really real reality — the one that doesn’t go away just because you stop believing in it.

That reality devours every nanoparticle of a belief system that failed you somehow. 

So it seems quite appropriate to preface m wild-eyed views on veganism with article from the another perspective, an opposing viewpoint: veganism is a travesty. Click Not Healthy to weigh a specious argument from the Fruit Doctor.

The truth of veganism doesn’t go away. Animal rights still exist — even when those rights are inexpedient.

Veganism is a truth recognized by the many but practiced by the very few. Still, many non-vegans are aware of a resemblance between the typical factory farm and a death-camp. Well, slaughter does imply imply a certain amount of death.

The specie homo sapiens is capable of much denial and not a small measure of ignorance. You heed a call to close your mind to disagreeable facts, make room for more spectacle — blood and circuses.

Intergenerational theft is a reality. Old thieves like me grasp the spoils of war and limit resources, insisting that future generations fend for themselves. 

There are three-times as many homo sapiens on the same planet as there were in the year of my birth — that’s the 1947 part of my eponym. Human population consumes an equivalent number in the animal husbandry economy each year.

greedhurtingeconomy

The next celebration on the calendar in the US of Us features super-sized bowls of chips, plates with slathered wings mechanically separated from a billion birds. The hearth of America becomes a stadium filled with a 100,000 seats for 200,000 buttocks — attending a “game” that is a metaphor for war. Flaunt, preen and consume so that the economy falters not. An audience slightly larger than 100,000 observe the spectacle from the comfort of a frenetic television screen.

Enormous shopping carts roll forward with product of the grossest national product that end-stage consumerism can muster. Together they supply trillion-dollar industries that provide product for all manner of mastication. Each with a nutrition label. Here is an aphorism that may cheer you  will reading those labels: “Well I’ve got to die of something!

protein-vegan

Blood and circuses. 

Here’s an alternative to viewing Supper Bowl LI — read something from Phillip K, perhaps “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Better yet, read my other posts on a theme of vegan. 🙂

Happy reading.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Meeting Sheffield in Manhattan

TGIF: to my good English friends

This is my cheery thanks for 237 WordPress views from the U.K. Yet, all readers are welcomed to join in the jape — even your homework-eating doggie or moggie is invited.

Right.

A few months ago I wrote a  post to celebrate non sequiturs.  So it certainly follows…

 

manhattan-ks
Kansas State University

The anecdote begins in a basement apartment, one with a bright southern exposure in the Manhattan Kansas of 1970. The landlady is an elderly widow under the name of McLeod. She pronounced this appellation “Mick Lee Odd” to the bloody-helliest consternation of my college roommate from Sheffield.

“She doesn’t even know how to pronounce her bloody name. Jesus F-ing Christ!”

Keith’s very words, excepting the letters k, u and c.

He bore a striking resemblance to Robert Carlyle’s character Gaz in The Full Monty. The marvelous synchronicity of life and art finds me in Sheffield, whether led by Robert Carlyle or by Keith.

robert-carlyle
Robert Carlyle could play Keith

 

We fed a stray moggie who frequented the window wells. Mrs. McLeod disapproved of visiting privileges for this fellow mammal of the feline kind. Of course she ran up the basement steps into the McLeod kitchen to begin her first and last apartment visit. Without hesitation.

A large collection of small glass animalia enjoyed the same southern exposure. Rays of sun pointed to all dust that might alight, only to fall victim daily to Mrs. M’s grey cloth.

She asked us to deduct a dollar from the $60 rent, were we to shovel the snow. No deduction did we make, so she baked us a cake and each snow day left it on the kitchen table next to the tub and in front of the shower’s wooden pallet.

Keith P. introduced me to real football. His mother sent him the pink sports pages by post each week. ’twas his sacred tradition to purchase a bag of chips and to consume all contents of the bag while reading the full contents of the weekly surprise. I learned of George Best in his better days. Mancunians, Liverpudlians. One week I selected Swansea as my team favorite UK team.

“Bloody hell, they’ll be relegated.”

Comes another random memory. A trip by ’63 Käfer from Manhattan (KS) to hometown Cincinnati. Christmas break. My father spent quite a few months in North Africa in 1943, but suffered the youthful certainty we thought real.

kaefer

Britain would have won the war without American help.”

Keith’s words paraphrased.

I sold encyclopedias for a couple months in Cincinnati the following summer. You could lie your ass off in those days. It was the most dishonest job I have ever held. Unfortunately I was good at it. One shred of dignity for my door-to-door robbery —it paid rent to the wonderful Mrs. McLeod. Keith spent that same summer in inner-city Detroit with a radical geographer: William Bunge, Theoretical Geography 1970.  A very different era.

 

draft-lottery
Selective Service Draft Lottery

Every evening we joined with Mrs. M. for the day’s first encounter with the larger world without. Our sole 30 minutes of TV viewing time.

Now the world without intercedes to display the more dismal side that is in the human shadow, I also remember the following:

Always Walter Cronkite and always the loud desperation on grainy black and white film, the black and white blood of teen-age death captured by a war correspondent’s film crew. Choppers measuring cacophony of war uncensored.

Keith was not draftable and September 17 gifted me a random 255 by dint of the document below. September 14 was the first number drawn in the draft lottery of 1969.

img_07331.jpg

 

 

 

The ingenuous Indigenous

Today I am putting on my Mad Alliterator hat to celebrate the penultimate day of the week. It seems to be a tradition for blogs to toss out loose threads on the day of Fri, so here are some non sequiturs. Speaking of Latin, did you know that the Arabic names for the days o’ the week are based on the sequential numbers 1 through 7? Seven sequential sequiturs.

arabic-days-of-the-week

PATRIOTISM, n.Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.

In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

-Ambrose Bierce

Only in America... can...

I'm proud to be an...where at least...?

What corrupts absolutely? Macht macht  es recht, oder? (Power makes it right, right?)

groene_ten-hooven_231

I glance askance as a perfect storm approaches and I shudder. A quick aside to my reader:

“Actually it looks like a great many storms are lining up and spreading out. But not to worry, climate change is real, but not as real as reality-TV. So put it on the back burner for now (ever). Slogan to accompany: “A miracle a day keeps climate change at bay.”

Halloween rescheduled this year to Election Day.

halloween-costume

2016 to date: Native Americans lead the list of persons killed by the police

At this moment there are twice as many chickens on the planet as homo sapiens. Details at your local ultra-mega-super market. A pop quiz: what do advertising and marketing have in common?

Answer to follow.

Thanks for reading