Friday, January 31, 2014

Meet The New Boss

MULTIPLE UPDATES BELOW

World O' Crap Guest columnist Keith has been wanting to join in the Wo'C Brand Cat Lurve for awhile, but his kitty is black, and can therefore do that "Blink and My Face Disappears" thing (which is also one of Riley's favorite tricks), making portraiture a dicey proposition, but he finally caught her in an unwary moment:

Got her. It's a screen test. She's giving everyone a high-five. 
This rescue cat's given name was Sydney. Everyone who met her called her "Midnight" but when I need to find her I still use Sydney ... Let's just call her "Sylvia Sydney" for this terrific casting couch photo.
And hey...since I'm still trying to finish this script and can't yet return to regular blogging, feel free to send photos of your own cat or dog (or other pet) to my email address on the top right.   And don't be intimidated by the raw, Terry Richardson-style sexuality of Midnight's pose -- some of them can be more on the Edward Steichen or Cecil Beaton side, if you prefer.

UPDATE:  From our friend acrannymint:
Meet Huckleberry.

UPDATE #2:  From our film-savvy friend, grouchomarxist:
Ninja is the most recent arrival in our household. He's our "parlor panther", bad-boy and mouse-hunter supreme.
Fred is our Maine Coon Cat, with over eight years' experience in creating gracefully flung poses like this.
The three on the bed, from top to bottom are Puck, the Turkish Van, who sadly left us not long after the picture was taken. (He was 18 at the time.) Then there's Skitter, the tabby, whose personality appears to be a close match for Moondoggie's. She's a blithe and bonny creature possessed of the most varied repertoire of trills, squeaks and meows I've ever encountered. (She's the only cat in the house I can have a real conversation with.) And last but not least Smudge the elderly tortie, who's bullied poor Fred -- who outweighs her by a factor of at least two -- unmercifully since the day he adopted us, six years ago.

And in her turn is often harassed now by impudent newcomers Skitter and Ninja. Karma's a bitch, ain't it?


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Special Foreshadowing Beast Blogging

RILEY:  I hereby claim this Pro Bowl commemorative tote bag, and its attendant NFL branded promotional merchandise for the Sovereign Independent State of Riley.

It's a long story, which I hope to get to in the next day or so.  Please stand by.

UPDATE:

"Seems like there's room for another cat in there, Riley." -- ifthethunderdontgetya

RILEY:  No.  No, there's not.  Just me, a commemorative beach towel, and a Hawaiian-themed foam rubber football -- and that's it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Random Scenes of Hollywood


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flashback Beast Blogging: The Grokkin' On Sunshine Edition

I need to fumigate the Fumento out of the place, so how about a look back at Riley and Moondoggie: The Early Years?

[Originally published July 27, 2007]

Riley can’t believe — simply cannot believe – that Moondoggie is lying in her sun patch.  Nevertheless, she remains confident that if she just STARES at him long enough without blinking…

…she can wish him into the cornfield.
Later, however, amends are made through an eagerly offered, and grudgingly accepted tongue bath.  Fellas, take note.
“Oh all right, if you must, I suppose I can put up with it…”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Further Follow-up For Fumento! Fun? Feh.

Okay, I can't stand looking at that image of Michael Fumento in a Speedo anymore (and to dash Weird Dave's hope: no, it's not a joke. Not a Photoshop. Not a Hoax or Imaginary Story. It's something he did to himself, and judging by the self-satisfied smirk on his puss, he was damn proud of it!), so I need to push it down the page.

Luckily, we had follow-up piece, occasioned by Mr. Fumento's visit to World O' Crap, and the brief bitching he did about about our coverage back on his own blog.  The post itself is no great shakes, but it's worth it for the comments.

With Special Guest Star, Michael Fumento
Well, that was quick.  After we discussed Michael Fumento’s indictment of Hollywood, as viewed through the prism of the Bruce Willis actioner Live Free Or Die Hard (Although You’d Die Much Harder If You Were Being Killed By An Arab), the author himself took note of our modest effort in a post entitled Anti-Terrorism Equals Racism.  As he was kind enough to also visit our comments, I thought I would post and then address his response here:
Because I say an actor is “Arabic-looking” I’m a racist?
1. The point is that this was part of bending over backwards not to implicate Muslim terrorists.
2. Arabs are Caucasian, like me.
3. The actor in question actually played an Arab in a previous movie, Three Kings.
This accusation represents the combined intelligence of the original blogger and his idiot acolytes. I’ll bet you all split a gut laughing when those Twin Towers fell. 
Hey Michael, it’s lucky you dropped by, because today is “All About Context Day.”  (Although yesterday was “Anything Can Happen Day,” which is fun too.)
Because I say an actor is “Arabic-looking” I’m a racist?
While it’s certainly an odd thing to complain about, it doesn’tnecessarily make you a racist.  Until one considers it in context:
Meanwhile one of the few good guys in the movie, the head of the FBI team that aids our hero John McCain[sic], looks decidedly Arabic.
Since you’re disappointed that the terrorists aren’t Arabs, and irked that one of the heroes is “Arabic-looking,” that does seem to suggest that you prefer your Arabs on the business end of an RPG.
1. The point is that this was part of bending over backwards not to implicate Muslim terrorists.
Just as I wouldn’t necessarily care to read Roger Ebert’s comments on anti-terrorism policy, it appears that a person with your particular interests is equally out of his depth when attempting rudimentary film analysis.
Spoilers ahead.
The Die Hard franchise started off with one gimmick (big action picture confined to a single building) and one reveal (the bad guys are actually thieves pretending to be terrorists to confuse the authorities).  The second film (Die Hard 2:  Die Harder) involved a still-confined, but larger setting (an airport) and mercenaries who conspire to free a Noriega-like drug-running South American strongman (a relatively topical villain for 1990).  The third film (Die Hard With A Vengeance) throws out the limited location gimmick, dragging the hero all over the city of New York, but brings back the phony terrorists — in this case, a villain who unleashes a reign of terror, ostensibly in revenge for John McClane (not McCain, btw) killing his brother in the first film, all of which is designed to distract the police from a gold heist.  In only one of the films (Die Hard 2) do the bad guys have even the slightest political motivation for their crimes, and even there it’s made apparent that most of the soldiers are in it for the money.
The current film is based on a Wired magazine piece about the vulnerability of America to a massive cyber-attack.  The villains could have been Arabs I suppose, but again, terrorism was used as a red herring to conceal the grandest of grand thefts.  And given that you’re irritated by an “Arabic-looking” actor playing a high ranking FBI official, surely you wouldn’t be any happier to see one in charge of Homeland Security.  Besides — and correct me if I’m wrong — you’re looking for wild-eyed kaffiyeh-wearing terrorists setting off bombs and brandishing AK-47s, not tapping away on their laptops.
2. Arabs are Caucasian, like me.
I agree that’s a relevant point, or would be if you’d written, “Meanwhile one of the few good guys in the movie, the head of the FBI team that aids our hero John McCain, looks decidedly Caucasian.”
3. The actor in question actually played an Arab in a previous movie, Three Kings.
He’s also played a Maori, his actual ethnicity, as well as Hispanics, Italians, and a guy named “Mort Whitman.”  But like Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris, it’s clear that whenever you see Cliff Curtis, no matter what character he plays, you’ll always see an Arab.  And while we’re on the subject, Anthony Quinn, who was Mexican, played an Arab in Lawrence of Arabia, then tried passing himself off as a Greek islander in Zorba the Greek, and a Russian in Shoes of the Fisherman!  I don’t know where he got the nerve, but these terrorists are very cunning.
This accusation represents the combined intelligence of the original blogger and his idiot acolytes. I’ll bet you all split a gut laughing when those Twin Towers fell.
I don’t personally go in for acolytes, but if you’re referring to the people who are kind enough to read and comment on this site, they are not only smart, humane, and remarkably well-informed, they’re not afflicted with the same kind of blinkered, obsessive hatred that allows you to use the tragedy of 9/11 as punchline, in a petty disagreement over a movie.
AddThis

Original comments below the fold...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fumento Flashback!

I'm still cranking away on this script (due, I note with steadily increasing horror, on January 31), so please forgive me for digging into the archives to keep the old joint wheezing along.  On the bright side, this was one of the few Wo'C posts which so sufficiently stirred the target -- conservative writer and banana-hammock hobbyist Michael Fumento -- that he made a cameo appearance in comments, spread his nether cheeks, and plopped out a remark of such effortless sociopathy that it sparked a lengthy thread full of eloquent contempt and surgical blood-letting (which I've included below the fold).

Enjoy!

[Originally published July 9th, 2007]

Nice Actor, But Does He Come in White?


Roy points us to this piece by Michael Fumento, who feels that Hollywood has failed in its responsibility to defend and propound American values, despite getting off to a strong start with films like Birth of a Nation and Race Suicide.
In 1942, Hollywood went to war. It began pumping out countless movies designed to be both entertaining and instructive as to the nature of our enemies. A lot of them were done on the cheap and others were pretty hokey, but they kept drilling home the message that we must persevere no matter the costs or how long it would take. Fast forward that reel to the post-9/11 era. Just how many movies can you count in which Islamist terrorists are the bad guys and that do not specifically concern the Sept. 11 attacks?
In the Second World War, America was united in the belief that we faced an existential threat, and this unanimity was largely due to a motion picture industry that was unafraid to put this powerful medium to use supporting the internment of citizens who were suspected of unAmerican sympathies or epicanthic folds.  If I may quote from the 1943 Columbia Pictures serial, The Batman:

“This was part of a foreign land, transplanted bodily to America and known as Little Tokyo.  Since a wise government rounded up the shifty-eyed Japs, it has become virtually a ghost street, where only one business survives.”

The business in question being the “Japanese Cave of Horror”, a carnival-like Tunnel of Love, except that it’s full of mannequins dressed as Imperial Japanese soldiers who are threatening Margaret Dumont with a bayonet.  The 12-episode serial went out of its way to highlight that America was under siege by an alien race, sprinkling the dialogue with references to “squint-eyes” and noting that one character’s craven actions made him as yellow “as the color of [his] skin.”

Most important of all is that this chapterplay was intended mostly for children, thus providing the kind of moral fiber in their formative years that these kids would later need to kill Asians in Korea and Vietnam.
Meanwhile – and this may be considered a spoiler, so if you haven’t seen the movie look out – the just-released fourth installment of the Die Hard series, Live Free or Die Hard, teaches us that just because there are some bad guys out to destroy America doesn’t mean they have to be bin Laden’s buddies.
In fact, it was the Department of Homeland Security that turns out to have been more or less responsible for the attack in the first place. Meanwhile one of the few good guys in the movie, the head of the FBI team that aids our hero John McCain[sic], looks decidedly Arabic.
This non-traditional casting fad is ruining the delicate suspension of disbelief so necessary to enjoying a summer action movie.  And the sad thing is, there was a time when Hollywood was scrupulous about depicting America’s racial minorities as certain easily-offended regions of the country perceived them to be, without distorting it through some colorblind lens.  Why, just imagine Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves if they’d succumbed to PC pressure and drawn the characters as white!  It wouldn’t have made any sense at all!

I’m glad there are still a few brave souls who will hold Hollywood to account for implying that an FBI agent is Arabic by casting a New Zealander named Cliff Curtis and calling the character “Bowman.”
One of last year’s most critically-acclaimed films was the severely disjointed Babel in which what is treated as a terrorist shooting of an American woman in Morocco turns out to have been an accident. Heck, it wasn’t even an AK-47 involved but rather a Japanese hunter’s rifle.
While Fumento was clearly let down by the lack of a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist in an esoteric art film, he should take heart from the fact that Hollywood is still warning Americans (or at least, American tourists in Morocco) about the insidious Japanese.  I mean, it’s been 67 years; that’s some serious drilling home.

Anyway, the writer and director of Babel were both Spanish, which figures, 'cause you know how those Iberian nancyboys rolled bum-up for the Moors.
If I’m mistaken and there have been movies in which Islamists where the bad guys, please let me know.
Because boners don’t just happen.  A fella needs a little help.
In any event, where once Hollywood shored up a resolute but war-weary public (Everyone knew somebody who had been killed or maimed and they thought the war would last well into 1946 or beyond), Hollywood now feels its job is to assure us that with terrorism we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Even while traveling in countries with strong Islamist movements. Never mind that the week the new Die Hard came out there were two aborted terrorist attacks in Great Britain perpetrated by middle class Islamist physicians living as normal Britons – a truly scary scenario that’s right out of a movie like The Manchurian Candidate.
Which prompted these remarks from commenter Marlowe over at Matt Yglesias’ place:
The utter fatuous cluelesness of Fumento and his ilk is amusingly illustrated by his comment that the doctors suspected in the recent British terrorist plot was “a truly scary scenario that’s right out of a movie like The Manchurian Candidate.” As anyone with a functioning brain that has seen that classic film knows, the ultimate goal of the Chinese plot was to install James Gregory (playing a barely disguised version of Joe McCarthy controlled by his wife–Angela Lansbury as an icy Chicom mole) in the White House. In other words, the plotters were (correctly) aware that the best way to destroy the US was make sure it was led by a fear mongering arch-conservative. Of course, such people are incapable of detecting irony.
However, unaware that the batteries are dead in his irony detector, Fumento continues to wander over the beach, resolutely sweeping it back and forth:
One of the ironies is that you don’t even need to create fictitious Islamist villains; the real ones are so classically evil.
So classicially evil…so…so deliciously eeeevil!  (I’ve discovered that this column goes down a lot easier if you imagine it being read aloud by the Joker.  The Cesar Romero version.)
Look, you can’t live on the edge of your seat all the time in a war that could last a generation or far longer.
The Carthaginians tried it during the Second Punic War, and their legs eventually went to sleep.
If we think we see a bomb in every backpack, the terrorists are winning.
Or at least the Bush Administration is.
But there’s got to be a happy medium. Hollywood doesn’t see it that way. A lot of people have suggested that, pathetically, it’s going to take another terrorist attack to wake us from our slumber.
Oh come on, nobody would be heartless, cynical, or just plain stupid enough to make a statement like that.
In his first interview as the chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, Dennis Milligan told a reporter that America needs to be attacked by terrorists so that people will appreciate the work that President Bush has done to protect the country.
“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001],” Milligan said to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country.”
Okay, my bad.  Hey, if any of you terrorists are currently working on Chairman Milligan’s Anti-Naysayer Plot, Fumento has a bit of operational advice:
Wouldn’t it be fitting if [the terrorist attack] were in a movie theater?
Ah, it looks like Michael finally replaced the batteries and found some irony over by the frozen banana stand.  Sure, it’s got a little gum and sand stuck to it, but I'm sure Alanis Morissette will still give him a good price for it.

Posted by scott on Monday, July 9th, 2007 at 4:11 pm.

Original comments -- including Special Guest Villain Michael Fumento -- below:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What's This "And the Rest" Crap?

A commenter just alerted me in the post below that Russell Johnson has died at the age of 89.  Like a lot of people I first encountered him in endless after school reruns of Gilligan's Island (and even though I hated the show and hated myself for watching it, I nevertheless watched it faithfully, because it helped me to master the art of self-loathing, which I was pretty sure would come in handy if I ever decided to pursue a career in the Humanities).

So it was jarring and delightful when I later discovered that he'd begun his career playing villains, mostly in westerns.  But he was also a familiar face in science fiction films (such as It Came From Outer Space and Attack of the Crab Monsters), and TV series (Twilight Zone, The Outer LimitsThe Invaders).  But fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will remember him best as the drunken, abusive, and quickly deceased stepfather in The Space Children, and the prickly but heroic egghead Steve Carlson in This Island Earth.


Unfortunately, I can't boast the encyclopedic command of Hollywood trivia that someone like Chris Vosburg can, so I've only got one Russell Johnson story, and it's second-hand, but here we go: a few friends of mine went to a pre-release screening of MST3K: The Movie, which featured a Q & A with some of the surviving cast of This Island Earth (the movie within The Movie), including Rex Reason and Russell Johnson...


During the picture, as you may recall, Rex and leading lady Faith Domergue are placed in My Size plexiglas tubes, which are then filled with smoke, because Science!  Naturally, the MST3K crew made a stoner joke, and after the movie an audience member asked Reason, "What was it like being inside the giant bong?

Rex, who apparently played straight arrow types for a reason (see what I did there?) had no clue what a bong was, which occasioned the biggest laugh of the night when Johnson leaned over to him and whispered an explanation, while vividly and unmistakably miming the act of sparking up a little smoke on the water.  This is perhaps not surprising when you realize that one of Russell's other films is The Saga of Hemp Brown.

I'm sure Ivan will have something more enlightening to say, and unfortunately, I'm up to my armpits in on-rushing deadlines and roll-on deodorant, so I'm going to pull an Atrios and say, "Consider this an open thread for all your Russell Johnson-related recollections."

R.I.P., Prof.

Rated R for Strong Language And Implied Cannibalism

I like to browse through vintage ads -- it's a dirty habit, I admit it -- and even post some here on occasion (who can forget our old friend, the Form-Friendly, Fat-Fightin' Tapeworms, Conveniently Jar-Packed and Sanitized For Your Protection?)  But sometimes, even modern advertisements will turn my head, as I find that Glaring Cultural Differences can often produce the same effect as Amused Hindsight, but without all that annoying perspective.  To wit:

Now personally, I'm in favor of Brains.  We have too few of them in this country, and I'd be thrilled to see these maligned and neglected organs finally get the respect they deserve, but given the choice, I wouldn't eat one.  Similarly, I have a few friends and neighbors here on the edge of West Hollywood who will, when the mood is upon them, address each other as "Faggot,"* and while I enjoy getting together with them for drinks, or a terrible movie, I would not be tempted to eat them.  Admittedly, I have no clue what a Rich West Country Sauce is, but based on the photograph, this is also something I would never ever eat.  So the solution, obviously, is be to take these various unappetizing elements and combine them into a single product that even Don Draper would have a hard time sentimentalizing.

But I hear you ask: Never, Scott?  You'd never eat it?  Any of it?  Never is a long time, and such a declaration forecloses many potential opportunities you cannot, in the midst of your gran mal seizure of Morris the Cat-style finickiness, foresee.  What if, for instance, the chance arose for you and your family (i.e., Mary and the cats) to become the New Face of Mr. Brain's Faggots, with all the glory and riches that would entail?  What then, hmm?   Would you stop pursing your lips like a recalcitrant two-year old, and finally open the tunnel, and let the Faggot-laden choo-choo train inside?


For those who can't clearly make out the exciting ad copy, here are the highlights:
Who will be the new face of Mr Brain's Faggots? 10 years since the last faggots family was crowned, the search is on to find a fresh new family to represent one of the nation's favourite family dishes. 
All you have to do to enter is (in less than 100 words) tell us why you love Mr Brain's faggots, let us know why you should be the new Mr Brain's Faggot family and send us a recent family photo. 
The finalists will be whittled down to just four families, who will be filmed, photographed and questioned about their love for Mr Brain's Faggots.
Presumably the losing families will be further whittled down until they become Mr Brain's Faggots, and will be served to the winners in a Rich West Country Sauce.

UPDATE:  My friend John linked me a relevant video, because it's the 21st Century:


*I've noticed that amongst gay people -- at least those of my acquaintance -- proper usage requires the full two syllable word, and seldom its diminutive.  "Fag," on the other hand, seems to be reserved exclusively for use by straight-but-nervous adolescent boys, and the straight-but-stupid Duck Dynasty fans they eventually grow into.  Anyway, until spotting this ad, I always thought that "Faggot," in the mother tongue, meant "cigarette" or "bundle of sticks," but now I see it's also a synonym for 'Brobdingnagian British meatball," served in a sewage run-off sauce.  So there you go.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The "¡Basta Ya!" Edition

RILEY:  ZzzZZzzzzzZZZZzzzz
MOONDOGGIE:  I just like to watch her sleep.  Is that creepy?  I don't think it's creepy...

MOONDOGGIE:  I mean, it's not that cree--
RILEY:  WHAT!


MOONDOGGIE:  S'matter?
RILEY:  I sensed a great disturbance in the--

RILEY:  Oh.  It's you...

RILEY:  Look, biped...for your own sake, you better put that camera away, before I'm forced to give you...

RILEY:  THE CRAZY FACE!!!


RILEY:  Terrified?  Yes, I thought so...Yawn...Now I think we can all agree, we don't want me to have to do that again, eh?  Hmmm?  N'est ce pas?

BONUS, UNASKED FOR, GIF-ICATION OF THE CATS BY GOOGLE+:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

State of the Blog

Hey guys.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable, Seacrest-free New Years.  I just wanted to pop in and apologize for the dead air the past few days (and to thank Keith for livening up the joint with his review of Waltz Time, which was the Hammer Time of its day), and to update everyone on current events.

Mary and I went up to Portland the day after Christmas to spend some time with my sister and her husband, my two very cool nieces, and, most importantly, their dog, Bailey.  I'd planned to blog while I was up there, but Bailey felt my laptop could be put to better use as an aluminum pillow.

Then I decided to borrow the car and go find a Starbucks where I might do some writing, since I hear the brand is finally making some tentative inroads into the Pacific Northwest, but you know how craftsy everyone is up there, and it turned out the roof of the car was busy hosting an installation of crystalline art...

...intended to evoke the feeling of Monsanto's "Adventure Thru Inner Space" ride at Disneyland, in which plucky tourists were shrunk to subatomic size and injected into a snowflake, to learn about physics and chemistry and why it's good to have just one strain of corporate-owned corn in the world, and how anybody who decorates their house with an ear of unauthorized speckled Indian maize at Thanksgiving is no better than a Somali pirate, and should be shot in the head by Navy SEALS.  (Sorry for the Captain Phillips spoilers.) Anyway, even if we don't yet have shrinking technology, with the exception of warm water for woolens, and cold water for scrotums, I'm impressed how Monsanto correctly predicted that in the Twittering and texting world of the Future, "Through" will become a four-letter word.

But we're back home now, as you can tell by the weird vegetation...

...and the penis-shaped landmarks...
Unfortunately, thanks to a combination of travel-induced sciatica pain and dog drool on my keyboard, I'm way behind on this cheap little animated movie script I was hired to write, which absolutely positively has to be completed by the last week of January, so I beg you to bear with me, as posting may be erratic over the next few weeks.

Okay, more erratic.  Don't rub it in.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Guest Column: Mondo Blini

By Keith, Wo'C's Fin-de-si├Ęcle Correspondent

Waltz Time (1945)
Directed by Paul L. Stein
Written by Henry C. James, Karl Rossier, Montgomery Tully, Jack Whittingham

If you've never been to Vienna, you may want to reconsider your itinerary after encountering this bizarre reworking of "Die Fledermaus," under the plodding but workman-like direction of Austrian veteran Paul Ludwig Stein.

Vienna has fallen into the doldrums. The city doesn't have the cutting edge it once had, sort of like the East Village, NYC nowadays. The Emperor (Brefni O'Rorke) has expired, leaving his daughter and only child (Carol Raye) to take over the show. Empress Carol quickly discovers that there's more to Empire than witty repartee, meticulous costuming and elegant entrances. In fact, the poor thing has to bury her beloved father, assume the throne, and get hitched to her louche, homosexual boyfriend (Peter Graves). Sadly no, he's not the same Peter Graves from The Night of the Hunter, or Mission Impossible. He's another actor with the same name, but not the gumption necessary to do the hard work that name implies, such as sharing the screen with Peter Lupus or badly-composited giant grasshoppers.

Empress Carol makes the mistake of honoring her father's wish that she trust the judgment of the Vienna Council of Ministers. The Council is composed of old and decrepit SOBs. Because they can't hear or see very well, they don't have very much to do. They might just as well be the Maytag Board of Directors. Still, she believes these guys are adept at greasing the wheels of central European government, so we'll forgive her this time. The Ministers advise her to have lots of babies. They also advise her to stay away from the "Mondo Blini" saloon, where people hang out and, you know, do the "Waltz." In three-quarter time, even. It's so much fun that everyone is doing it, so there must be something to it. There isn't.

After collaborating with boyfriend Peter in a forgettable duet in the first reel, with heart obviously a-flutter and with babies on the brain, Empress Carol introduces him to the Maytag mavens. After being presented with Councils' rather reasonable conditions regarding his future Official State Stud-Daddy status, boyfriend Peter cancels the engagement, then walks out in a flaming hissy fit! Poor Empress Carol, exposed as a 'fag hag,' sheds a few cubic millimeters of glycerin, then goes looking for ... Trouble! 
In addition to the Waltz, Imperial Vienna also invented the "Moose Knuckle."

Anyone familiar with The Third Man knows that Vienna isn't the kind of town where one goes looking for trouble; even if everyone's laundry is spotless, starched and ironed to perfection (the Viennese being fond of high-quality household durables). During the second wash cycle we're taken to the Mondo Blini beer garden. Unfortunately there's no beer being served and no waltz dancing, because the proprietor insists that everyone pay attention to hack production numbers featuring gypsies and people in silly horse costumes.

And this is where the plot becomes somewhat twisted. The clientele of the beer garden are "Quality People," of the social register, who frequent the dive incognito for nothing more than shits and giggles. One fateful evening the Maytag mullahs, in a fit of faux-Calvinist morality, raid the joint and everyone is arrested--including Empress Carol. The horror! Adding insult to injury, Maytag tries to shake down the detained patrons for bail, until Empress Carol reveals her true identity. All of the red quarters collected from those arrested are returned to the State Treasuries.

I must mention that Vienna is also a town of bad matte process. Regardless, rest assured that everyone arrives home safe and sound. It's worth hanging out for the first rinse cycle, if only for the dulcet tones of Richard Tauber, renowned alcoholic tenor of the day. Yes, it is rather late in the picture to introduce a new character, but everyone else is hung-over or making babies. Tauber is a breath of something, though, like the beer at Mondo Blini, he's flat most of the time. He wanders aimlessly amongst geese and gander, looking for that beer garden he's heard about, but can't locate because of the bad matte process.

After final rinse comes a highly-accelerated state of spin dry, where Empress Carol and her homo boyfriend Peter finally tie the knot. Guess who's invited to sing -- Richard Tauber! He performs his number in the cathedral choir, hands resting comfortably on the shoulders of two angelic-looking young boys---most likely for stabilization. The Maytag mafia is retired and the Waltz becomes the official court dance of Vienna! Afterwards everyone moves on to more interesting topics, such as atonal music theory, psychoanalysis, relativistic physics, the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, the historical closure of the Hapsburg Empire and the concept of global conflict, not to mention the invention of refrigerators and dishwashers. The beer garden, for all I know, may still be there. Long live Vienna!