That's an actual picture up there. The only thing I did was crop it.  I took it on my walk the other day, part of a renewed and probably pointless and eventually ignored plan to document downtown at this point in its history, this self-inflicted emptiness, this needless nadir. I love each of those buildings and know them well. I wonder if there's anyone home.


The dog is still wary of the gas-fired flame pit, but when I took this picture, reflecting all the outside lights and fire, he looked like some dark beast ruling over the mystical elements.

Yes, I’m outside, but not for long. We are suddenly at the huddling phase of the fire pit. I think I’ll turn on the family room gas fireplace tonight, because suddenly all the dials in the world got turned to Cozy.

Day off, spent arranging and sorting and writing. Stayed away from the news, partly because I know what it will be. The news isn’t surprising these days. Grinding dimunition, an accumulation of unintended consequences, a wheeling flock of black starlings.Bear down and hope for better. I did read something about the passing of Mr. David DePatie, who was part of the team that brought us . . .

But that’s not quite right, is it? But the moment that opening credit sequence hit, there was a character called The Pink Panther, regardless of the original reference. (A precious stone, if you need prompting.) Blake Edwards had nothing to do with the feline of a particular hue, aside from commissioning its creation. MAybe that's enough.

The last children’s character who smoked, I think.

After the success of the movie and the response to the character, DePatie-Freleng came out with “The Pink Phink,” which pitted him again The Little Man - a blobby guy whose head was all nose, had little limbs and a pear-shaped body. Very much a style of the times, but while I don’t like most of that style - it seemed to drive out the last of the realistic drawings - I liked the cartoons as a kid. They weren’t like anything else. They were silents, essentially, and for once the cheap backgrounds worked. They made everything a bit surreal.

This was not the case with the anteater, who I thought was supposed to be Joey Bishop. Turns out it was supposed to be Jackie Mason. Sounded like Joey Bishop doing Jackie Mason.

Anyway. He had a long career in animation, practically from the cradle, and of all the post-Golden Age figures, I think he and Freleng managed to navigate the Cheap Era with more style and artistry than the rest. Of course, when “the rest” consists of Hanna-Barbera and Filmation, the bar is low.

BUT WHAT OF TOTAL TELEVISION? Yes, yes. Rocky and Dudley and the rest. It had brio and brilliance - certainly the most verbally inventive of the Cheap Era cartoons - but it was still cheap.

By the way, the "Phink" is a reference to a word that's passed from common slang. No one accuses anyone of being a fink anymore. Good thing. It's a nasty little word.

Anyway. It's been a vacation week, and I know it's meant lesser Bleatage, but heck, it's not as if there hasn't been anything. I still have the old-line blogger instincts: Thou Must Posteth. Stop, even for a day, and it's over. Not this week, not next, but eventually. Because you've tasted what it's like to wave it off and say "Tomorrow."

That's why this thing only runs M-F. Good decision, right? The week has its own rhythms, and I hope the Bleat is part of yours. This thing on this day. I suppose that's presumptuous, but a fella can dream.

There's a reason they use blue glass.

Our new and improved Context Sweep:

The other side of the new Thriven apartments.

And the boring Firehouse project, which will be much much more.

Next week, I'm sure: fake brick facade! Applied in a sheets!


Takes a while to figure out the last panel. Maybe that was just my problem.


"Poor Dad" is not exactly a speech.

Solution is here. To be honest, this is the first in a long time I haven't gotten right away. I mean, can't be that; too obvious.

Note: no one is going to get this one.





Night Beat, a newspaper show. Pretty good. The music cues were nothing remarkable - but then, in a bar, I hear this.






It's a remarkable composition, coming from a young and fantastically alcoholic cornet player.



Here he's playing it himself.


It's been called "Debussy meets Duke."

1979: A rather martial approach to selling those 600 tiny time pills.

  Thank your for your visits this week. Full-strength Bleatage resumes on Monday.




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