Friday, July 27, 2012

Let the Drinking Games Begin

The opening ceremonies for the Games of the 30th Olympiad will happen later today.

What event are you waiting to see?

Either that or Olympic Hide and Seek

This is what our great nation has devolved into

our youth wasting their bodily fluids; literally spilling their seed down the drains of higher education.  There are just so many filthy jokes I could make that I need to lie down with a cold cloth and a warm cup of bullion until the feeling passes.

July 27, 1940 -
Bugs Bunny made his debut in a cartoon called A Wild Hare, on this day. Warner Brothers' writers and animators set out to make a rabbit who would be the epitome of cool. They modeled bugs on Groucho Marx with a carrot instead of a cigar. Mel Blanc gave him a Brooklyn accent.

The producers' reaction to the gag of Bugs responding to a hunter pointing a gun at him with a confident casual remark, "What's up, Doc?" was so favorable that they decided to make that a standard element of future films featuring the character.

July 27, 1949 -
Mighty Joe Young, an RKO Radio Picture made by the same creative team responsible for King Kong, premiered in New York City on this date.

The "cowboys in Africa" sequence in this film used footage originally shot to be used in a planned but not completed follow-up to King Kong, The Valley of Gwangi. That film (as The Valley of Gwangi) was eventually made by Ray Harryhausen.

(I'm no longer going to direct you to Terry Moore's photo spread in Playboy.  You go on ahead and find it yourself.)

July 27, 1978 -
National Lampoon's Animal House, the grandfather of all gross-out comedies, premiered in New York City on this date. (Toga party, anyone?)

John Landis had a budget of only $2.5 million, so to cut costs the movie was shot almost entirely on the U of O campus, including the court scene and scenes in the dean's office (the exceptions being the road trip and the parade, which were filmed near Cottage Grove, Oregon).  The University of Oregon reluctantly allowed its campus to be used and gave the crew 30 days to complete filming. This meant that the cast and crew faced six-day work weeks and completed shooting with only two days to spare.

July 27, 1983 -
Little Tommy's break out film, Risky Business, opened on this date. This film is not, as usually noted, an above average teenage sex comedy but the precursor to 'Greed is Good' mantra that sunk this country for years to come.

The sunglasses Joel wears are the Ray-Ban Wayfarer model. Annual sales of Wayfarers were languishing as of 1983 but skyrocketed 2000% after the movie's release. (I still wear my pair but it has nothing to do with the film.)

July 27, 1984 -
Warner Bros. gift to an unsuspecting world, Purple Rain, starring Prince, premiered on this date.

The film's original screenplay, found on various websites, contained an extremely sexually explicit scene between Vanity and The Kid during the "ride of rage" sequence. It's unknown if the scene was actually filmed when Apollonia replaced Vanity as the leading lady. This adds to the mystery of a long rumored early edit of Purple Rain that was given an X-rating by the MPAA.

(you may put your arms down now and resume your day.)

Today in History:
July 27, 1586-
Sir Walter Raleigh and some of his men returned to England and disembarked at Plymouth smoking tobacco from pipes, which caused a sensation, on this date.

William Camden, a contemporary witness, reports that "These men who were thus brought back were the first that I know of that brought into England that Indian plant which they call Tabacca and Nicotia, or Tobacco" Tobacco in the Elizabethan age was known as "sotweed."

President Johnson celebrated this momentous date in history by signed the 1965 Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act; required cigarette makers to print health warnings on all cigarette packages about the effects of smoking on this date (in 1965.)

July 27, 1890 -
At the Chateau d'Auvers, Vincent van Gogh presses a revolver to his chest and pulls the trigger. Somehow the bullet misses the vital organs, and the painter manages to stumble over to a friend's house.

The following night, Van Gogh dies of an infection in the arms of his brother Theo.  (Or did he)

July 27, 1953 -
The armistice that ended the Korean War was signed today. It was a war that began in June 1950 when North Korea invaded the south. Almost 35,000 Americans were killed in the conflict, more than 5,000 captured or went missing. A corporal in the 1st Marine Division named Anthony Ebron said, "Those last few days were pretty bloody. Each time we thought the war was over we'd go out and fight again. The day it ended we shot off so much artillery that the ground shook. Then, that night, the noise just stopped. We knew it was over."

Harry Truman said that if he had signed the same armistice, the Republicans would have drawn and quartered him, but Dwight D. Eisenhower had run for president on the platform that he would end the war, and when he was elected, that's what he did.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to inform the North Koreans that they, in fact, signed the armistice and are still technically at war with someone.

July 27, 1980 -
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the exiled Shah of Iran, died of lymphatic cancer in Cairo on this date.

Maybe we can borrow Mr. Peabody's wayback machine and send the former Shah somewhere else for his surgery other than New York–Weill Cornell Medical Hospital.

July 27, 1996 -
During a celebration for the Atlanta Olympics, security guard Richard Jewell notices a suspicious green knapsack in Centennial Park. He immediately alerts police and helps to clear people from the area shortly before the pipe bomb explodes. For his trouble, Jewell becomes the FBI's preliminary suspect and news organizations run wild with the story.

Because he didn't do it, numerous media outlets end up paying him large undisclosed settlements. Eric Rudolph was later charged with the bombing. He was arrested May 31, 2003. Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.

And so it goes.

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