Sunday, October 19, 2008

Midnight Madness - Ultraman Edition

I'll have to have my wife translate the writing on top. I bet Ultraman never had a problem finding a night light.

While visiting San Francisco's Japantown recently, there were a bunch of plastic dolls of fictional Japanese heroes including one of my childhood champions, Ultraman. Ultraman, the giant guy in the silver rubber body suit and a stoic finned head fighting Godzilla rejects crashing all over Japan. The guy that shoots lasers by crossing his arms. The dude that is summoned by a big pen light held by Hyata of the Science Police. What is a Science Police anyway? And why did they have to wear helmets?

Oops, got side tracked. All of these things seemed mystical as a kid, but a day later while drinking a beer at Chevy's and talking to my wife we came to an interesting conclusion. Ultraman was an early ecological role model. He received his power from the Sun and if he spent too much time on Earth he ran out of power. His chest light would start flashing like a low cell phone battery. So Ultraman had to leave the planet to get some pure sunlight, even if he was in the middle of a fight he had to take off for a little bit to get some Sun.

Ultraman was the original solar panel. He was a walking alternative energy source. His only flaw was low battery life, but it was the 1960s so maybe the fictional technology wasn't there yet. Saving the planet isn't easy. Ultraman brought us one step closer. Not really, but it was fun to say that. Now to the real madness!

Justify My Love - Madonna and Guy Ritchie are divorcing after seven years of marriage. Too bad, they seemed happy for a little while.

Peace and Love is time consuming - Beatles drummer Ringo Starr gave a drop dead date of October 20th for anyone wanting his autograph because he was too busy with "Peace and Love". I imagine being a retired rock star must be incredibly hectic, you have to decide which of multiple estates to stay at, which of however many cars you own you should take to the estate, think about what parties to attend. Yeah, with a life like that who has time for fans?

The Best Things in Life are Free - Radiohead's In Rainbows album, initially offered for any price you want including no price, made the band more money than their last major label release Hail to the Thief. Will other established bands go the same route?

Set Phasers to Stun - Star Trek XI's release date has been delayed to May of 2009. Dammit Jim, you need to get here sooner!

Faith in the Heartland - Journey's recent release Revelation has moved 500,000 copies which normally means a Gold record but because it's a double disc set it counts as Platinum. It's their first post-Perry Platinum disc. Another Wal Mart success story!

Passings - Composer Neal Hefti passed away age 85, he composed the famous Batman theme of the 60's tv series. Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops also passed on age 72, he sang lead on many of that group's classic hits. Both had created music that had an impact on my life.

Sunshine Day - Brady Bunch Actress Maureen McCormick reveals (or confirmed) the stories of sex and drugs from her past are true. I wonder if Chris Knight will include this info on his Trivial Pursuit game show?

Hustle and Flow - Actor Terrance Howard has been removed from Iron Man 2 for financial reasons. A real bummer because he seemed a perfect fit for the Jim Rhodes character. He's been replaced by Don Cheadle, one of my favorite actors because of his versatility. But Cheadle isn't who I think of when it comes to action, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Now It Makes Sense - Before the concept of music videos got old, many of them told stories that were a little abstract compared to the lyrics. Lately, there's someone rerecording these songs to have lyrics match the video. I found out about these videos from other websites including Rolling Stone so it probably means its at viral status. Below are the two videos released so far.

A- Ha "Take On Me" Literal Video Version

Tears for Fears "Head Over Heels" Literal Video Version


Jeannie said...

I still say that Ultraman can have an amazing comeback as a superhero envorinmentalist. He can team up with Captain Planet. "Earth...wind...low-charge solar panel..."

P.S.: The picture says:

"Urutoraman daihyakka jiten"

oo-roo-toe-rah-mahn die-hee-yah-kah jee-ten

(Ultraman Encyclopedia)


Jeannie said...

P.S. Didn't Ringo just throw the biggest fit! "I'm sick of all of the people around the world who want my autograph, even though you have loved and worshiped me and made me filthy rich." Wah wah.

Arsenette said...

I loved the A-ha Video :) I've never seen the literal videos before and that was funny!

I love/hated Ultraman since it was actually reaaaaally bad.. and I prefered animated stuff than people running around in suits (Godzilla included). Loved it still since it was just way too goofy to ignore.. and it was only one.. and he didn't transform back into a kid or something.. he was Ultraman 24/7.

Always felt Ringo Starr was a stuck up bloke anyway.. so no loss there :p

Mr. Mike said...

Thanks for the translation Bunny! I think a Captain Planet team up would be great.

I know what you mean about Ultraman, Arsenette. It's a pretty goofy show, but when I was five or six years old it was da bomb! It would come on TV right after the black and white version of Superman.

I had no strong opinion about Ringo Starr until this, I pretty much think he's lame now.

Glad you liked the A-ha video Arsenette, it's impressive how the fake singer can hit those high notes :)

Arsenette said...

I figure vicegrips can always get any man to sing that high.. but it may be a weeeeeeeee bit to off the wall LOL

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

I was actually kind of bummed about Mr. Ringo Star throwing such a hissy fit. He was always my favorite Beatle. Maybe the drugs and alcohol finally ate one too many of his brain cells. :(

Don't believe I ever saw Ultraman. Then again, we lived out in the country. I mean OUT in the country. Even with one of those tall, ugly antennas perched precariously on top of our house, we only got 3 channels. Two network and one local (unafiliated) stations. Dang! Does anyone remember when they had "unafiliated" stations? Weird to think about that now. Anyway...

Good one Elsie. Dude sings like a castrata, don't he?

Mr. Mike said...

Vicegrips. Ouch!

Unaffiliated stations, those were great! I had an internship for an unaffilated station in Sacramento, channel 58. The hodge podge of mismatched programming and being ranked towards the bottom of tv ratings for every time block was fun. Run down reel to reel video tape machines that would suddenly reverse and spool off when you went to air or accidentally showing commercials for 1-800 sex lines during the Cosby show...great memories. And the show that kept the station alive? Reruns of Matlock. Andy Griffith rules!

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Ours was channel 35 (I think it's a Fox station now, or WB) and they did "Dialing for Dollars" as in Janis Joplin's "Oh Lord won't you buy me [a colored TV, Dialing for Dollars is trying to find me...]" But, perhaps you aren't old enough to remember that show? Or the song? :)

Mr. Mike said...

I vaguely remember dialing for dollars and I think there may have been a bowling for dollars at some point, though that may have been a local thing. Speaking of old shows, Dialing reminded me of Beat the Clock. I really liked that one. The song I know well because Jeannie is a big fan of Janis :)

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Isn't everyone? A big fan of Janis, I mean :)

Mr. Mike said...

Of Course! I especially like "A Woman Left Lonely", gut wrenching singing on that one.