Columns Commercial Record

Blue Star

By Scott Sullivan
Editor
hungry i
Geometry, content, composition … click. Do a photo’s still subject objects move me after I process them, let the content cool, then return for reassessment and maybe revision. Still?
The hungry i (1950-1970) was a San Francisco comedy, music and sometimes strip-bar nightclub where Mort Sahl, Bill Cosby, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner and the Kingston Trio, to name a few, cut their West Coast careers, and a word play that grabbed me when I was nine years old. Here was how (i) me hearing, (eye) seeing and sating (hunger) might be done.

Prophet
i and “Almighty God Announce ‘The End of the World is Now Coming’ Through Evangelist Ken Bailey in His Miraculous New Book Set to Release Today.”
I add “i” as I chose re-announcing Bailey’s Message here:
“After many (Austin, Colo.-based Christian Newswire doesn’t say how many) years of hearing God speak to him and calling him to be a last day’s prophet, Ken Bailey has published his stunning new book …”
In it, CN (aka yours truly “… reveals the incredible messages He has received from God, to inform His Church and the Nations, about what is going to happen as life on earth, as we know it today, soon comes to an end.”
About time, I say. 

Visionaries
… are not company to keep, though they have allure of unharnessed madmen, slaves of seeing what’s coming and how to get there, feasible at first or not.
The Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” played on AM radio stations we could as a Billboard Top 40 Hits chart in August 1965. Young Vietnam troops among others got the message.
Was it Kismet I pre-booked myself for the Mt. Baldhead Challenge before my 50th high school reunion invitation came?
“… if it’s the last thing we ever do” the song went. Words’ best use was tell lucid jokes.

First
… a message from our sponsors. Prophets often came on late-night TV channels before, “This ends paid programing” and the test pattern. With it dark out windows on woods, you could fall asleep to its sameness, wake to pee 3 hours later and its circles on grids, ever faithful, would re-await you and remind morning crews of screen brightness, resolution, vertical/horizontal scales and clarity calibrations should you not doze off yet.
6 a.m., silent boom they’d dissolve into 1940s film shorts or, when color came, cooking shows
The Kingston Trio I liked better on a platter. Still shots of their two live hungry i albums showed Dave Guard, banjo, Bob Shane acoustic guitar, Nick Reynolds a smaller wood bass in matching striped shorts. I’d imagine movement into them while I listened to their patter, crowd reactions, bringing in congas, harmonies, rhythms between dissonances, room to roam in that stasis otherwise.
The instrument strapped striped men played and sang traditional, whatever that means, tunes — Guard was a banshee curator — and novelties. “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley” always got requests and became a staple. I could sing along words, points of harmony, make up parodies, win laughs. Its best use was to bail me out of blunders — fast, improvise, pause for a deadbeat, now? Pick a way, blow up that one …
“Now Scott has glasses, he can read things on blackboards,” Mom told neighbors, like that explained something.

Reuniting
God’s revelations to the Prophet Bailey parroted John’s apocalyptic final book of the Christian Bible. What a way to go. In my business we see unsolicited shticks often.
The world’s end is always coming. How soon is “now”? Click the ruby slippers, repeat “There’s no place like …” Bookies and brokers are standing by. I’ll rearrange my asocial calendar girl accordingly.
“Sorry, fellow River Rat (like they’ll call me), I can’t make our 51st … yep, Rapture … seven years to the second since my tribulation separated from God started … What? You think she liked it? You’ve already booked it? … No, you can’t take my place … Yep, yep, 20 decks, 7 pools, world’s largest water park, 40 diner bars, maybe we’ll bump into each other. Better, give me you your room number … No? Access to all your accounts … You can trust me, we’ll be in paradise … Yes, I’ll make sure that we don’t hook up.”
“In one supernatural miracle, Bailey (i) describe/s the day God took him to heaven and allowed him to see Jesus, just like Apostle Paul and John experienced 2,000 years ago …”
Concision isn’t the prophet’s forte, but test patterns aren’t for all either. Too many Riunites and, trespassing in the valley below my home, I heard voices too: “he rules the hills.”
“Hallucinations,” my shrink said, “are mostly hearing, not seeing, things that aren’t. How can you know that? Take these pills, see if they go away.” I quit antipsychotics quickly but sad pills, faithful as test patterns, yet today. A shooter is free as she is locked in.  

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