Friday, May 16, 2008

A Reader Writes: Drive-In Memories

After reading my piece Drive-In Memories from last November, a reader sent the following email (reproduced here by permission):

Dear Mack,

I wanted to write and let you know that I was thoroughly entertained reading your blog this evening on your drive-in theater memories.

Like so many who intimately knew her, I also lamented the destruction of the Fort Worth Twin's screen towers over the New Year's holiday. I saw that they were missing a couple of weeks after they were torn down, and I, too, felt a certain "warmth of nostalgia" when I passed them by on the Tom Landry Highway. I'm grateful to the handful of people (like your friend Brian Roper) who took pictures of it before it was demolished.

I can say that the Fort Worth Twin was, bar-none, my favorite drive-in theater to haunt when I was a kid growing up in the '70s and living in the neighborhood close to John Peter Smith hospital. Some of the films I saw there were 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad', 'Zardoz', and the original 'Rollerball'. My Mom and I had moved to the Mid-Cities in 1976, and I believe the last time I went to the good ol' Twin was back in '78, watching a movie called 'Warlords of Atlantis', starring Doug McClure, that showed on it's east screen.

Even though it closed before I knew anything about it, I remember passing by the old Pike Drive-In's abandoned screen tower in the late '70s and early '80s, with it's faded and peeling mural and the surrounding high grass. If you're interested, there's a beautiful picture of the Pike's screen tower in all it's former glory when it opened in the book 'The American Drive-In Movie Theatre', by Don and Susan Sanders. If I remember correctly, wasn't it located on the corner of E. Lancaster Ave. and another street?

I'm currently doing some personal research on the drive-in theaters of Fort Worth, and have found some good basic information on them with some promising leads, and I've also been in contact with some people (like Brian) who have been very helpful with my endeavor.

Well, I just thought I'd drop you an e-mail. Thank you very much for sharing your memories. Glad to know your friend Sandy made it after all!

Larry Martinez

Thanks for writing! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my drive-in memories, also glad to make the acquaintance of someone who also remembers the Twin and especially the Pike.

Golden Voyage of Sinbad ZardozRollerball … not only do I miss the drive-in theatres, I miss the movies of that era. Of the three you mention, Rollerball in particular is one I can still watch over and over. I just wish I could watch it under the stars.

The precise location of the Pike is something Brian and I have discussed before, without any firm conclusions. You may be right about it being on the corner of E. Lancaster. I can’t remember, because the last time I saw the ruins of the screen tower was (I think) the early 70s when I used to commute up and down the road that ran through Handly, past Rose Hill Cemetery (Lee Harvey Oswald's last resting place), to my job at the newspaper in Arlington.

I have a copy of the book you mention. In fact, the Pike photo was the reason I bought it. If I ever find a color photo of the Pike in its 1950s neon glory, that would be the Holy Grail of Drive-In Photos for me.

And yes, I too am glad my old friend Sandy survived. Otherwise, it would have been a most unpleasant end to the evening.

Again, thanks for writing! Please stay in touch …

Physical Courage vs. Moral Courage

In noting the distinction between physical and moral courage, Mark Twain once wrote: "It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."

True, it is rare. There are many physically courageous people who would rather die in a cause they know to be unjust than to stand alone, risking the scorn of the world, and say, “Hell no, I won’t go.” Therefore, when we see such rare moral courage, we should take note of it:

US soldier refuses to serve in 'illegal Iraq war'

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Reality Police

News Item: In early September, the Wikipedia inner circle banned edits from 1,000 homes and one massive online retailer in an attempt to suppress the voice of one man. His name is Judd Bagley, and when the ban came down, he hadn't edited Wikipedia in over a year. He was merely writing about the site, from his own domain. The Wikipedia elite blacklisted Judd Bagley because he accused them of using their powers to hijack realityREAD MORE

Yes, how comforting it is to know that Wikipedia is on the job, policing reality. Reality, is after all, our most precious resource.

By the way, speaking of Wikipedia, I stand corrected. A Wikipedian of somewhat kindlier disposition than is common among Wikipedians informs me that the sixth day has not yet been reached. Today is Day Five, meaning that the Deciders at Wikipedia have until some time after midnight to reach a decision on my notability.

When that happens, I expect I will feel a let-down, whichever way the decision falls. Because I have discovered that I like this state of indecision. I like the way, when my article pops up, you're immediately confronted with the message that says the article is being considered for deletion. I like it because it's an attention grabber. It arouses curiosity. It causes people to scroll down and read the article closer than they might have otherwise, and when they've read it, to scratch their heads and wonder why it's being deleted.

But, alas ... sooner or later, a decision will be reached. And then, Wikipedia will either delete or keep the article.

And I'm okay with being deleted. More than okay, in fact. Why, I think it would almost be better than this continued state of indecision, because if the article is deleted, I will become conspicuous by my absence. All my peers, all my friends in the alternative/underground comic scene will be on Wikipedia, but I won't be there. And this will cause people to wonder why. And then they will discover that my absence is not due to happenstance. No, it wasn't because someone forgot to write an article about me. I didn't fall through the cracks. No, I was actively deleted! I and only I! Now that is notability.

The only thing that could be better would be if Wikipedia did to me what they did to Mr. Judd Bagley cited in the news article above: banned edits from me and all my neighbors in Austin for criticizing Wikipedia on my own website. Publicity like that you can't buy.

Okay, let's check in at Wikipedia Decision Center, and see if they've come to a decision ...

No, they're still trying to decide ...

Pentagon Carpet Bombs the Opposition in Cyberspace

Kurt Nimmo: As we know, however, the Pentagon’s target list is not confined to Russia and China. First and foremost, the Pentagon considers the civilian internet an “enemy weapons system,” as its Information Operations Roadmap makes obvious. “We Must Fight the Net. DoD [Department of Defense] is building an information-centric force. Networks are increasingly the operational center of gravity, and the Department must be prepared to ‘fight the net,’” the document declares. The PNAC neocons are fond of this idea — the idea that the entire internet is an enemy weapons system — and they wrote about it in their documents ... READ MORE

O'Reilly Goes Apeshit, Colbert Apes O'Reilly

Who Is Slim Virgin?

While waiting for a decision from the Deciders at Wikipedia Decision Central, I thought I'd kill some time by looking at the "history" of my Wikipedia article.

Oh, how interesting it turned out to be. For I found that, on April 21, 2006, none other than the notorious Wikipedia user Slim Virgin made a revision to my article in which she deleted (guess what!) mention of my appearance on the Alex Jones Show. SEE FOR YOURSELF!

In case you haven't heard of Slim Virgin, you should read the following articles about the infamous on-line spook:

From What We Know about Slim Virgin / a quickie summary

From Spookypedia: SlimVirgin/Linda Mack/MI-5

Slim Virgin is not the Wikipedia user who nominated my article for deletion (more about that individual later), but if you look at the talk page regarding the nomination-for-deletion of the article you'll see that the paragraph regarding my appearances on the Alex Jones Show, Jack Blood's Deadline Live, and others was a chief point of contention. I say "was," because the paragraph has been removed in an effort to save the article from deletion.

And now let's check in at Wikipedia Decision Central to see if a decision has been decided upon by the Deciders ...

It appears that a decision has not been reached.

I don't get it. According to Wikipedia policy, decisions on article deletions are supposed to be reached within five days. But now, we are well in to the sixth day. This must be a harder than usual decision for the Deciders. Looks like we'll be waiting for a while.

While we're waiting, here are some stories about Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales you will find amusing. Seems he helped his girlfriend Rachel Marsden "clean up" her Wikipedia entry:

The Dirtiest Wikipedia Sex Chat You Can Imagine

Is Jimmy Wales Getting Wikipedia in Legal Trouble?

That Jimbo Wales feller sure is a stinker, ain't he?

Now here's a quote from Jimbo:

"I think that one of the great strengths of the open collaborative approach is the fast and powerful destruction of untenable conspiracy theories. It is quite easy to watch a pseudo-documentary like ``Loose Change" and to find it compelling, until you back up and do some homework with the help of sites like Wikipedia."--Jimbo Wales,[1]02:48, 7 July 2006 (UTC); from the "9/11 Conspiracy Theories Page" of campaigns.wikia

Kinda' tells you everything you need to know about Wikipedia, doesn't it? Yep, it sure sounds like a shady operation to me.

Okay, it's been, what, ten whole minutes. Let's check back in to Wikipedia Decision Central ...

Still no decision.

Well, while we're waiting, here's something else funny you can read. It's from EncyclopediaDramatica: SlimVirgin ...

Okay, we've read the funny article about Slim Virgin. It's getting late. Surely, the Deciders have reached a decision by now. Let's check in with them ...

Oh, for Christ's sake, they still haven't reached a decision. I wish they would shit or get off the pot. How difficult can it be? Am I notable or not? All the references are in my article. I passed the "Google test" for notability. What are they waiting for?

Oh to hell with it. I'm going to bed ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DECISION 2008: Bulletin

No, a decision has not yet been reached, but we have obtained this exclusive, live webcam view of the scene at Wikipedia Command Central as administrators examine an Austin American-Statesman article about Mack White in an effort to reach an informed decision on his notability.

The Drama Continues

DECISION 2008 ... the drama continues ...

So far, there has been no decision, but we are expecting it momentarily, the answer to the question, Is Mack White Notable?

Even now, as I write this, the geniuses at Wikipedia are conferring, trying to arrive at a decision. Perhaps, at this very moment, a decision has already been reached and a Wikipedia administrator is pushing the delete button that will send my article, along with the articles about G. Edward Griffin, Jack Blood, and so many other activists, straight down the ol' Memory Hole.

Oh, it is so odd ... so, very very odd, that out of all the artists listed on Wikipedia's List of Comics Journal interview subjects (in itself a sign of notability) I alone should have been singled out for deletion.

SMiles and I discussed this matter last night on PsiOp Radio. (Click here to listen.) On that show, I solemnly vowed that, if my article is deleted, I will go on a hunger strike until it is restored.

I said it, and I meant it. Don't think for one moment I was kidding. Unless this Wikipedia matter is resolved to my satisfaction, I will go on a hunger strike. I will refuse to eat my Wheaties. I will skip an entire breakfast, oh yes I will. Surely, the great Deciders at Wikipedia would not want that on their conscience.

Speaking of food, here are some pictures of me shucking oysters in Port Aransas last week:

Yum! Don't that look tasty?

Now, here's a picture of me enjoying that fine ocean air ...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

DECISION 2008: Is Mack White Notable?


"The rumors of my non-notability have been greatly exaggerated."—Mack White, with apologies to Mark Twain

The clock is ticking. The world awaits Wikipedia's decision on this burning question: Is Mack White notable? Or (gulp) ... is he not?

SMiles Lewis and I will be covering this historic decision LIVE TONIGHT on PSI-OP RADIO and discussing Wikipedia in general. We will also discuss the latest news regarding Big Brother surveillance, police brutality, the destruction of the Bill of Rights, forced immunizations, mass poisonings, false-flag terrorism, assassination, torture, war, and all the other kinds of monkey business we've come to expect from our government.

AND while you're listening to the show ... you can add your two-cents worth on these issues by calling us TOLL-FREE! Yes, it's now TOLL-FREE to call in to the show. Here's the number: (877) 738-3730.

The show starts at 8 pm EDT / 7 pm CDT / 6 MDT / 5 PDT/ 0100 UTC, and runs for two hours. To listen, go to either of these two networks: Revere Radio or Anomaly Radio.

Remember, if you miss the live broadcast, you can catch the show tomorrow in the PsiOp Radio Archives. But, if you can, please try to listen live so you can CALL US! ...