Transcript of the Third 1976 Presidential Debate

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at ForcesofGeek.com for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column you’re missing out. We’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published March 9, 2009.

The presidential election of 1976 is generally considered to have been held, like most recent presidential elections, between two parties, the Republican Party, who presented as their candidate Gerald “Jerry” Ford, and the Democratic Party, who put forward James “Jimmy” Carter. In the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal and Nixon’s resignation, there was much dissatisfaction among the voting public with the major parties, and for the first time, there were serious attempts by third party candidates to achieve the presidency.

Eugene McCarthy ran as an independent. Roger McBride was the Libertarian candidate, and Peter Camejo was running for the Socialist Workers Party. Another key factor was that for the first time since 1960 there were held a series of three televised Presidential Debates, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Ratings for the first debate were okay, but for the second debate they were much worse. In an attempt to garner ratings, ABC TV executives instructed their producers to extend invitations to candidates from all the minor and trivial parties, with the policy that the first three candidates to respond would be granted a place on the stage. By the time the television executives and the League of Women Voters realized what a mistake they made, it was already too late.

The debate, held on October 22, 1976 was hosted by Barbara Walters, and consisted of five candidates. Here is the unaltered transcript:

Read the rest …

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Star Trek Continuity

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at ForcesofGeek.com for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column you’re missing out. We’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published February 23, 2009.

Most people don’t worry about this stuff. I do.

The continuity of a television show like Star Trek is, at first glance, a relatively simple affair. The show aired on the NBC television network starting on Thursday, September 8, 1966 and continued for three years. From a continuity standpoint then, we can simply state that everything happened in the order that we would have seen it had we been watching the show from the beginning.

Unfortunately, we run into problems almost right away. It turns out that the third episode aired was the first episode filmed. (And the first episode was actually the second pilot.) For the episode entitled “Where No Man Has Gone Before” the cast had yet to be solidified. From a viewer’s standpoint, there would odd discrepancies. Doctor McCoy is nowhere to be seen, instead we have Doctor Mark Piper as the ship’s chief medical officer. Uhura is gone. Sulu is an astrophysicist.

Read the rest …

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Happy New Year!

If this is the first page you visit when you come to this site you may have missed the latest updates.

In the Galleries I’ve posted some unpublished pages I did for the Unfortunate Millenium Special.

In the Royal Library we’ve posted the first chapter of Lizzie the Girl Knight. We’ll be posting an exciting new chapter on the first of every month until the serial concludes.

Finally, and least importantly, I’ve closed oz-squad.blogspot.com and that address redirects to this page.

Things are really looking good for 2012. Stay tuned!

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The Even More Curious Case of the Multiple Buttons

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at ForcesofGeek.com for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column you’re missing out. We’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published February 8, 2009.

Benjamin Button
It’s unknown when F. Scott Fitzgerald first came across the remarkable story of Benjamin Button, born an old man in 1860 in the city of Baltimore, dying in the same city as a baby in 1920. Fitzgerald reports that when news of this remarkable birth reached the public, “The sensation created in Baltimore was, at first, prodigious.” It was only the advent of the American Civil War and its attendant chaos that drew the public’s attention away. Whether this event was important enough to be written up in papers or was merely passed as the gossip of the age is unknown.

Newspapers from that era are hard to access, and Fitzgerald is notably lax in providing hard dates; he seems more interested in using the Button story as a means of exploring what age means to us at various points in our lives. (You can read the story yourself here.)

Button is once again the topic of high society gossip and makes the society pages of the Baltimore press many times upon the announcement of his marriage to Miss Hildegarde Moncrief, daughter of the Civil War hero (at least to the south) General Moncrief, author of the largely discredited History of the Civil War in twenty volumes. Fitzgerald reports:

“…the excitement in Baltimore society reached a feverish pitch. The almost forgotten story of Benjamin’s birth was remembered and sent out upon the winds of scandal in picaresque and incredible forms. It was said that Benjamin was really the father of Roger Button, that he was his brother who had been in prison for forty years, that he was John Wilkes Booth in disguise–and, finally, that he had two small conical horns sprouting from his head.

The Sunday supplements of the New York papers played up the case with fascinating sketches which showed the head of Benjamin Button attached to a fish, to a snake, and, finally, to a body of solid brass. He became known, journalistically, as the Mystery Man of Maryland. But the true story, as is usually the case, had a very small circulation… In vain Mr. Roger Button published his son’s birth certificate in large type in the Baltimore Blaze. No one believed it.”

Read the rest.

 

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The Visionary Slumdog Millionaire

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at ForcesofGeek.com for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column, you’re missing out. To catch you up we’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published January 18, 2009.

There’s not much I can add to all the hoopla and praise being poured onto Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a must-see film that delivers a story that literally left me breathless. It was a full on emotional workout. There’s so much to talk about in this film, but I’d like to concentrate on the less discussed.

In the film there are the two Muslim boys, Jamal and Selim, growing up in Hindu India living lives of extreme poverty. Unexpectedly, a group of rioting Hindus show up, their mission to kill Muslims. Fleeing from the carnage through a maze of back alleys, the boys see what appears to be the Hindu god Rama, in the form of a little boy. The confusion in many reviews is about whether or not what the boys saw was a hallucinatory vision or a child dressed as Rama for some sort of religious festival.

According to Chemco (and I’ve corrected his grammar here a bit): “The kid wasn’t a figment of their imagination. He was actually standing there… In India it is common for kids to dress up as a god during festive seasons and such. So somehow the kid dressed up as Rama happened to stumble across the riot scene and Jamal and Salim noticed him. Salim and Jamal are Muslims and the attacking people are Hindus. Rama is a Hindu god. I think the kid stood out to Jamal because of the bizarreness and irony of the whole picture: a kid dressed up as a god standing there watching his followers massacre everyone in their path.”

Read the rest

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Lil’ Oz Squad T-Shirts!

I know that winter is coming in and all your thoughts are turning to scarves and sweaters but remember, winter passes. Summer will be back. When it arrives, you’ll need these t-shirts!

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Updating the Royal Library

I’ve set up a page that will list all the “fantasies” that L. Frank Baum wrote. You can find that by clicking on the Royal Library tab and going down to The Baum Histories. I’m a fairly slow writer so I probably won’t get all of Baum’s books listed for at least a few days. Whenever possible I’m including a link to online texts of the books.

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Ann Radcliffe, the Vampire Slayer

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at ForcesofGeek.com for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column, you’re missing out. To catch you up we’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published January 12, 2009.

Vampire CityNo introductions, no set-up, let’s just plunge right in, okay?

Suppose that Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer was based somewhat on reality. This means, at a minimum, that undead blood-sucking vampires exist, as does a person known as the Slayer. “In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.” We learn from the series that each Slayer is also given a Watcher, a member of a shadowy cabal that trains, guides and protects the Chosen One. In the series, we are introduced to Buffy Summers, who is, presumably, our present day Slayer.

Over the course of the series (and the related media of novels, videogames and comics) we are given glimpses and tales of other Slayers from history, including the First Slayer, named Sineya, from ancient Africa. Occasionally we learn that actual, historical people were in fact Slayers, such as Joan of Arc in France and Virginia Dare of Roanoke Virginia. (For a full list of Slayers culled from all available media, click here.)

In literature, we can identify some other potential Slayers. Mina Harker, who helped battle Dracula, is one such candidate. Anita Blake, though she lives in a very different world than ours, might be based on a real world Slayer, the same as Victoria Gardella and Damali Richards.

To this growing list of exceptional women I would like to add English author and pioneer of the gothic novel Ann Radcliffe, who lived from 1764 to her death 1823 (it is said she died of pneumonia, but we know better now, don’t we?)

Read the rest.

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Thank You for Dropping By!

To anyone who has found this site out of interest in Oz Squad or Oz or just ended up accidentally – welcome! Feel free to poke around. The site is far from finished. It will be work in progress for some time to come but I try to add something new every week. This morning I just added text to Steve Ahlquist’s bio. You’ll find him under Royal Historians.

To anyone who is thinking of posting a comment in order to add to the link count of some commercial site and therefore pump up that site’s SEO – please read the post that you’re commenting on and say something that actually relates to that post and I’ll probably let your comment through moderation. I know it makes your job harder but if I were interested in whatever you were selling I’d link to it myself. If you can’t think of anything to say that relates to the post you’re commenting on then feel free to tell me how you ACTUALLY found this site. I know it wasn’t because you were looking in google or bing.

And to everyone –

Happy Halloween!

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Bios for the Royal Historians Have Been Posted

Howdy Folks!

I’ve just finished posting short biographies for L. Frank Baum, W.W. Denslow, John R. Neill and Ruth Plumly Thompson; the most well known of the Royal Historians of Oz. You can access those by clicking on The Royal Historians of Oz in the menu bar above. WordPress has ordered them alphabetically rather than chronologically. I hope to get that fixed soon.

I’ve got a portrait of Steve Ahlquist posted but I’m probably not going to have his biography finished for a week or so.

More biographies will follow in time but I’m going to try to flesh out the rest of the site a bit before I start adding those.

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