That Wacky Redhead

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Brainbin, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

    Apr 20, 2005
    It has been several years, but....

    I recall absolutely loathing the Bakshi version of Lord of the Rings. I recall it being long, boring, and surreal at points, and utterly unwatchable in my opinion. I will have to watch it again sometime to review how true to the novels it is.

    On the other hand (and granted, there may be a lot of nostalgia here), I loved as a child and still love as an adult the Rankin/Bass Return of the King (and the Hobbit for that matter). While I realize that it is a significantly abridged version of the work, I still feel like it captured the magic of Middle Earth better than almost anything, and at some points still can rival or even exceed the Peter Jackson epics (which I also like quite a bit). There was something particularly engaging about Huston as Gandolf, and for my money the reveal of Eowyn in the battle with the Witch King is much better in the Rankin/Bass version than in the Jackson movie. And yes, both the Hobbit and Return of the King have signiifcant musical interludes which at some points are hokey but overall I feel fit the mood of the piece (and even where it doesn't, its so darn enjoyable I have to forgive it - I mean really, who doesn't love, "Where there's a Whip, there's a Way?").

    I hope this LoTR Bakshi is more accessable to the general public (though I hardly count as such).
  2. Threadmarks: Meanwhile, At the Hall of Justice...

    Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Meanwhile, At the Hall of Justice…

    You will believe a man can fly!

    – Tagline for the Superman film, 1978

    Comic books, though possessing direct antecedents dating back to the nineteenth century, if not further, truly came of age in the late 1930s; in doing so, they formed the mosaic for one of the most tumultuous eras in global history. The Golden Age of Comic Books, as it came to be known, was (in a rarity among historians)
    universally agreed to have commenced with the publication of Action Comics #1, on April 18, 1938. That first issue saw the debut appearance of the character known as Superman, the first modern superhero, in whose wake a great many would follow. Notably, the Golden Age of Comic Books overlapped with those of both the motion picture and radio industries; all three spanned the entire Second World War, a demonstration of how the flourishing of popular culture worked to cement that conflict as the most iconic in world history. Comic books had never more popular, more important, than they were in the 1940s; being pulp literature, their depictions of men (and women) with superpowers fighting alongside the troops against the Nazis in Europe, and the Japanese on the Pacific, struck an instant and indelible chord with the general public. However, given the unapologetic demonization of the enemy, many images propagated by these comics… did not age very well, to put it delicately. To put it blatantly, their depiction of the Japanese in particular was horrendously racist, perhaps even for the era. It was part of a barrage of dehumanization of people belonging to that ethnicity during that conflict, a matter of which great political hay would be made in the future. Then again, the visual depiction of virtually all minority races – in every medium – very much left something to be desired.

    It was not surprising, however, that during a conflict with the unprecedented co-opting of the privately-owned-and-operated media for propaganda purposes, that comic book readers would take to superheroes (often with very humble and unexceptional origins) fighting the enemy so voraciously. In fact, Superman was not even the most popular of superheroes during the Golden Age which he had kick started; in fact, a character who might charitably be called a “knockoff”, Captain Marvel, held that title instead, with his comic being the best-selling of the 1940s. Marvel also beat Superman to the silver screen, with a twelve-part film serial of his adventures released in 1941. They even predated the celebrated Fleischer Superman cartoon serials – which, in another sign of the times, evolved from relatively apolitical science-fiction plots to pure wartime propaganda in later shorts, after the Fleischers had been bought out by Famous Studios. However, Captain Marvel (nicknamed “The Big Red Cheese”) did not age nearly as well as Superman (“The Man of Steel”), becoming a relic of the Golden Age, with publisher Fawcett Studios cancelling his comic in 1953. The early-1950s were a transitional era (and not just for Comic Books) in which many popularly-held preconceptions about the world and the people who lived in it had to be reassessed. The hated Japanese had been defeated, through the use of a heretofore unknown weapon as mighty as anything seen in the pages of those wartime comic books. Their American cousins, all of whom without exception had demonstrated unwavering loyalty to their new homeland, had been interned without due process of law, entirely as a result of their ethnicity. The “Negro” soldiers, though still segregated from white units, had served with distinction on every front, and in every service, of the United States Armed Forces. The wildly popular entertainment form that existed primarily to mock and belittle them, the minstrel show, was rapidly falling out of vogue. This could be demonstrated on the screen: the 1942 musical Holiday Inn had featured a “blackface” minstrel performance, whereas its 1954 remake, White Christmas, did not. This was representative of barriers being broken down throughout society in this era: segregation of the armed forces, fittingly, had ended once and for all that very same year. The drive for civil rights was a fact of life.

    By about this time, multiple live-action Superman serials had been released to theatres; and, more importantly, the famed radio show which had run for over a decade had since evolved into the Adventures of Superman, the 1950s television series which starred George Reeves as the Man of Steel. One of the most popular and enduring action-adventure series of its era, the impact it had on popular culture was confirmed when Reeves put in an appearance on none other than I Love Lucy, playing himself (though, for the benefit of young viewers at home, he was identified only as “Superman”). Adventures of Superman bridged the transition between two specific aesthetics from the opposite direction; departing a dark, cynical, morally ambiguous period – the years between the end of World War II and the Korean War, which established the Cold War hegemony and replaced the threats of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan with the emerging superpowers of Soviet Russia and Red China – to be replaced with one of glossy, overly-affected and societally-imposed sunshine and cheer: the 1950s, the era of suburbia and the burgeoning middle-class baby boomer families. The first two seasons, which were filmed in black-and-white, were influenced by film noir styles (still omnipresent in the early 1950s – Humphrey Bogart was still alive, after all), but later seasons, filmed in colour (a pioneering and prescient move by producers, which would have boffo financial results in the years to come) took on the campier tones that would define comic books and their derivative media in the Silver Age. In a way, it presaged the Batman series that would follow, even if it did not delve into the same wretched excess. Of course, the history of the program could not be complete without its infamously tragic coda, when George Reeves committed suicide in 1959; production had ended on Adventures of Superman the year before.

    Though the start of the Golden Age of Comic Books could be dated with unusual precision, finding the end date was far more problematic. The very height of the comic industry had been during wartime, and sales of superhero comics had declined immediately after V-J Day, only to be supplanted by other burgeoning genres, particularly romance and horror. These more visceral topics were depicted with increasing frankness on the pages of bright and colourful books that were popularly (if incorrectly) perceived as being intended exclusively for young audiences. And therein lay the problem: though there was an increased awareness of the need for racial tolerance and integration in society, the 1950s were in many other ways quite culturally conservative. Nobody knew this better than Dr. Fredric Wertham, the author of an enormously influential expose on the comic book industry, Seduction of the Innocent, published in 1954. One common thread of Golden Age comics had been the intimate same-sex friendships that had formed between many characters. This was also reflective of the World War II backdrop, in which young men from disparate corners of the Union would form instant and unimpeachable bonds with the other men in their unit, with nothing more than pictures and the occasional care packages reminding them of their girls waiting for them back home. But Wertham saw a subtext there that discomforted him, and he wrote in great detail about it, cherry-picking and even manufacturing evidence whole-cloth to suit his premises, and to raise the ire of his readers, in the most sensationalistic fashion possible. Batman, one of the most popular figures of the Golden Age, had since 1940 been accompanied on his crime-fighting adventures by his young, pubescent ward, Robin. Their secret identities were, respectively, Bruce Wayne, a millionaire bachelor playboy, and Dick Grayson, an orphaned circus acrobat. The two had been shown in some issues sharing the same bed. Wertham immediately came to what he saw as the only obvious conclusion: the two were homosexual lovers, in the tradition of the ancient Greek pederasts. This was the smoking gun, as it were, in his laundry list of complaints about all genres of comic books, demanding that some form of regulatory body be established to censor the impropriety of the fledgling medium. The result was the Comics Code Authority, a Hays Office for pulp literature. Comic books would never be the same... though, ironically, Batman (and, in fact, most superhero comics) would survive the purges that followed the institution of the Comics Code. The once-rising romance and horror genres, on the other hand, were not so fortunate – it had proved relatively easy to adapt superhero comics to the specifications of the Code, but titillation and shock factor were crucial to the success of those other genres, which found themselves eviscerated by the overwhelming restrictions thereupon. Those which were not immediately cancelled simply tapered off into oblivion. Some, like MAD Magazine, found entirely new niches, and were very successful.

    For all its notoriety it was in fact Batman itself which, for better or for worse, came to define the popular perception of comic books during the era later described as the Silver Age. It had started off as a purely film-noir-derived comic, with the titular character taking the guise of a bat in order to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. As was the case for Superman, multiple film serials would follow. But the live-action television adaptation which premiered in 1966, and starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, was loud, colourful, absurd, and campy – the one difference was that the comics were shockingly sincere in their lavish ludicrousness, but Batman – having been brought to the small screen by a cynical producer, William Dozier, who refused to take the material seriously – would furnish every sight gag or bit of convoluted exposition with a knowing wink. And in the show’s early years, the delicate balance between cotton-candy sights and sounds, and the mocking cynicism buried just beneath the surface was maintained by the head writer, Lorenzo Semple, Jr. His departure, followed by the end of the famous cliffhangers which allowed the show to appear on the air twice a week (in its final season, it was reduced to the standard once-weekly schedule), saw a decided decline in the show’s perfectly-honed quality, and thus its popularity. To put it more bluntly, the show went off the rails. Even the introduction of the Batgirl character, played by Yvonne Craig, could not forestall the inevitable, nor could a bizarre running plotline set in swinging London (described in the show as “Londinium”). Batman was unceremoniously cancelled in 1969. However, its stars would continue to portray the characters, primarily in animation, through to the end of the 1970s. In many ways this continued association with the Dynamic Duo was forced upon them by typecasting; West, the story went, had turned down the role of James Bond, and Ward had rather desperately sought the role of Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate, only to lose it to Dustin Hoffman.

    Many shows had followed in the footsteps of Batman; formerly serious, if equally outrageous, programming like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. had been capsized by a shift from sincerity to camp. The producers of Star Trek, on the other hand, had made a conscious decision to avoid moving in that direction; this paid dividends when Batman was cancelled just as the Star Trek began its ascent into becoming a legitimate pop cultural phenomenon – charmingly earnest and laden with warts-and-all sincerity – as the 1960s came to a close. [1] The new wave of optimism sweeping American culture as a result of the end of the overseas quagmire and the exhilaration of Moonshot Lunacy found a peculiar reflection in comic books, however. Just as the devastating conflict that was World War II was corresponded by a Golden Age of fun and adventure on the page, the sunshine and roses of the early 1970s saw a counter-intuitive move to focus on the visceral and harsh realities of the seedy underbelly. Largely, though, this new “Bronze Age” which had emerged stood in contrast to the Silver Age which had just concluded. The children who had kept superhero comics alive were now growing up, and (as the Mini-Boom proved) were having children of their own. Television shows such as Mary Tyler Moore and Those Were the Days reflected a new paradigm: optimism and confidence for the future did not have to go hand-in-hand with willful ignorance or sheltering the vulnerable from the truth. This movement made for strange bedfellows when many pedagogical techniques, including those championed by Mr. Fred Rogers on his PBS series, took the same tack to childhood education.

    The Bronze Age of Comic Books marked a shift in censorship policy – echoing that which had already taken place in American cinema, some years before. The governing body of the comic book publishing industry, the Comics Code Authority, was continually revised in the early 1970s. [2] Gold Key Comics, effectively a satellite company of Desilu Productions by the mid-1970s, was not bound by the Comics Code, however, and did not seek to become so. Star Trek, the most popular comic published by neither DC nor Marvel, was thus able to delve into adult themes in even greater detail than the television series had done, always keeping one step ahead of the ever-relaxing censorship restrictions which bound the larger companies. [3] The Bronze Age was, above all else, a backlash against the Silver Age which had preceded it (as many new periods tend to be). Again, Star Trek had played a part, although as part of the greater Moonie Loonie mosaic of the era. Genre fiction was being taken seriously by an ever-larger number of consumers, and superhero fiction was part of the genre. Retro nostalgia, counter-intuitively as it might have seemed, helped too: prior to Dr. Wertham, comic books had enjoyed darker plots, influenced by film noir of course, but also by the realities of the conflict that had framed much of the Golden Age. War, death, murder, and brutality had all been facts of life in the 1940s. The defanged “bad guys” of the Silver Age were a joke. A new, rising generation of writers who were willing to push the envelope was emerging, and they felt that serious issues deserved proper coverage, and that their audience, regardless of its composition, deserved proper respect. Themes which had been completely ignored in the Batman television series (always brushed aside for the sake of a laugh), became topics of serious, almost withering analysis in the new comics: the psychology of superheroism, the ethics of vigilantism, the allure of crime, and many others. Social issues also took on greater importance.

    The 1970s were obviously a decade of great strides for women’s rights, continuing trends which had begun with the Sexual Revolution of the late 1960s. “Liberated” female characters were demanded by women in each and every medium, with comic books being no exception. The most prominent female superhero, Wonder Woman, had been created during the Golden Age by psychologist William Moulton Marston, who had also been a pioneer in the invention of the lie detector, which explained one of the character’s most famous powers: the use of a lasso which could bind her opponents and compel them to speak the truth. Wonder Woman was given an Amazonian heritage, allowing writers to exploit Greek mythology in portraying her origins, characterization, and powers. Her abilities were plainly superhuman, though the character was briefly de-powered in the late 1960s to bring her more in-line with popular heroines of the time, such as Mrs. Emma Peel. Intense backlash, including from many women’s rights activists, saw her powers quickly reinstated. Wonder Woman entered the 1970s as the definitive superheroine, and one of the Big Three of DC Comics, alongside Superman and Batman. And naturally, with Superman having been brought to the small screen in the 1950s, and Batman having followed in the 1960s, the question of Wonder Woman following their footsteps was a matter of “when”, not “if”. Technically, Wonder Woman herself had first appeared in the iconic Superfriends cartoon, which had premiered in 1973. [4] This cartoon, very much in the mould of the “limited animation” popular in the era, carried on the Silver Age aesthetic even into the 1980s. Wonder Woman – like most of her stablemates – was far from unscathed by her presence in that program, with satirists mocking the infamous sequences of the character “flying” through the skies in her invisible airplane (as, unlike Superman, she could not fly under her own power). The following year, in 1974, a pilot movie was produced. Owing a great deal to retro nostalgia, the decision was made to avoid the modernization affecting the character in then-current comics and instead take advantage of retro nostalgia, putting the movie (and the show which would result therefrom) into a vintage, World War II setting. [5] The pilot movie arranged for Princess Diana of the mythical Paradise Island to transport the fallen Maj. Steve Trevor of the USAAF back to the States; after hijinks ensued, she found herself permanently stationed at the USAAF as Yeoman and secretary to Maj. Trevor, under her civilian identity as Diana Prince. As a superhero, however, she became known as Wonder Woman.

    The role of Wonder Woman was portrayed by Lynda Carter, an actress, singer, and model, who had been named Miss World USA in 1972. [6] Her physical attractiveness was matched by her enthusiasm and her willingness to perform stunts herself, to enhance the experience. Her earnest performance endeared her to fans and critics alike; the essential “powerful femininity” of Wonder Woman had always defined her character, and Carter worked tirelessly to channel that into her performance. Wonder Woman proved a reliable hit for ABC for the five seasons it aired, from 1974 to 1979, with a total of 133 episodes to its name. [7] The series finale, which aired (in the standard 1970s fashion) as a telefilm, entailed the conclusion of World War II, and the question of whether Wonder Woman would return to Paradise Island, or remain in the United States. Unsurprisingly, she chose to become an American, having fallen in love with the country to which she had immigrated, as so many generations had done before her. Diana Prince, in the meantime, accepted the offer by Steve Trevor (as he was no longer her superior, having been honourably discharged) to begin seeing him on a personal basis... only after she revealed her secret identity to him. [8] To his credit, he responded as well as any man in his circumstances might have done, and even endorsed her desire to continue working as a professional, despite the overwhelming drive for most of her fellow women in the workforce to return to their past, domestic lives.

    Like DC Comics, Marvel Comics saw the success of one of their marquee properties in an adaptation of The Incredible Hulk (the superlative adjective being something of a trademark with Marvel properties). Most of the Marvel properties developed from the 1960s onward, primarily by the writing tandem of Stan “The Man” Lee and Jack “King” Kirby (with an occasional assist from Steve Ditko, among others), allegorized specific societal ills of the era; the Hulk, for his part, represented the horrors of war. The character, a modernized take on the old Jekyll-and-Hyde story (with elements of Frankenstein, in modern science having created a monster), was the involuntary mutation created by an unauthorized scientific experiment gone very wrong; the human behind it, Dr. Bruce Banner, was depicted as meek and withdrawn, and highly intellectual. This was, of course, to better contrast with the monosyllabic Hulk monstrosity. The Incredible Hulk was favoured for adaptation to live-action television because the Hulk was a lone wolf with no obligations to anyone (unlike Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, or the X-Men), and this would allow him to walk the Earth, a setting that matched many popular action-adventure series: The Fugitive, The Way of the Warrior, and The Questor Tapes among them. The decision was made to have Dr. Bruce Banner played by a seemingly milquetoast actor, and the Incredible Hulk played by a bodybuilder. After an extensive search, the decision was made to cast two unknowns in their respective parts. Ted Danson, who had up to that point appeared primarily in soap operas, was chosen as Dr. Bruce Banner. Though in reality a handsome man who did not physically suit the role of a timid academic, this was disguised with some well-employed costuming, in particular the use of large, horn-rimmed glasses. [9] As his alter-ego, the Hulk, an “actor” was chosen who did not resemble Danson, but this didn’t matter, and neither did the fact that he spoke little English. A six-time Mr. Olympia, the Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger nonetheless had an undeniable screen charisma, and was very effective at playing a loutish, barbaric brute. [10] His “dialogue”, such as it was, had been dubbed over by Jack “Lurch” Cassidy, a veteran at providing booming, contrabass voices. Despite this, both Danson and Schwarzenegger became iconic in their portrayals of the respective Jekyll and Hyde characters, Schwarzenegger in particular making his mark on popular culture far above and beyond what one would expect of a mere bodybuilder.

    Despite the great popularity on television of both Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk, the Alpha and the Omega was, and remained, Superman. Plans for a full-length motion picture (about the only format the character had not explored by the 1970s) had been discussed for many years. Independent producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind had secured the rights from DC Comics in 1973, with a laundry list of potential actors and directors for the project. Chosen to direct was Guy Hamilton, who had directed the iconic James Bond film Goldfinger, and who took an active role in every step of the production. [11]

    After an exhaustive talent search, a virtually unknown actor named Kirk Allen was chosen to play the Man of Steel. Classically handsome and athletic, with a boy-next-door-all-grown-up appearance, Allen’s only flaw in regards to not resembling Superman was his light blond hair, which was corrected with a rather caustic – but effective – hair dye. Allen played Superman and his alter-ego, Clark Kent, very differently, often exaggerating the traits of each character in order to keep them separate. It was, perhaps, a somewhat blunt approach, but it was crudely effective. [12] Chosen to star opposite Allen as Superman (and Clark Kent)’s eternal love interest, Lois Lane, was Stockard Channing. Though she was older than Allen during principal photography (33 to his 29), she won the part thanks to her mature, urbane attractiveness and her singing ability (as the part called for Lois to perform an internal monologue as if it were a musical number). [13] Veteran actor Dustin Hoffman, a proven box-office draw, was selected to portray the primary villain, mad scientist Lex Luthor, and was given top billing – and the film’s largest paycheque – for doing so. [14] The other above-the-title star was the Golden Age icon, Jimmy Stewart, who portrayed Pa Kent, Clark’s adoptive father (and died tragically at the end of the first act). The production team could not resist the opportunity to stunt-cast Ma Kent, choosing Donna Reed (Stewart’s one-time co-star in It’s A Wonderful Life, his personal favourite film) for the role. On-set lore had Stewart continuously flubbing his lines by referring to Reed’s character as “Mary” instead of “Martha”. [15] The film was well-received critically; the score, special effects, and simple but well-told story were all highly praised. The earnest, if somewhat clumsy performance by Allen was given good marks, though most reviewers agreed that Channing, Hoffman, and Stewart all stole the show. Stewart would surprisingly receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Superman; ironically, it was longer than the fifteen-minute turn by Steve McQueen that won for Lead Actor at that year’s ceremonies. However, and most importantly, Superman proved a box-office hit, grossing over $150 million at the box-office that year, coming in a close second to Greased Lightning, and guaranteeing a sequel to continue the story. [16] It was a triumphant return to the peak of mainstream popularity and relevance for Superman, within the world of superhero comics. The Man of Steel, who was “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”, and who stood for “truth, justice, and the American Way”, had once again captured the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.


    [1] IOTL, of course, the final season of Star Trek, which I have so affectionately described on multiple past occasions as the “Turd Season”, did dive headlong into camp under the auspices of the new showrunner, Fred Freiberger, and in particular his grossly unqualified story editor, Arthur Singer.

    [2] A single, cataclysmic event (a request by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to run an anti-drug storyline in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man in the early 1970s) resulted in the chain reaction that sent the Code down the long road to irrelevance. However, ITTL, the Nixon Administration does not exist, and therefore that request is never made (the War on Drugs isn’t exactly high on the list of priorities for the Great Society). This allows the CCA to adapt further, and continue to exist for the longer-term, just like the MPAA had done a few years before with the switch from Hays to the ratings system.

    [3] Gold Key did not adhere to the Code IOTL, either.

    [4] Superfriends also premiered in 1973 IOTL, as well. It was, in fact, produced by Hanna-Barbera, one of the two pillar studios of limited animation.

    [5] The original pilot movie took a different tack IOTL, instead attempting to adapt then-current storylines (which had controversially modernized Wonder Woman), to lukewarm response. After retooling, a second pilot movie was released which much more strongly resembled the show which was to come.

    [6] Yes, I’ve cast Carter as Wonder Woman ITTL. What about the butterflies? She wasn’t cast for the original OTL pilot movie! It starred Cathy Lee Crosby instead.

    [7] The complete adventures of Wonder Woman lasted for three seasons of less than 60 episodes IOTL (from 1976 to 1979).

    [8] Though Maj. Trevor (played by Lyle Waggoner, of all people) was intended as the love interest, he and Diana did not hook up IOTL.

    [9] IOTL, the role of Dr. David Banner (the name was changed from Bruce because the alliteration seemed to overtly betray its comic-book origins) was played by the established, and older, actor, Bill Bixby. Danson, of course, would go on to become known for appearing in Cheers, as the former relief pitcher of the Boston Red Sox, Samuel “Mayday” Malone. Don’t believe he could pull off the “nerdy” look? I submit to you his appearance in the 1981 film, Body Heat.

    [10] The role was won by Lou Ferrigno IOTL, who had appeared alongside Schwarzenegger in the 1975 documentary film Pumping Iron, chronicling a Mr. Olympia contest. Schwarzenegger, for his part, did not achieve success in mainstream film or television at all during the 1970s, going on to win his seventh and final Mr. Olympia title in 1980. His career from that point forward was unfortunately somewhat obscure, and cannot be reliably determined.

    [11] Hamilton was chosen to direct, but was forced to drop out due to his tax exile status in the United Kingdom, where filming was moved on account of Marlon Brando facing an obscenity charge (for Last Tango in Paris) in Italy, the originally planned shooting location. Fortunately, Brando is not involved in this film at all ITTL, and Superman is shot largely at the famed Cinecitta Studios.

    [12] Allen is an original character - the first to be introduced so far for this timeline, but not the last!

    [13] Channing auditioned for the role of Lois IOTL, losing it to Margot Kidder, who has proven a rather contentious choice. Channing then went on to appear in Grease, as Rizzo, playing a high schooler at, yes, the age of 33.

    [14] Gene Hackman played Luthor IOTL, receiving second billing behind Brando.

    [15] Stewart plays Pa Kent instead of Glenn Ford ITTL, taking a much more modest paycheque than Marlon Brando did IOTL for Jor-El (who is accordingly played by a nobody). The chance to stunt-cast Reed (who, like Stewart and Hoffman, is an Oscar-winner) proved irresistible, especially once Stewart recommended her for the part. Believe it or not, It’s A Wonderful Life, though rising in popularity, was not the perennial Christmas classic it would become in later years by the late-1970s IOTL, and of course, ITTL, the 1974 clerical error that allowed it to fall out of copyright did not happen.

    [16] Superman and Superman II were filmed together IOTL, but for administrative reasons, that was not the case ITTL.


    Thanks to e of pi for his assistance in the editing of this update! Speaking of which, this is the first of a double-barrelled update for the long weekend; his guest interlude should be ready tomorrow, just in time to close out the month. In fact, as I write this, I’m also asking him if he’s sure he’ll have it ready, and his response is most promising.
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  3. Mr Teufel Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Hopefully derailing what became the "Iron Age" of comics in OTL. Butterfly away The Punisher; Wolverine still exists but not as obscenely, overwhelmingly popular - who said you're not making a utopia? :D

    :D Damn. I bet Hulk is a lot more popular! Say what you may about the Muscles from Brussels, but he sure has charisma! Lou Ferigno, bless him, not so much. :)
    This is why it's not a utopia! How dare you replace Christopher Reeves, especially with a literal nobody! How very dare you! :mad:*

    Although Dustin is no more my cup of tea for Lex Luthor than Gene Hackman, and promises a no less campy villain. :(*

    Will it even get made? Our lead doesn't have the boyish charm that won so many over IOTL.

  4. Jinx999 Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2013
    Sorry. I had to stop reading for a while at that point. :D :eek:
  5. Thande I could not fail to disagree with you less Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Interesting update; I note that there are relatively few changes to OTL until the end.

    Was this opening inspired by my own TL's recent update? ;)

    American WW2 comic books are an interesting example of that phenomenon of "people trying to be progressive by putting ethnic minorities into things will, fifty years later, look more racist than people who dismissively ignore the existence of ethnic minorities". I mean when you think about it, having multi-ethnic teams like the Young Allies fighting Nazis is quite a powerful message for the forties, but nowadays all we see is how outrageously stereotypical everyone is depicted. Another curious side to this is how the Chinese are depicted in American comics of the late thirties and early forties--early Batman issues for example. In appearance they look like racist stereotypes, but in content they are dealt with quite sensitively, with editorial sympathy clearly being for the Chinese in the struggle with Japan. (The European counterpart to this, of course, is the Tintin story The Blue Lotus, whose backstory is a fascinating microcosm of a global adventure series transitioning from racist stereotypes to a more sensitive and well-informed take on other cultures; though of course in the short term the Japanese get all the negatives piled on them instead).

    You also sometimes get a different perspective on these things based on which American comics were best received elsewhere, such as here in the UK. The UK has no 'native' superhero tradition as such in the sense of powered heroes--we do have them but they are derived from the American example--although of course we do have a tradition of adventure comics. As time went on however, humour comics have come to mostly dominate the native British market at the expense of those adventure comics, probably precisely because the adventure comics were being outcompeted by American imports.

    Anyway, depending on the era, different American comics were better received here, as I know from talking with my dad, in the 1950s and 60s DC Comics were generally more popular than Marvel--aided by the fact that the same film serials you mention from the 1930s were still repeated in cinemas as the short feature before modern films. Most commonly the Captain Marvel and Superman features, which is why I think Captain Marvel historically was disproportionately popular in the UK and there are probably more British superhero ripoffs of Captain Marvel than there are of what you might think of as better-known heroes in North America. Of course DC also benefited from the enormously popular Adam West Batman show which I still watched on primetime growing up in the 90s, and although it has now been relegated to ITV4, is still repeated even now. Marvel seems to have been less successful at getting their product across the Atlantic, although my dad says he recalls seeing Thor, of all things, marketed in the 1960s. Things changed a lot in the 1970s with the TV shows you mention; the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman one people are aware of, but it's the Lou Ferrigno Incredible Hulk series that was a smash hit and made people aware of that character, who previously had not been well known here. (Certainly if you take the recent Avengers film, the Hulk would definitely be the character in that lineup best known to people above a certain age).

    Although DC benefited from the successful Superman film franchise in the 1970s and Batman in the 1980s, Marvel I think pulled ahead in the 1980s because they made a conscious editorial decision to boost sales in the UK, with a more 'international' flavour to their books (especially noticeable with the X-Men, who even eventually got a sub-team set in Britain). Marvel even did compilations with British comic artists, which got weird at times because you had superheroes being drawn in British humour comics style. I think the modern Marvel films mean sales of Marvel comics remain somewhat higher in the UK than DC (though nowhere near what they were at their peak).

    Anyway, just thought you might be interested in that.
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  6. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    You apparently; vide infra!:p
    "...from Brussels?" Where does that come from? He's Austrian. Is that something we Americans said because we have no clue what parts of Europe are where? (Like mixing up Switzerland and Sweden because they are both kinda Germanic and start with "Sw..." I thought that was a silly joke in the movie Gotcha!, then my sister did it while we were both visiting Europe).

    So did Arnold spend a lot of time in Belgium before coming here or what?

    Could also be because Brussels Sprouts are supposed to be healthy, add in the rhyme and it's just too good not to say.
    I have to agree, and point out, this isn't the first time the timeline looks rather worse than OTL to me. On the whole it's a charming place, though the politics bothers me too.

    Also, am I totally alone in thinking Margot Kidder as Lois Lane was just fantastic in the first couple Superman movies? I gather that she had severe personal problems that shot her stock down completely, but I never thought she was inappropriate in those two films.

    Of course the two 1970s films were my major introduction to the deep-down Superman mythos; I'd known Supes as a pop culture icon since babyhood and even perused a collection of the old comics from a library. The new Lois just seemed part of the new movie, 1970s style with only Superman/Clark Kent himself preserving the relentlessly nerdy naivete of the 40's atmosphere. Of course Lois would be modernized, what else do we want? As such she seemed great to me.

    Also, hawt. I was a couple years into puberty, so sue me.:rolleyes: But a woman like that still is part of the very definition of "sexy" to me.

    But yeah, OTL Christopher Reeves was clearly the star of the show despite the high-caliber competition both Hackman and Brando brought in to try and overshadow him.

    Presumably this alternate lead guy is not the yutz that the lead in Flash Gordon was; that was a movie where absolutely everyone but the lead was brilliant in their roles, but the lead got a whole new award for absolute failure made up for him...:eek:

    That would be, I would think, because most of it is pre-POD, OTL history recapped because many of us--me for example--have only a small exposure to the rise and evolution of the comics and need to be oriented.
  7. Thande I could not fail to disagree with you less Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    The Muscles from Brussels is a nickname for Jean-Claude van Damme (who is Belgian), not Arnold Schwarzeneggar, I assume he got them mixed up.

    The Switzerland / Sweden thing is indeed weirdly common. I think what helps it is that they're both known for their neutrality.
  8. stevep Member

    Mar 21, 2006

    One thought occurred to me from the opening section about comics in WWII. How did they handle super-heroes fighting with ordinary humans? I.e. if only normal humans opposing people like Superman, Captain Marvel etc you would have a very short and unthrilling war. Or did they run into a lot of fascist super-villains?

    If I read it correctly TTL's Wonder Woman was set in the 1940's and WWII. If so and despite the definite attractions of Lynda Carter did they change her costume at all to something more moderate or did the WWII super-heroines show as much flesh?

    With this footnote:

    I would say I would miss Lou as I liked him in the role. However not sure I understand the 2nd sentence. You were talking about Arnie in OTL before so was this a subtle, or not so subtle:rolleyes:, comment on his career OTL after Pumping Iron? It will be interesting to see whether his role as the Hulk TTL possibly ties him to the role, possibly with repeats, or lead to other roles like Conan and most of all the terminator. [I can't really think of that film without him in the role.]

    Interesting casting for the Superman film and like the point that totally unknown people will be appearing by this time. I rather like the idea of a bald Dustin playing the villain.:D

  9. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Feast your eyes, note the dates.
    ...damn. Preview is your friend! Click on the last link, number 8, that will take you to the earliest issues. Then eyes start feasting!

    Now this, according to Wikipedia, is her very first appearance on a cover; she's wearing a thigh-length skirt here to be sure. Well, almost thigh length; considering the high-kicking action she's in here, I daresay the skort we see her in almost immediately afterward is actually a bit more modest...:p Not that those leave much to the imagination either. It's not clear to me when she starts wearing the bikini shorts, all the images of that I've seen have the Comics Code Seal of Approval which tells us it's late in the '50s. But long before the '70s! Anyway she's in a short-short skort by mid-1942.

    {Being forced as I was to direct everyone to the oldest covers, I then skimmed through them--it seems that her pants (they never really were skorts, were they?) stayed a few inches longer than bikinis until in the late 60s we briefly had the "New Wonder Woman" who wasn't superpowered, then when we get Issue 204, where Diana Prince gets her full memory and powers and costume back, the pants are now bikinis at last!:D So sue me, it was the 1970s after all. But still no need for the movie to take it a step farther--they've run out of steps unless they want to go to a thong. Or...never mind.}

    Then there's the whole bondage thing, which you can read up on in several sources I can find, and see many examples of at Superdickery. That was on the sage and earnest advice of the professional psychologist William Moulton Marston, who was in fact essentially Wonder Woman's creator, along with his polyamorous menage.

    Sort of a very mixed bag from a modern feminist perspective; the man and his poly-amours apparently believed men and women were quite fundamentally different (which does not logically demand one must be subordinate to the other, to be sure...) Also Dr. Marston is one of the people responsible for the dubious gift of the polygraph.

    I figured Hoffman would mostly appear with a full head of hair the way Hackman did, only to reveal it was a wig at the end. But then again Dustin Hoffman is very Method, so I'd refer this question to Brainbin.
  10. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Thank you all for your responses to my latest update! I thought I would catch up on replies before e of pi posted his interlude later this evening...

    I believe that "culpable" is the word you're looking for ;)

    Glad to see that misunderstanding resolved :)

    Thank you for pointing that out, Unknown, though unfortunately my window to edit that update has long since closed. Let's just say he caught it early ;)

    Thank you - I hope you enjoyed it!

    It is a film known for invoking polarizing audience reactions IOTL.

    Well, if the internet has taught me anything, it's that just about everything ever produced for popular consumption has its apologists.

    (In the interests of full disclosure, I have never seen the Rankin-Bass Return of the King animated musical film, myself, and don't expect that to change anytime soon.)

    That's a hard metric to quantify... but if I had to make a judgement call, I would say yes.

    Also known as the Dark Age, and there's only one way to find out!

    As Thande so kindly pointed out, Jean-Claude Van Damme is the Muscles from Brussels, not Arnold Schwarzenegger. But otherwise, yes, you're right.

    I know, right? Why couldn't I have chosen to replace some random Congressman, instead? Why did it have to be Christopher Reeve? (No "s", people; that was George.)

    Really? I thought Hackman was quite good as Luthor IOTL. Then again, that might have been because he was actually earning his paycheque, whereas Brando... wasn't.

    Perhaps not, but it did make tons of money, and plenty of sequels are green-lit on that basis alone. Look at the later Jaws films. Or Grease 2, for that matter.

    Still somewhat jarring, isn't it? And all on account of That Wacky Redhead!

    Yes, this update mostly functioned as a primer on the situation.

    That may have had some influence on how I chose to approach starting the post, yes ;)

    Thank you, Thande, for providing a British perspective on the matter. I was going to talk briefly about Canadian comic book heroes, which were homegrown during the WWII era, such as Johnny Canuck and Nelvana of the Northern Lights, but I decided to maintain my Americentric focus for this update. That way I was able to avoid talking about the Franco-Belgian comics such as Tintin (and Asterix, and others) which achieved popularity in the Anglosphere, as well.

    Allow me to reiterate: I am not writing a utopia!

    I didn't mind Kidder too much, but I wouldn't have picked her for the role. I mean, at least they could have found someone who could sing for the "Can You Read My Mind" number. (One of the reasons I went with Stockard "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" Channing ITTL.) Reeve definitely carried that coupling, in more ways than one.

    Well, to each his own.

    Indeed he was, an opinion I've made clear on this very thread, in days of yore.

    Allen is no Reeve, but he's competent enough in the role. Definitely a better Superman than a Clark Kent, though.

    An excellent observation, Steve, with a very simple answer - superheroes were far less powerful in the Golden Age than they are today. Also, apart from Superman and Batman, superheroes didn't tend to cross over very much back then - there was no Justice League back then. And yes, there were Nazi supervillains - the Red Skull, for example, who was the famous arch-nemesis of Captain America. And Batman was kept busy in Gotham by foes such as the Joker (introduced in 1940).

    Shevek was kind enough to answer this question for me - Wonder Woman has never been known for her modest attire.

    As Sen. Claghorn would say: "That's a joke, son". Obviously, Schwarzenegger achieved some measure of success IOTL. He was in Red Sonja! :p

    Thank you - and yes, to answer the resulting question, our Method Man Dustin Hoffman does indeed shave his own head to play Luthor.

    Once again, e of pi has promised me that the interlude update will be posted very shortly, so I hope that you'll all enjoy that post when it comes.
  11. ChucK Y Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    Her costume has already been discussed, but I would like to point out that OTL the Wonder Woman TV series was set in WW2 in the first season, changing to the present in the second and third season.
  12. e of pi Layers on Top of Layers

    Nov 27, 2008
    Halfway to Anywhere
    Hello everyone! I'd like to thank the Brainbin for giving me this chance to poke around in some of the details of the TL, and I hope you'll bear with me and the somewhat different focus for this week's post. I think it’s interesting the way popular culture can influence how people think and the dramatic effects that this can then go on to have on the more “traditional” AH realms such as politics. With the Brainbin’s generous permission to play around in his world, I’ll be exploring that a bit this week. Sorry it's up a little bit than we'd hoped, but I hope you can forgive the wait.

    Appendix E: A Taste of Pi, Part I: Fostering an Obsession

    Over the past seven months I've left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me. Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself. [...] the reason I'm going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you.” – John Hinckley, Jr., personal letter written April, 1980. [1]

    The history of assassination attempts is one which stretches since before the dawn of recorded history. From Julius Caesar to Franz Ferdinand, the use of targeted killings as a form of political speech has had a long and dramatic history, with equally historic results. This was no less true on the North American continent than it had been in Europe, with assassination attempts being made against many of the most critical figures in American politics – Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, James A. Garfield, and other figures of similar magnitude. Indeed, the 16-year Democratic domination of the White House in the “Great Society” era can be seen in part to be traced to the impact on the American psyche of the premature death of John F. Kennedy. [2] Whether the intent in each case was to make a political statement, or was simply a cry for help from a diseased mind, the presidential assassin has stood as a major figure in the history of the United States.

    Born in 1955 as part of the later original “Baby Boomer” generation, John Hinckley, Jr. was in many ways ideally equipped to follow in these historic footprints, as his parents decided to bestow upon him a middle name, Warnock, after his father, a player in the oil and energy industries. [3] However, Hinckley Jr. would not be following in his father’s footsteps. The younger Hinckley graduated from high school in 1973, and quickly developed a pattern of leaving home to live on his own – pursuing a songwriting career in Los Angeles and an on-again-off-again attendance at Texas Tech University [4] – before failing, peppering his parents with pleas for money and exaggerated or even outright fabricated stories of woe, before finally returning to live at home. Withdrawn and largely cut off from meaningful interpersonal relations, Hinkley’s already unstable mind became fertile ground for an obsession whose effect would make news around the country, and even inspire a rash of high-profile copycat incidents.

    In the fall of 1976, while in Los Angeles, Hinckley went to see the musical gangster film Bugsy Malone, which featured actress Jodie Foster, in whom Hinckley had already had an interest, playing a minor role as a singer at a 20s speakeasy. [5] Hinckley would eventually see Bugsy Malone a number of times, including one marathon viewing of more than 15 repetitions, which would foster his growing obsession with the actress and plant seeds for some of his future activities. As his songwriting career failed to materialize in the ensuing years, Hinkley began to spend his time stalking the actress. As his personal life and sanity crumbled, his obsession with Foster only grew. When Foster graduated high school and declared her intention to go to Yale, Hinckley (finally cut off by his parents, and thus unable to follow her on a cross-country move) decided he had to make his feelings more clear or risk losing his chance. [6] However, his poems, letters, and gifts had already gone unacknowledged, and he began to become convinced that the window of opportunity for finally getting her to realize the depths of his affection was closing rapidly. Desperate, Hinckley’s mental state collapsed still further as he racked his brain for options and retreated into fantasy based on past Foster films. Finally, though, he found his answer. Bugsy Malone itself had showed him exactly what he would have to do to impress Foster and earn the right to his happy ending and accompany her to Yale: to get his ending, he would have to finish things properly. The country was in a deep recession, and public press laid the blame on one figure. Hinckley became convinced he was in a unique position to finish him, leaving him all washed up and the country on a path to a better future. He would have to finish Ronald Reagan. [7]

    To prepare, Hinckley had to sadly cut back on his time stalking Foster in order to pursue his great display of affection, instead devoting nearly the same level of detail to cataloguing the actions of the President as Reagan crisscrossed the country on the trail for re-election. Finally, he saw his chance at a campaign fundraising event in Los Angeles. [8] Hinckley joined the ropeline with his weapon, and managed to force his way to the front ranks, eager for his date with destiny. Finally, as the President left the rally, making his way down the ropeline, shaking hands and expressing his unmatched charisma, Hinckley saw his opening and took it. Opening the box he had smuggled into the event, Hinckley let loose with the first of six 9” diameter lemon curd pies, and then a second before being wrestled to the ground by courageous onlookers and restrained by the Secret Service. [9] However, the damage had been done – the President of the United States had been hit both times, once in the torso and once in the forehead. Globs of custard running down his distinctive hairline, the president was rushed to the motorcade as the media converged. The image would dominate the news cycle for days, and became a common punchline on late night television like The Tonight Show. The Pryor Show took its shot in an allegedly unplanned skit in which Robin Williams came in, high as a kite, and unleashed a devastating barrage on Pryor, his guest John Lennon [10], and the front ranks of the audience, even as the president was released from the hospital that evening and returned to the campaign trail. [11] However, Hinckley would not have the chance to reap his just rewards. Instead of getting to find his happy ending with Foster, he was arrested at the scene for assault and battery, though on the grounds of insanity his sentence was eventually commuted on the condition of pursuing treatment. [12] Still, he had already ensured that history – and certainly the late-night talk show circuit – would not forget the name John Warnock Hinckley, Jr, just as it would not that of Brutus, or Lee Harvey Oswald.


    [1] IOTL, this letter was written in 1981, ahead of his attempt on the newly-elected President Reagan. Butterflies are awing, ladies and gentlemen, and the game is afoot.

    [2] While of course the impact of Kennedy’s assassination and the “Death of Camelot” had been a major factor in the start of the 16-year domination of the White House by the Democratic party, by 1980 the American public had moved on, and was rather fed up with the incessant invocations of his legacy. [13]

    [3] The middle name, of course, being a trademark of Presidential assassins. Perhaps we should institute a rule: anyone commonly known by their middle name should be restrained preemptively for their own good and the good of others – especially if their first name is “Lee.”

    [4] Hinckley started at Texas Tech in Business Administration, but after returning to the school in 1977, he switched his major to English. He made no real progress toward acquiring either degree.

    [5] At the time, Oswald was 21, while the object of his affection was 14. By the X/2+7 rule first proposed by the Ancient Greeks [14], this is officially creepy as heck.

    [6] Butterflies at work – IOTL, Hinckley moved to New Haven, and enrolled in Yale writing classes to follow her, thus delaying his attempts and making him feel less “under the gun” schedule-wise.

    [7] Reagan, of course, having been elected in 1976; see previous posts.

    [8] Reagan was the unchallenged front-runner for the upcoming June 3rd GOP Primary in the state, but used the chance to stump in his home state as an opportunity to fill his campaign war chest.

    [9] In the struggle, one bystander was hit in the shoulder, and a secret service agent sustained a hit to the cheek.

    [10] Lennon sustained the lion’s share of the hits, though the audience received a fair number as well. Pryor also took a hit. [16]

    [11] Reagan was diagnosed with no lasting injuries other than to his pride – in fact, the candidate himself would take part in the jokes about the “attack” at subsequent appearances through the rest of the campaign.

    [12] ITTL, the choice of weapon and Hinckley’s genuine belief that his attack would finish the President make it clear that his insanity plea is justified, hence, there’s no motion to reform the insanity defense – only a vocal minority says, “What if it had been a gun?” including alt-historians.

    [13] A factor of no small magnitude in the upcoming 1980 Democratic primaries.

    [14] Citation needed.

    [15] This would go on to have major historical significance.

    [16] Hits of pie, sheesh, what’d you think of?


    Anyway, once again, I’d like to thank the Brainbin for letting me make this foray into his world, and for his assistance making this post as good as it could be. I’d also like to thank the thread in general for expressing their interest in this, and in particular to Orville_third and phx1138 for their inspiration. I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it; as I noted, you all asked for it.
    Electric Monk likes this.
  13. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Jul 22, 2010
    New England
    This is absurd! LOL!
  14. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Oh heck, I was hoping you'd spin Reagan being President into the development of warp drive or some such--per Trek canon dating the events of Trek to a century earlier than OTL of course! It would be a bit early but at least we could have some gravitic physics advances that pave the way for some kid named Cochrane, being born around this


    Honestly I was guessing it would be technology related, specifically astronautical or at least aeronautical. Just goes to show me I guess.:eek:

    Footnote 5 mentions "Oswald," not "Hinckley."

    Footnote 15 refers to nothing, apparently.

    The latter might not be a mistake given the tone of the whole Appendix; the former I'm thinking seriously must be.
  15. Mr Teufel Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Oops. Mea Culpa.

    Well, I know the name you use is inspired by an earlier actor to play Superman, Kirk Alyn.

    I don't blame Hackman, I blame the script and directors. Hackman was quite good, given what he was given. Better than Spacey in Superman Returns.

    Now the villains in S2 were nasty! And up for being punched in the jaw by Superman. :)
    I wonder if this will curtail his movie career? I think in the past more than now, if you were cast in one medium it was really hard to be taken seriously for the other. Especially if, like Schwarzenegger, your talent is more about charisma than theatrical 'acting'. And here he is, stuck in a roll consisting of monosyllables at best, bestial noises at worst, for years!
    Hmm... I'm guessing he'd play Luthor less like Hackman's 'bastard boss' and more 'utter fruitloop'. To the movie's detriment. :(

    I was hoping for an update on the Space programme. :(
  16. Clorox23 Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    That... that was a April Fools Day post, wasn't it? :confused:
  17. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Only if e of pi was posting in the USA's Eastern Time Zone (or somewhere east of there, Canada has one even earlier, I believe.

    But e of pi lives in Texas, IIRC.

    Damn, he might be going to Georgia Tech or that aeronautical school in Florida...:eek:

    It's sort of a Board policy question, innit? Does April 1 begin at midnight on the International Date Line and sweep around the globe so that come noon GT it's no longer April 1 for purposes of tomfoolery on the threads--meaning that for an American living in Pacific time like myself it will be too late to launch my own essays in wit in --good Lord, less than 8 minutes now, never mind I'll be subject to all manner of pranks at work for another 12 hours? Or do we get 48 hours of quality edutainment in the form of witty deceptions because it's just that good, and the only way to be fair to board members who might live in New Zealand or in the farthest western isles of Alaska, or anywhere between?

    I'd guess that we're halfway through All Fool's Day right now (well, in 4 minutes as I type this) and we'll be out of this woods come 4 am, PST on Tuesday, or noon Tuesday in London.
  18. stevep Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    e of pi

    Very funny, with a neat twist that threw me. Had totally forgotten the date.:eek:

    Now do we actually take it as part of the TL? In which case and given Regan's reaction and skill with sound-bits it might well boost his re-election chances considerably.

    I would be surprised that Hinckley would be able to get a fairly sizeable box that close to a sitting President. After all it could have been something that goes boom.

  19. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

    Feb 23, 2007
    ATL Royaume du Canada
    Interesting update, e of pi. Please, do continue.
  20. Asharella Socialistic Vmpr Bi Witch Girl

    Dec 27, 2009
    Ecotopia ~ NW Washington State
    So in TTl are the Hinckleys still close family friends and financial supporters of the Bush family?