Sunday, November 8, 2015

Happy Mutant Hall of Fame - Theodore Geisel: Seuss I Am!

From porn star politician to mad genius of child-friendly rhyming stories, the second member of the Happy Mutant Hall of Fame, as picked by Mark Frauenfelder, is Theodor "Dr." Seuss Geisel, whose life story is fascinating and lengthy. Except instead of trying to skim over how an illustrator turned ad man came into the world of children's stories, and maybe noting he had made more adult art and drew political cartoons (after drawing propaganda pieces and ads for war bonds), the first third of the piece focused on the Sneetches (text only).

How has Seuss fared in the last 20 years? Since his death in 1991, his fame hasn't faded, and many of the above-linked resources were created in the years since 1995. (Remember, Wikipedia launched in January 2001). There is a lot more to read if you want to dive deeper. Or if you'd prefer, you can skip that and enjoy the animated short of The Sneetches (link to a slightly better quality video, lower quality embedded below).

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Happy Mutant Hall of Fame - Cicciolina: The Little Fleshy One

Welcome to the original Happy Mutant Hall of Fame, six short profiles on a few of the world's wonderfully unique individuals. (I say Original because I'll expand this list after getting through reviewing the book.)

The first mutant mini-profile confused me at first. On reflection, I somehow mentally classified the Handbook as something of a kooky fun book for the whole family, and it mostly is. But there is definitely some material you wouldn't discuss with mini-mutants, and the story of the porn star turned politician is probably one of them.

Gareth Branwyn wrote about Ilona Staller, the Hungarian-born Italian porn star who is also her stage name, Cicciolina (which translates as "little cuddly," "little fleshy one," and "little cabbage," according to Branwyn). She got into politics in the late 1970s, and in 1987, she was elected to the Italian parliament and continued to perform in hardcore porn. She offered to have sex with a number of men in need of peace and comfort, including Saddam Hussein (twice) and Osama bin Laden, saying "My breasts have only ever helped people while Bin Laden has killed thousands of innocent victims."

So how has she fared since 1995? Though she wasn't re-elected and hasn't held office since her one term, she continued to be active in politics into her 60s, and was remembered in English language pop media/news in 2013. Otherwise, she's mostly forgotten (or unknown) outside of Italy.

Work safe video: she inspiration for Pop Will Eat Itself's unofficial 1990 World Cup anthem, Touched By The Hand Of Cicciolina, as seen below: