I posted a few more BlobFest pics to Flickr. Why? Because I know y’all can’t get enough, that’s why!
This whole thing was a blast to me. It had all the home-towniness of a real American town festival, but without being whitebread-bland. I may have to live here the rest of my life.
This guy’s costume won the contest, by the way. I couldn’t believe that the people in costumes managed not to pass out in the heat — it was about 94 with incredibly thick jungle-style humidity.
I’m doing some research on old technology and how people talked about it when it was new to them, and ran across this terrific site with an article about Murry Mercier and TV in 1929
My favorite part of this page is the scan of the news article from April 29, 1929, The Ohio State Journal newspaper.
“Already they have achieved success in developing an instrument that outdoes the magic of storybook fame by showing a scene radiocast from another city hundreds of miles away. This is not to be confused with telephoto which reproduces the picture on paper. Television is instantaneous. For instance, one can watch a prize fight or a wedding ceremony in Pittsburgh. It reproduces the scenes as rapidly as they change, the same as a mirror would reflect them.”
What fascinates me is how someone in 1929 (not that long ago) was struggling to explain in a literal, non-technical way how television worked.
Remember trying to explain to someone what the Internet is? It feels similar.
It’s amazing how something so strange that there weren’t quite words for describing it (even the ‘mirror’ thing doesn’t quite get it) and yet now Television has become its own concept, not requiring explanation at all. It just happens. Now, rather than describing TV by talking about mirrors and lanterns, we describe other things by referencing TV. (“Yeah, mom, the Internet is like TV but not, I mean, you can do things in it and it responds…wait that’s not quite it…”)
Check out my quick movie clip of the 2005 BlobFest “Running out and Screaming” 🙂
Blob Run 2005 Movie Clip — MPEG; 7MB
Steve Almond is a guy I knew in my MFA Program. He’s (I think) the single most published writer from our little graduating class of ten or so people. Like, he’s an actual writer, making a living as a writer (and teaching).
Anyway, this interview he did with pre-teen-ish girl band Smoosh is fun: The Believer – Interview With Smoosh … Steve seems to keep getting published in all the truly cool places.
You can read more about Steve at bbchow.com. And I can definitely recommend his book My Life in Heavy Metal … I’d recommend the others too, but I haven’t read them yet. I’m far behind. But what the heck, read them too, I’m sure they’re awesome.
My daughter’s staying with me for the month of July, and we can’t wait to see the upcoming upcoming Blob Festival here in Phoenixville. It’s the weekend of July 15.
We watched the movie, and it’s a trip. I hadn’t seen it since I was her age, a crummy pan and scan broadcast on TV. So it was a treat to see it remastered and in its full glory on the Criterion DVD.
Steve McQueen was 28, playing a teenager.
This movie did so many things that you see as tropes in other movies since — the question mark at the close of the movie “The End ?” for example. Also, it may be the first horror movie to pull the little postmodern trick of having people getting attacked in a theater during another horror movie. (Pre-Scream!) Also, now that I’ve seen the new War of the Worlds, I can’t help but think Spielberg’s rendition of the cellar scene was in part inspired by an exposure to the cellar scene in The Blob — the menacing red stuff at the cellar window seems just too similar in some respects, and the claustrophobic feeling of being in a cellar of a structure that’s enveloped by something unspeakable that devours human blood. I don’t recall a scene like that in the original novel or the older versions of the film, but I could be wrong (and I’m too lazy to look it up right now).
At any rate, here are some links about the upcoming Blob Festival, and other info related.