Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Robots (1936)

Another meme thought to have originated on the internets is revealed to have much older roots, thanks to the recent discovery of this trailer for the 1936 Republic Pictures feature Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Robots. WATCH bitter enemies battle without appearing on screen at the same time! SEE the forbidden love of a pirate for a zombie! DON'T MISS Boris Karloff as Col. Sanders!

. . . Or it could be a mashup I finished last night. Featuring Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, John Carradine, Randolph Scott, Duane Jones, Fei Meng, Bela Lugosi.

I used clips from the following movies, all public domain as far as I know:

Captain Kidd (1945)
She hao dan xin zhen jiu zhou (1976), a.k.a. Snake Crane Secret
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Revolt of the Zombies (1936)
La Muerte Viviente (1971), a.k.a. Snake People
La Guerra dei Robot (1978), a.k.a. War of the Robots
The Phantom Creeps (1939)
Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (19??), lots of varied editions derived from some original Russian film.

These can probably all be found on

With music clips from Captain Kidd, Captain Scarface, and The Iron Mask (1929). The Iron Mask was a silent movie starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr., filmed in 1929. It was reissued with a soundtrack, including narration and voiceover by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in 1952, and that's the theme music used for most of this mashup.


Gilligan watchers vs. MMORPGamers, and Where's the mouse?

This blog entry Gin, Television, and Social Surplus by Clay Shirky [via metafilter] has some nice observations:

I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she's going back there to see if Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn't what she was doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, "What you doing?" And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, "Looking for the mouse."

Here's something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here's something four-year-olds know: Media that's targeted at you but doesn't include you may not be worth sitting still for. ...

[This next section comes from earlier in the speech/blog entry. Shirky told a tv producer about increased activity on the Wikipedia entry for "Pluto" when scientists demoted it from planet status. Regarding the Wikipedia activity, the producer] shook her head and said, "Where do people find the time?" That was her question. And I just kind of snapped. And I said, "No one who works in TV gets to ask that question. You know where the time comes from. It comes from the cognitive surplus you've been masking for 50 years."

... But beneath that question was another thought, this one not a question but an observation. In this same conversation with the TV producer I was talking about World of Warcraft guilds, and as I was talking, I could sort of see what she was thinking: "Losers. Grown men sitting in their basement pretending to be elves."

At least they're doing something.

Did you ever see that episode of Gilligan's Island where they almost get off the island and then Gilligan messes up and then they don't? I saw that one. I saw that one a lot when I was growing up. And every half-hour that I watched that was a half an hour I wasn't posting at my blog or editing Wikipedia or contributing to a mailing list. Now I had an ironclad excuse for not doing those things, which is none of those things existed then. I was forced into the channel of media the way it was because it was the only option. Now it's not, and that's the big surprise. However lousy it is to sit in your basement and pretend to be an elf, I can tell you from personal experience it's worse to sit in your basement and try to figure if Ginger or Mary Ann is cuter.

And I'm willing to raise that to a general principle. It's better to do something than to do nothing. Even lolcats, even cute pictures of kittens made even cuter with the addition of cute captions, hold out an invitation to participation. When you see a lolcat, one of the things it says to the viewer is, "If you have some fancy sans-serif fonts on your computer, you can play this game, too." And that message--I can do that, too--is a big change.


Awkwardly back on Tripod, their mistake.

The bad news is that I wasted several hours over the weekend migrating everything I could find from Awkwardly (mainly stuff cached on Google or the Wayback Machine) to other hosts. Awkwardly had been removed from Tripod for allegedly violating their terms of service. The good news is that it's back on Tripod, so all my links from other websites and blogs and search engines aren't lost. Tripod/Lycos customer support replied on Monday that my website had been "mistakenly locked by one of our automatic processes." Like the Creator of the Hitchhiker's Guide universe, they apologized for any inconvenience this may have caused.

So I take back anything bad I said about Tripod in the meantime, and anything I might have admitted when speculating about why they might ban me. Really, the Pundit of Porn article wasn't that objectionable, was it?

If you read this through RSS or some kind of feed, don't change a thing. If you want to visit the whole mess directly, then visit as you always have. At least until further notice. I definitely need to back up my stuff in case Tripod goes belly up someday or has some malfunction that lasts longer than a weekend.


Awkwardly banned from

Good on ya for finding your way to the new Awkwardly site at, while it lasts. Tripod dropped me for some reason. Unfortunately, if they bothered to email me at all to let me know why they felt I had violated terms of service, it must have been to an old email address I don't use anymore. That might not be their fault.

I can't imagine that my latest blog posts were the culprits -- a link to my Dungeons and Dayjobs podcast, or "Pirates vs. Lighthouse Keeper" almost a month ago? Either they objected to ads posted on free tripod pages (ads by anyone other than them) or else someone objected to an article I wrote years ago, like F-Texas or "Pundit of Porn".

I'm gradually restoring and migrating stories and essays and content over to, sitemap and indexes over to angelfire. There will probably be a lot of broken links until I finish updating everything. Sorry.