Things We Like: Spirograph, “Class of 1984″ and a Tom Lehrer Christmas
Monkey Goggles Klassics: “Long Live the Spirograph!” by Lorien Gruchalla
From November 24, 2009: “During a recent impromptu game night, I pulled the long-neglected Spirograph out of the hall closet, and I can honestly say that the classic drawing toy was the hit of the evening. The set that I have now is an older edition — it doesn’t have the crazy boomerang shapes that the new models have, and it’s got that great old game smell. It even comes standard with a dozen sharp pins and a handful of the small cogs which are quite the choking hazard. Anyway, a room full of cynical, beer-swilling adults was held rapt; we had hours of mathematically-perfect circular fun. Plus, everyone left with a handful of art.” Read the rest here!
When Mr. Norris (Perry King) shows up for his first day of teaching at a tough Los Angeles high school, he’s shocked by the metal detectors. He’s even more amazed by the apathy of his colleague Terry (Roddy McDowall), and he sets up what turns out to be a terrible relationship with student Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten). Stegman and his punk crew merely spice up everyone’s day with their rowdiness in class, or with the drugs they deal in the boys’ room. When Mr. Norris tries to clean up the place and put Stegman in line, it screws up the whole system. In fighting back, he pushes the punks too far. The film starts out pretty straightforward, with lots of great displays of teen angst and the adult’s mental breakdowns, and the back-and-forth episodes that follow escalate the story to a pitch-perfect conclusion. – Marc “Swellzombie” Palm
I haven’t much to say about this one; everything that needs to be said is said in these three deliriously funny minutes. I will volunteer this one personal bias: I like approximately six Christmas songs, and this Tom Lehrer classic is one of them. I don’t think I could survive Black Friday without it. Brother, here we go again. – Geoff Carter
PHOTO BY GEOFF CARTER