Just Above Sunset
November 14, 2004 - Süsslichschmerz und Ceux de le Resistance (CDLR)

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Book Wrangler

Sunday, November 14, 2004

By Bob Patterson


On Tuesday, November 9, 2004, I went to the Santa Monica Public Library because I wanted to check out (literally and figuratively) any books I could find by an author who had recently caught my attention.


Later, when I got home and started to dig into a book that was the reason for the excursion to the city where the mountains meet the sea, I quickly grew dissatisfied with my choice.  I flipped to the back cover to read some of the blurbs.  Seems the book was going to be one of those books that is the equivalent of those Oscar season movies that critics love to describe as “heartwarming.”  The quotes from the reviews compared the new guy to the fellow who was renowned for writing one book that was a staggering load of overwhelming mawkishness that would leave cynics grasping for a whisky bottle.  Who in their right mind wants an overdose of sentimentality that would qualify as the German concept of Süsslichschmerz, if they had such a word?  (Think of it as an overload of sweetness.)


Luckily, I had also snagged an extra book before departing the SMPL.  It was titled:  France:  The Dark Years 1940 to 1944 by Julian Jackson.  It tells the story of what happened in France while the Germans occupied half of the country and the Vichy government ran the other part.


A number of the French citizens who assisted the Germans were tried as collaborators after the war.  The people who did whatever they could to impede the Germans and speed their departure were revered as heroes in retrospect. 


Many books have been written about the resistance, which had many different groups with many different names.  The Maquis was one of the best known.  Ceux de la Résistance (those of the resistance) used the initials CDLR to designate their group which disapproved of the unpopular army of occupation and the quisling government composed of politicians who were the Germans’ lackeys.


The Jackson book tries to give an overview of that particular period of history and cover the politics, the resistance, the culture, and outside military events which influenced the course of events for that country in that particular time period.


After leaving the Library, we noticed the proximity of Hi De Ho comics, which is a great source of information about intriguing items that are not awash in mainstream publicity. 


Robert Roach was there doing a signing for his newest comic book and that seemed an opportunity to expand the horizon for this regular feature of Just Above Sunset online magazine.  Roach is self taught and says that there is a wealth of books about the comic book art and business so that youngsters who want to produce something along similar lines, can, with self-schooling and practice, succeed. 


Roach does one series about Chicago in the Thirties that involves a clever premise about some folks who are unwittingly duped into doing some strong arm enforcement of gang turf by some creative bad guys who would have the grunts believe they are part of a stealth group doing undercover law enforcement work.


Roach who had worked for a movie studio is very aware of the expanding opportunities comic books provide for subsidiary market added profits, such as the sale of film rights.


Other items found during that expedition to the store on Santa Monica Boulevard included Collectable Coloring Books by Dian Zillner ($24.95 paperback Schiffer Publications). 


The Joint Rolling Handbook by Bobcat Press ($9.95 paperback Quick American Archives)…  Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Sixties rumored to be over?


The Incredible World Of Spy-Fi: Wild and Crazy Spy Gadgets, Props, and Artifacts from TV and the Movies by Danny Biederman, Susan Einstein, Robert W. Wallace  ($19.95 paperback Chronicle Books published Oct. 1, 2004) - Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone isn’t the only example of what the well dressed movie or TV spy had in their arsenal of odd items.


That’s Disgusting:  An Adult Guide to What’s Gross, Tasteless, Rude, Crude, and Lewd by Gretta Garbage ($10.95 paperback Ten Speed Press) - The title tells you all you need to know for making a decision about adding this item to your library or not. 


Tiki Art Now!: A Volcanic Eruption of Art  Introduction by Otto von Stroheim, forward by Robert Williams ($19.95 paperback Last Gasp published Oct. 30, 2004) - This book functions as a catalogue for a new Tiki Art exhibition now being shown at a San Francisco art gallery.  Stoheim’s annual Spring Tiki parties in the Venice section of Los Angeles have become the basis for exaggerations that might qualify them for examination by the web site that specializes in examining urban legends.  They were really real.  Stroheim is an expert on Tiki Art and publisher of the Tiki News.


Never Kiss a Frog:  A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp by Marilyn Anderson ($14 paperback Red Rock Press) just wets the appetite for frog lovers.  The book is now augmented by an all frog item web site.


Salman Rushdie was quoted as saying:  “A book is a version of the world.  If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.”




Copyright © 2004 – Robert Patterson






Sidebar: Liberal bloggers – the "Ceux de la Résistance"


Mid-week Bob Patterson, who appears in these pages as The World’s laziest Journalist and the Book Wrangler, sent this along.


I was in the Santa Monica Public Library today looking for books by Augustine Burroughs (see the Book Wrangler) and as I was leaving I stumbled across "France: The Dark Years 1940-1944" by Julian Jackson.


CDLR ("Ceux de la Résistance ") and the Vichy government and stuff like that.


It's an interesting concept.  Life for French folks under a French Government that wasn't really a French Government.  The Vichy French government moved to Germany.  Yikes, I knew the frogs like surrealism, but did they have to go that far?


Celine?  I've read a bit of his first book.  Maybe it's time to dig it back out.


Meanwhile, I noticed that you wrote in Out of Outrage that the liberal bloggers seem in a Jim Jones Kool-Aid mode.


So the mood in Paris in the fall of 1940 seemed to be gloomy, too.  Didn't they like the slogan Work, Family, Country?  What's not to like?


My reply?


As for the liberal bloggers and the times now being like living in occupied France in forties - no.  I don't think so.  But didn't Sartre or Camus or one of those guys start up the daily Libération newspaper in those dark days?   Perhaps I should dump my day job, join the resistance and start a newspaper?  


A resistance movement....  Now that's an idea. 


Anyone want to join?


Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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