ASK DR. HAL! Happens June 1st!

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

=====THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 1st!======
You’ll Pay to Know
What You Really Think  

At VIRACOCHA,998 Valencia St.
Admission $10.00
Doors Open 8:00 PM – Show begins 8:30 PM
(Please Note Early Start Time)

With Special Guest Opening Act:

The Dr. Hal Report         
Vol.   XVI                                                             No.3

“When Time who steals our years away Shall steal our pleasures too,
The mem’ry of the past will stay, And half our joys renew.”

–Thomas More (1477-1535)
“It is not every question that deserves an answer.”
–Publius Syrus (42 B.C.)
Maxim 581

Ask Dr. Hal! Blazons its Beacon Once Again at Viracocha–

by Byron Harris
San Francisco– Once it was Botanica Yoruba, a space for the practice of an esoteric,
ethnic Supernatural worship combining elements of Christian, African, Cuban and Mexican traditions.
And, if you had anything to do with the so-called “Occult,” it was a great place to get hard-to-find, and we
mean really hard-to-find, supplies…
But, that, of course, was before the relentless Juggernaut of Gentrification drove this business away, as
it continues to do to so many others from “old” Valencia Street, with the flaming sword of grotesquely
increased rent. In its place, you now find Viracocha, an institution so extremely “hip” that one cannot
easily tell what kind of an establishment it is (once we saw hipsters being conspicuously shaved in in
antique barber’s chairs in there, though “Bob” knows it’s not a barber shop –Heaven forfend such a
utilitarian service exist amidst the clutch of chi-chi restaurants and overpriced, cutesy-pie boutiques).
They’ve got an antique movie projector there and all sorts of scavenged knick-knacks, priced for the 99%.
Anyway, in the basement underneath Viracocha, no doubt the very same place where they used to cut
the heads off chickens for their… er, sacrifices, now from time to time a different ceremony is enacted
there, featuring Dr. Hal, KrOB, Pete Goldie and the usual suspects: the Ask Dr. Hal! Show.
It’s a long, low room, with comfortable seating, tables for some, a screen for KrOB’s creations, full
sound board and many other features we are prohibited from mentioning lest we bring the City’s army
of Agents of the corrupt Permit Process, hands outstretched for the mordida, down on our hosts’ expensively
coiffed craniums (And these features, we hasten to add, are those our audience are sure to like. More on
them can’t be said here). No, but seriously– we kid Viracocha. We love Viracocha.
And don’t worry about the displaced Botanica Yoruba– Yolanda and the same staff of spiritual consultants
just moved a few blocks away to 3423 19th St., and, fluent in English, are more than happy to help you.
You can still pick up your Dragon’s Blood, Confusion Oil, High John-the-Conqueror Root and phallus-
shaped candles
there, just as on Valencia. Bueno. Ask for Christine’s Sister.
So this Friday will bring, as on others, this month’s iteration of the all-new Ask Dr. Hal! show.
But we must stress, once again, that this run of Ask Dr. Hal! is not now being presented, as of old, at its former habitation, the famous Chez Poulet Galerie-Cabaret. Instead, for the time being, we now offer our
Spring-Into-Summer Show at Viracocha, 998 Valencia Street, the corner of 21st & Valencia near Ritual
Roasters and the entire Valencia Street “Scene.”
The name Viracocha, by the way, refers to the Great Creator God in  pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andes region of South America.

“You Can’t Keep a Good Show Down– Unless You Mean the One You’re Keeping Down– in the Basement.”
— Obscure Saw

Yes, it’s in the basement. Not just figuratively, but literally Underground. And it’s really nice down there.
Our recent ventures have shown that these shows –with ancillary acts– can still be profitable, even
enough to pay off guest performers. But note well that such a Utopian scheme greatly depends on a
decent-sized audience. Please attend, then, & cause this theoretical concept to be born again, into
It’s all about butts in seats, to put it baldly.
As for Chicken John himself, no, we haven’t sacrificed him– he’s taking a sabbatical from the show
during the current season. Also conspicuously absent will be Yo-yo Champion & Internet Proxy Surfer
David Capurro, who wants to spend more time with his family.
On June 1st, the rôle of Chicken John will be played by Mr. John Hell, Chief Inspector, Grand Pandjandrum & Factotum of free-form radio sensation Radio Valencia.
The part of David Capurro, performed at our last show by the redoubtable Sean “Grey Balloon” Kelly,
will be interpreted by Mable Syrup, a Sister of Professional Effulgence.


Just before each performance begins, at precisely 8:30 PM, we screen a great animated cartoon– each
one seven minutes of the best theatrical shorts ever committed to film. And you shouldn’t miss this one.

“Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves” (1937)

This week KrOB proudly presents a marvelous selection, one of three 17-minute Popeye epics produced
by the doomed Fleischer Studios at the height of their economic and creative power.
This stuff just does not get shown anywhere any more, but we are determined that it shall not fade
into a devastated landscape of badly conceived and badly done contemporary animation, hobbled
by “PC” issues and looming corporate control.
In (almost all) other issues of The Dr. Hal Report we have described what the American theatrical cartoon
was all about, and we’ve also told before how wartime strictures and the dominance of Disney crushed the
Fleischer Studios.
But back in the day, Popeye was flying high, and these specially elaborate masterpieces — the Popeye
Color Feature Series,
as they were known, were more than twice as long as the standard cartoon of the
time, produced in ageless Technicolor and breathtakingly packed with artistry and proprietary special effects.
We’ve shown two of these before: Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936) and Popeye Meets
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
(1939) respectively. Although Dr. Hal likes Popeye meets Sindbad the best,
and few like Aladdin the best, the critics pretty much all hail Ali Baba as the most entertaining and successful
of the triumvirate.
According to Wikipedia, The Fleischer Studios’ effects for this cartoon were produced with their Multiplane
This is not quite correct.
Disney developed the Multiplane camera, a (pre-digital) device for moving into a cartoon as opposed to across
the screen. No time here to say how it works. There’s one in the Disney Family Museum in the Presidio. Check it
out– very impressive. You mean to say you haven’t gone?
The Fleischers’ solution to the dimensional problem was not a Multiplane camera. Instead, they actually built
fully realized elaborate miniature sets. Animation cels were vertically mounted before and among these. The
results are dreamlike and eerie in our cartoon. Only the Fleischers did this. They called it their “Stereoptical
Directed by Dave Fleischer and (uncredited) Willard Bowsky. Lyrics and music by Sammy Timberg. Also
featuring J. Wellington Wimpy and Olive Oyl. Perennial antagonist Bluto appears in the villain’s role of Abu
Hassan. There is no character named Ali Baba in this cartoon, but if you remember your Arabian Nights, it was
the sorcerer-bandit-warlord Abu Hassan who had the secret cave of treasure which only opened to a cryptic
password (Open sesame). Ali Baba the merchant eventually achieved the treasure, largely through the wit and
daring of Morgiana, the sexy and beautiful slave who eventually was freed and betrothed to Ali Baba’s son for
saving his family many times over– read the story). The Iraquis of today who call bandits “Ali Baba” are therefore
in error.
There’s no Morgiana in this cartoon, but there is Olive Oyll (voiced by Mae “Betty Boop” Questel). And there is
Popeye, cheerfully chewing the unappetising, beard-like mass of extracted-from-a-can spinach to fuel his mighty
retaliation against the (presumably) Islamic hordes. Wonder why they don’t show this one all that much?
Censored versions have appeared recently. Not for us. Not on KrOB’s watch. Oh, yes, we plan to give you the
whole thing complete and uncut. So join us on this last Friday night of the month, in time to catch up with yet
another treasure of your once-vigorous Nation’s vanished, irreplaceable popular culture. See how good
hand-drawn animated cartoons once used to be.
Remember, our show will start right up at the very moment that the cartoon ends. So be on time! That’s 8:30 PM.

Musician, singer, Pepper Spray Times writer/editor, Fiddlers for Peace founder, activist. Veteran of civil liberties and social
justice movements, voted Best of the Bay 2001 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Best Solo Performer by the 2002 East
Bay Express readers’ poll. Honoree of the 2003 City of Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women for civil liberties
activism, 2004 honoree by the City of Berkeley for homeless advocacy, 2009 Oldtime Spirit award winner from the Augusta
Music Heritage Festival,
curator of the Deep Poetry Project. Innovative guitarist and English concertina player, original and
traditional songs. Voted Best Female Artist at PirateCat Radio in SF in 2010. Nominated to the Revolutionary Poets’ Brigade
by former poet laureate of San Francisco Jack Hirschman in 2010. Inventor of the chairapillar. We were fortunate to book
this act. She will be accompanied by at least one other– no names available at presstime. And we hope she won’t
find the rest of our show too excessively frivolous…


Actually, Pete’s pretty good within our own home Solar System, too. And he has breaking Astronomy news this
time. An Eclipse is coming! And the Transit of Venus! On that– yes, the next Transit of Venus when that Orient
passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring [technically]
a small-ish portion of) the Solar disk. During this, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk crawling
across the face of the Sun. The duration of such Transits is usually measured in hours (the Transit of 2004 lasted
six). It’s somewhat similar to a Solar Eclipse by the Moon, which we were privileged lately to view, along with other
heavenly sights,
in Petrolia, California. While the diameter of Venus is almost four times that of the Moon, Venus
appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the Sun’s radiant countenance, because she is much farther away
from Earth than our nearest celestial neighbor, our outsized Moon. Venus is about 25,476,218 miles, or 41 million
away at this time of year. She’s the closest planet to us.
is rarin’ to go with this particular paideutic presentation– because Transits of Venus are among the rarest of
predictable astronomical phenomena. In fact, they occur in a pattern that repeats only every 243 years, with pairs
of Transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The previous Transit of the
pair was in 2004, as Pete will remind youwe covered it then, too. But after 2012, the next pair of Transits won’t be
until December, 2117 and December, 2125. In other words, not for 105 years!
& Boffo Boffin Pete Goldie each week brings us new discoveries in Space Science & the cosmos.
A quondam NASA consultant, Dr. Goldie is particularly interested in the Cassini Space Probe & often reports its
findings. Indeed, above our stage hangs the eternally present scale model of this voyager into far realms of
alienage & distance. Pete will explain this– that’s what he does.
And he does it all with sardonic humor, dry wit & rhetorical flair. Some people‘s favorite part of the show. He
by showing the very latest picture– of his daughter, Daria.
So come down to Viracocha’s (literally) underground salon,
where Pete will tell you a-a-l-l-l about it…


Anachronistic, idiosyncratic, iconoclastic, Rusty Rebar has appeared before at Ask Dr. Hal! exercising his
mellifluous minstrelsy. Then, he crooned to the captive audience, –now, he returns to provide a thoughtful respite
from the ottherwise crazed and inane goings-on, the hooting and hollering, the low-comedy gags, the scatalogical
stream of jejune imagery.  Also, he works for peanuts. Dr. Hal and Rusty perform together at Burning Man every
year, probably will this year (though nothing is clear about this year) on the Smaller (Poet’s) Stage in Center Camp
Café. He will make you think a little, which in itself can refresh the mind.
Just this alone is worth the admission price.


Spy Emerson found her passion for unreal estate in the midst of the resonant “dot-com boom.” Exploring many options,
this entrepreneurial go-getter soon developed an (adorable) nose for Best-of-Breed Affordable Artist Housing solutions.
She soon found success, becoming DHR’s “Top Producer,” a title and an honor that she’s held since her first year in
In this economy, housing is a matter of concern to all. Spy helps her clients reach their goals. As she likes to say, quoting
mentor former President George W. Bush, “Make the pie higher– and live your dream.” Whether you’re a welder,
painter, musician,
or an “Outsider” Artist working in the medium of, say, bovine earwax, she brings her unique aesthetic
and extraordinary problem-solving communication skills to each negotiated transaction.
Spy’s lived in the Bay Area for many years. She is expert in the diverse neighborhoods, communities, storm surge
floodplains, and other housing locations that the Bay Area has to offer! Yes, from shipping containers to
corrugated domiciles to Mission-style Tubo de Desagüe “micro-mansions,” she’s your gal!


This piece will speak for itself. Shamanistic impersonation/embodiment of animal mana (or soul) is a phenomenon of
the earliest cultures, but not out of place, at certain times, in our own as well.

Also on our programme:
Monster Movie Moment– Battle Between Behemoths

A creation revived by KrOB. Millions of years ago, giant dinosaurs roamed the earth. The famous Stegosaurus was one of
these. A genus of stegosaurid armored ornithischian thyreophoran from the Late Jurassic Period (Kimmeridgian to Early
Tithonian) of what is now western North America, Stegosaurus, known from its distinctive tail spikes and plates, is one of the
most recognizable Mesozoic saurians. A large, heavily-built herbivorous quadruped, Stegosaurus had a distinctive and unusual
a heavily arched back, with minute head and short forelimbs held very low to the ground. This has been described
(by someone we can’t remember) as being like “a fat man doing push-ups.” The massive, muscular tail, terminating in (usually)
two pairs of flesh-piecing spikes, was held higher when not serving as a tripodal prop to support the beast when it reared up to
The spectacular array of plates and spikes have been the subject of much speculation. Stegosaurs were most diverse in the
late Jurassic, though the genus Dravidosaurus actually lived in southern India in the late Cretaceous, when the group went
extinct with the rest of the Dinosauria.
Larger than such other stegosaurids as Kentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus, the roughly bus-sized Stegosaurus nevertheless
shared many of the same anatomical features, including the tail spines and plates, which were seen in most other stegosaur
genera. Now KrOB has prepared another dazzling “edit” across 210 million years of Evolution. Once more the moist, froggy
bellowing and bleating of the Stegosaurus will sound as it waddles into battle in the subterranean confines of Viracocha. Once
again, more rip-roaring stop-motion animation from Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen, with “The KrOB Touch.” Or, not.
KrOB may
decide to show what happens after the hapless Steg is butchered by a rampaging Ceratosaurus nasicornis, as two
of these brutes
fight over the remains. We’ll have to find out. All from the voluminous visual files of mighty KrOB.
This absolutely educational and scientific presentation is offered as part of our ongoing show.
If you missed it before, catch it this time!


Fans of the Ask Dr. Hal! Show, both the upcoming live show on June 1st and the weekly radio show on RadioValencia.FM,
(87.9 FM Fridays, 10 PM
to Midnight), will probably be interested– since they’ve read this far, after all, in reading even more of
the writing of Dr. Hal. Go, then, to –and read his hard-hitting editorial essays about Newt Gingrich, Jesus,
Creationists, American decadence and Monsters– to name a few topics. This site has it all– including pieces by Ask Dr. Hal!
frequent attendees Earl Yazel and Cyberpunk author John Shirley. It even has articles– and video! –from Church of the
SubGenius Sacred Scribe Rev. Ivan Stang.
At the site, click on Dr. Hal’s drawing of a bird’s nest, to the right of the main column,
and be whisked to “Culture Clutch” Raw’s reservation for this unruly writer’s group. Feel free to add your Comments to the
(often-vituperative) others…


The March 30 Viracocha show was a fancy feather in our collective cap… whether or not we deserved it, things went well… the
Opening Act thing– glad we revived ’em –seems to be doing good for us. Actually, they don’t all open for the show any more, not
since zippy Zero Boy made the suggestion (accepted!) that we interweave ’em… They just keep coming on throughout the show– visit
us on Friday & you’ll see what we mean… Phabulous Phoenix the Singing Harp Lady & her instrument were both in top form to send
us off; righteous Raff offering offstage encouragement… professorial Pete Goldie dished out the Science beneath the dangling Cassini
Probe Spacecraft model,
whose maintenance staff, primarily princely Paul Pot, has been keeping it in trim… Jaunty John Hell keeps the
wheels turning & makes it look easy… Sedulous Sean Kelly handled the IT interface as one to the manner born. Ever since dauntless
Dave Capurro walked away, we’ve had some fine followers in his legendary loafers– reckless Robert Levy, supernal Sean & now, if all
goes according to Hoyle, mystery woman Mable Syrup will be at the digital toggles… Aand, we had the devastating Devil-Ettes, a
thundering herd of comely chorus girls go-go dancing us to Intermission… King Kogar the groovy gorilla was also seen dancing in the
aisles, and aisle swear there was another syncopated simian as well… ‘Twas jackpot Jamie Pickard who brought in beautiful Baby Doe,
a.k.a. devastating Dorinda von Stroheim and the rest, & we’re in her debt, you bet… Say, Devil-Ettes– want to do it again? Check it out,
everybody– surely you view peripatetic Puzzling Evidence’s videos on YouTube & Vimeo? No? Here’s the show– Devil Girls are just abt.
half an hour in:

Boy, did we luck out that nite… so did our comely crowd– & wotta crowd… a swell bunch o’
swells… like, f’rinstance, jovial John Law, brawny Bishop Joey, who’s just had a birthday we hear, bye the bye, renowned Rusty Rebar, a
most palatable poet, & manly Michael Peppe, p’fawmance ahteest to the Stars… Then we had kingly Kiko Aumond, now a proud papa
with joyous Jennifer “Jennalex” Alexander, Mrs. Kiko— the newest Aumond is li’l Lúcia Alexander– no doubt a future attendee. Kinky
Kiko also just had a birthday. What is it with all these births & birthdays? Doughty Daniel took in ADH for the 1st time, but we saw BRC’s
“Picasso” Pepe Ozan (a.k.a Papa Loko) there at least 1nce before… Wandering thru were meandering Michael Lyons & murmuring Mark Mcgothigan… More firmly ensconced, the fabled Smoke Pot Guys: Krazy Ken Kneisel avec sidekick phrantic Phineas T. Smokepott…
Was that smilin’ Steve Mobia? Dapper Don Bruce appeared with tempestuous Tracy Feldstein; who was the lucky, lucky lad with ravishing Lucky Star
Robin Coomer? Righteous Robin, for those who are paying attention, just aced the giant Black Sabbath tribute show at the Independent
with Tiger Honey Pot & the Xtra Action Marching Band– grand! Good Lord! the beauties who come out for these shows. That one room
at Viracocha showcased lovely Linda Snyder, joy-inducing Jeanette, heavenly Hillary Seidner, delectable DeLynn Parker & just-plain-
gorgeous Justin Credible, who looks good in (& out of) everything… Kurvaceous Kimmie Joan caused devoted Dr. Hal’s heart to fibrillate
& flutter…  Jaunty Julie Holabird our libido stirred… Lively Leslie Sternbergh Alexander dropped in to take a gander… Marvelous Margery
accompanied (literally!) wizardly Whitman McGowan as he did his stuff… Willing Walter Laing squired sleek, sly Spy Emerson… On the
south wall a giant painting by artist luscious Lynn Rubenzer fronted the goings-on; in it were depicted some of the attenders– you could see
Kommandant KrOB presiding over the show, then turn your eyes to  the painted version… Bright-eyed Brody Scotland & BF Ben are usually
seen at the show… Let’s not forget captivating Connie Dobbs, our Special Guest at the fest… we know we never will… THANX 2 1 & ALL.

Ask Dr. Hal! founded by Chicken John Rinaldi in 1998. A popular favorite for 12 years in varied cities & venues.
A legendary performance. Scientific. Educational. NOT for children & those easily shocked. A memorable night out.
“Ask &
ye shall receive.” No refunds. Come on time to see the opening acts. Bill is long, & we cannot delay curtain.
Show will end before Midnight. Do
YOU have a variety act you would like to perform to open for us? Now taking
submissions. Telephone our booking office at
(415) 642-6312. Viracocha information hotline: (415) 374-7048.
Unavoidably, duplication of names on our lists may occur; please excuse, and delete, additional copies of this
mailing if they arrive. WATCH
Ask Dr. Hal! on You Tube on the Puzzling Evidence Channel. HEAR Ask Dr. Hal! on
San Francisco’s best Pirate Radio station, listener-supported
Radio Valencia.FM. READ the hard-hitting editorials
and musings of
Dr. Hal at the national news blog –click on the bird’s nest that says, Culture Clutch.