Flora, Fauna, Gaga, Beware of the Clinging Vines

Cecil says, "The fauna is all right, but Flora's got me!"

Recent Lady Gaga Fauna and Flora fashions in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Lady Gaga is a pop star that Bob Clampett would have loved to caricature again and again. With a headress like that how can you miss?

Another of the signs that made the Beany and Cecil cartoons such a long lasting culturally relevent show.

Guardian Angel?

Cecil Says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed… maybe even when you are a six foot shark.”  Huh?  Read on.

Fisherman adrift for 106 days in Pacific says shark led him to rescuers

A man who survived while adrift in the Pacific for 106 days is crediting a shark for helping to save his life.

Toakai Teitoi, 41, a policeman from the Central Pacific island nation of Kiribati, had been traveling with his brother-in-law on what was supposed to be a short voyage, beginning May 27, from the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to his home island of Maiana.

But the mariners decided to fish along the way, and fell asleep during the night.  When they awoke they were far at sea and adrift in their 15-foot wooden vessel.  They soon ran out of fuel, and were short on water.  “We had food, but the problem was we had nothing to drink,” Teitoi told Agence France-Presse news service.

Dehydration was severe.  Falaile, the 52-year-old brother-in-law, died on July4.  That night, Teitoi slept next to him, “like at a funeral,” before an emotional burial at sea the next morning.

Teitoi shared scant details of the ordeal after arriving in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, on Saturday.  He said he prayed the night Falaile died, and the next day a storm arrived and, over the next several days, he was able to fill two five-gallon containers with fresh water.

Days and weeks passed, however, and Teitoi, a father of six, did not know whether he’d live or die.  He subsisted mostly on fish and protected himself against the searing tropical sun by curling up in a small, covered portion of the bow.  It was on the afternoon of September 11 that he awoke to the sound of scratching against his boat.  A six-foot shark was circling the boat and, Teitoi said, bumping against its hull.

Not the same shark Teitoi saw but generic. You get the picture.

“He was guiding me to a fishing boat,” Teitoi said.  “I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me.”

The first thing he asked for after he was plucked from the water was a cigarette, or “a smoke.”  He was given food and juice and his rescuers continued to fish for several days before delivering him to Majuro.  Teitoi, who seemed in good health, said he booked flights back to his home island, adding, “I’ll never go by boat again.”

The record for drifting at sea is believed to be held by two fishermen, also from Kiribati, who were at sea for 177 days before coming ashore in Samoa in 1992.

Teitoi returned with an amazing story of survival. This story although much more dramatic with intense situations of life and death as well as mysticism and spirituality, also reminds of the overriding themes from the Time For Beany puppet show and the Beany and Cecil Cartoons. Guardian Angels and higher powers might not just inhabit cartoons.

What is this? Screws loose in a Steinway? A John Cage Composition.

Portion of a piano's interior showing loose screws and simple items from a hardware store placed between the strings to alter the piano sound providing more percussion and other types of sounds. This was the configuration for the Cage Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48) performed by Adam Tendlar in celebration of the John Cage Centennial.

Why loose screws and a story about the avant-garde composer John Cage on the Beany and Cecil site? John Cage (born September 5, 1912 and died August 12, 1992) and Beany and Cecil creator Bob Clampett (born May 8, 1913 and died May 2, 1984) were about eight months apart in age and spent a good part of their childhoods in Eagle Rock California. The comparisons do not end there. Both began to show their future talent by the age of twelve. Bob Clampett had a cartoon of his published in the Los Angeles Junior Times. Later, Clampett was offered a contract as a comic strip artist by the Los Angeles Examiner. John Cage came up with the idea and hosted a radio show on KNX in Los Angeles where he brought attention to great music by having it played on air and he reported on Boy Scout events.

John Cage as a young child on the left with the dog and Bob Clampett about the same age saluting. What was up with the sailor suits?

Cage a quick study skipped three grades and was Valedictorian at Los Angeles High School before attending Pomona College at age fifteen. Clampett had to drop out of high school during his senior year to go to work and help support the family. He did get to attend Otis Art School a couple of years later. Cage was influenced by animator Oskar Fischinger and his unusual approach to sound. The Clampett family later got to know the Fischinger family.

We do not know if Cage and Clampett ever met and are also curious if they happened to attend the same school. Clampett attended Eagle Rock Elementary School in the twenties. Cage lived on Moss Avenue in Eagle Rock about a mile from the school at that time. If anyone reading knows the answer to that question, please let us know. One item in the Bob Clampett archive might shed some light on this. There is a panoramic shot of all of the students posing for their class picture at Eagle Rock Elementary. We might be able to match the childhood photo of Cage seen above with the group panoramic. (We will post here the results of that search)

Cage and Clampett were two innovators who made significant contributions to their chosen fields within the arts.

We pay homage to an innovative thinker and musical giant John Cage on his Centennial.