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Monday, October 22, 2018

Erica Crooks Comics : Evil Old Laptop

Erica Crooks

Bad Public Cable Access Television

Bad Public Cable Access Television

I don’t remember what year it was , but it was definitely after 2009 and The end of The Erica Crooks Show on Public Access Television .
Probably around 2010 or 2011 or so. 

As I mentioned before , The Erica Crooks Show started as this idea and a home movie because I wanted to have my own public access television show. And I was 8 years old. I had to wait until I was 18 so I did all these adult puppet show live performances at my local library which teens heckled and was “ too adult " for kids.

During the time a little bit after The Erica Crooks Show leaving public access television and even before , I did volunteer with the public access coordinators at the time to learn about how everything was done . They even gave me a college internship too . They have told me that they really liked my show , might as well , they did watch the test show in 2006 and liked it even then. What happened was during the 2009 Season was I had a sketch which related to my fears of coming out and fears of the future as a trans woman and even the fear that what if I didn’t have a legacy as an artist ? What if I died and no one cared or remembered me .
It was a work of art and people took the animated fictional roast on myself which I was 21 at the time , people thought it was a suicidal cry for help. 
Also I was being bullied by a friend who was taking advantage of me and I didn’t realize what was going on until it was too late. I was being abused by my father and his equally ill wife.
Just read Adults Get Bullied Too ! to learn about the history of all that.

However the people at the public access station knew I was a good person and perhaps the police call they made was out of caring and a mix of saving their own rear ends from getting in trouble with the cable company that owns public access television and I think they banned me for a week and I made the move to pull the show entirely off the air because I strongly felt as an independent filmmaker that I did not want to censor life like how the media does. To me art is about life and my life is art. And I was really bringing about this unconscious awareness as this transgender woman afraid to come out of the closet. Also it was around the time my Twin Flame connection was becoming more than just imaginary and dreams and daydreaming.

Anyway , I didn’t keep a grudge on the people at the public access station and perhaps a little bit I understood why they did what they did. However I still think it’s ridiculous because it was just a cartoon.

During my public access television internship which I was getting credits at college for , I seen the wackos that came to do public access television. What’s very interesting was the people who ACTUALLY LIKED MY SHOW were mostly Wiccans and Pagans , and This guy who had a metal rock show which I spoofed and he was a very good sport about it and thought it was funny. Perhaps they were left wing. There was this Narcissist that was there which everyone hated and that became the inspiration for Rotten The Witch who was this narcissist that all the Wiccans and Pagans hated and just didn’t know what the hell this guy was doing in their spiritual community. And he did sound a bit like Daffy Duck , clearly this Narcissist who might have been in the closet afraid to come out as Gay. They say that some of the most homophobic people in the world are indeed in the closet. Which is exactly what I did with Con & Spy Rotten and political satires of Fred Phelps ( Westboro Bapitst Church ) and Adolf Hitler later down the road based on something Lauren Drain said about Phelps being in the closet .

The public access station I was at , there was barely anyone my age. Just these middle aged adults who are aways in conflict with one another. One of them ended up complaining about the Rotten The Satanic Crybaby episode from The Erica Crooks Show's 2009 Season claiming that I was slandering his name at the beginning. As nervous as I was over the phone with this Biker guy with a thick New England / Boston accent ( Yep , that's where all that “BACKYAD ! “ stuff came from ! / ) . I explained to this guy over the phone that “ Robby Rotten Sullivan “ was a parody name based on the 1930s James Cagney character “ Rocky Sullivan “ from Angels With Dirty Faces . The guy ended up keeping me on the phone for about an hour explaining how unfair his ex was treating him on television talking about how mean he was. And he was going to send a lawsuit and blah blah blah. “ SHE BROKE MY HEART ! “

It was these kinds of things happening where middle aged adults were in conflict as well as a bunch of right winged old farts who played some musical instrument and had CRAP shows , this is what inspired “ Bad Public Cable Access Television “ .

Originally Bad Public Cable Access Television was going to be an actual show on Public Access Television and a prank rolled up into one. The idea was , I was going to eventually get the right friendship team with me to pull a prank on public access television. All they had to do was make it work while I would be behind the scenes figuring things out . As an independent filmmaker that NEVER EVER filmed at the actual public access station which the exception of making a few appearances on a show which a couple people said they liked the early episodes before it went to late night and I got away with MORE THINGS lol .
It’s not as if the public access coordinator watches the show before hand. 
You write RT ( Running time ) and know the exact digits like on a timeline in a video editor so they can manually cue it up with their many VHS and DVD players which is how Public Access Television channels are done !
So the actual prank is , 
( 1. Create a new public access television show and make it as bland and boring as possible.
( 2. You slowly build up the insanity. And work your way up. Doing bad edits , having the show upside down , be weird , have fun.
( 3. Be all satirical and rebellious enough to get your show purposely canceled . 
( 4. You leave the audience begging for more.

As I think about it now , it’s like working within the system to be against it.
And many satirists did this. The Simpsons , Les Guignols De L’info , Spitting Image , and Dinosaurs for example would riff on the network they were on.
That’s sort of what I wanted to do with The Erica Crooks Show originally.
But Comedy Central HATED IT , so did [ adult swim ] , mondo media when I cold called pitched it to them in 2012 and even Troma Entertainment Inc isn’t interested when I tried to work something out in 2016 / 2017 when I was starting to slowly give up hope. 

So Anarchism kind of saved me as a satirist and as a person. 

So anyway in 2013 when premiered to revive the puppets of The Erica Crooks Show , I was working on other web shows too. Kind of like what James Rolfe was doing with not only The Angry Video Game Nerd but also he had Board James and You Know What’s Bullshit ! So for me , I was going to do things I always wanted to do and was experimenting before I had my own public access television , around the time I was entering Middle School in fact , I wanted to make Comedy Albums like Cheech and Chong . 
So that became “ The Audio Broadcast of Satirical Comedy “ and even though I haven’t done it awhile , I can always bring that back. It’s like within the tradition of Cheech and Ching , Week Ending , Dead Ringers , The Goons , Dr. Demento , that Old Time Radio thing which is an art form where it’s sort of fading a little bit.
And of course “ Bad Public Access Television “ . Another inspiration would be definitely The Young Ones and Rik Mayall who passed away while I was filming Bad Public Access Television . 

What “ Bad Public Cable Access Television “ ending up being was this Dark satirical slapstick satire parody of Bad Public Cable Access Television shows ran by middle aged old farts with miserable lives and Ego problems. Which is exactly what I seen at that Public Access Television Station . It’s middle aged people who are afraid of YouTube and doing things on the internet and when they are on TV , they have this EGO on them like they are this big celebrity.

Sure I was this teenager in high school who had a public access television but I only told people I liked “ Hey check it out “ and I would give them the time. Usually it was Friday night at 7pm then moved up to about 10pm on Friday Nights . I was told that if your show was on at 2am , you can get away with more but I seen the possibilities with the internet.

YouTube is common to younger adults now a days but I was putting stuff on my old MuppetPro account as early as 2005 but really dedicated to it in 2009 until I deleted the account due to the cyberbully trolling threats I was getting.

 Bad Public Access Television was all improv , it was like this Alternative Improv Comedy and a Drag King act all rolled into one. 
It was exhausting because what I was really doing wasn’t telling jokes but actually acting as these characters which can be quite depressing. But the show was satirical , dark , and slapstick .

If the show had any point at all , it really shows that at this time where hierarchy is still around , when SOME ordinary people get on television , for some people it becomes THE ME show and their Ego takes over even thought they are talentless and have ego problems.

The Erica Crooks Show barely has anything to do with me . It’s like the work of Robert Crumb , Walt Disney , you see the artist name , so it’s an invite to their perspective , what they see , what they want to bring awareness about. To me that’s art. There’s a quote I like …
“ Art Should Disturb The Comfortable and Comfort The Disturbed “.

I ended Bad Public Cable Access television mainly because I much prefer animation and puppetry more. Also as a Transgender Woman it’s very hard to perform dude characters if my face is seen. It’s much easier to do the work when I’m not scene. 

I’ve noticed ContraPoints did similar things in their ( or her ) work. Though for me as an actress and performer , perhaps the puppets and cartoons make the work slightly more innocent and you can get away with the cartoon violence slightly more in a light way . It’s not like I had the budget and cast of a Mel Brooks or Zucker / Abrhams / Zucker film.

What I’m trying to say is there was a fear I had that if people seen me perform live action like that , no one would take me seriously as a Woman because I’m born a Transgender Woman .

I did try out a more updated version of Bad Public Access Television called Bad Video Access Television spoofing bad Video Blogs and such but was quickly abandon. 
Plus also performing women characters as well.

I even tried doing something with appearing as a wacky fictionalized version of myself

And I even did a little bit of alternative stand up on stage from time to time , once in 2014 and another at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in 2016 which was very hard because even though I performed ok and people found it flawless. What I really wanted to do was cancel my performance and break down crying because my Twin Flame was Running at her absolute worst making out with other women and trying to be as nasty as possible and it scared the crap out of me and I even thought she was a sociopath and told somebody which I regret. 
A lot of that shock and frustration came out within the second half of 2016 unfortunately . But of course I love my Twin Flame and forgive , so that explains why it was expressed by several fictional characters and never a direct caricature of my Twin Flame . 

Speaking of my Twin Flame , I did tell my Twin Flame around the time when I didn’t realize the telepathic communication soulmate spirit I was channeling quietly at bedtime for 9 years WAS ACTUALLY THIS VERY PERSON WHO I WAS TALKING TO FACE TO FACE , I did tell her about Bad Public Cable Access Television.

My Twin Flame performs as a Drag King and what I find ironic is how on Bad Public Cable Access Television , I didn’t mind looking cheap. Even The Erica Crooks Show recycled cardboard because Art is a craft . I even drew the fake facial hair and had cheap costume changes and stuff. And it’s interesting because I noticed my Twin Flame did similar stuff even using the art form of crafts unto her act.

At Twin Flame Union , I should ask if Bad Public Cable Access Television inspired her a little bit. 

Also what’s interesting is just how many views Bad Public Cable Access Television has got on youtube !

And I think people hate it because it’s not REAL Camp Public Access Television Shows but a satire on it .

It was what it was. Though I think a Graphic Novel approach to Bad Public Cable Access Television might be cool. 

Though here’s the thing , Public Access Television might be one of those things that’s going to fade out .

But at least I got a chance to knock the piss out of it. lol

_ Erica

For more hilarious puppet and cartoon animation parodies , Dark Comedy humor , satires and funny stupid videos for adults
( and other cool stuff )
visit The Official Erica Crooks Websites :

 #badpubliccableaccesstelevision #publicaccess #publicaccesstv #publicaccesstelevision #ericacrooks #darkcomedy #dragking #transdragking #transgenderdragking #darkhumor #darkhumour #satire #comedywebseries #comedywebshow #darkcomedy #blackcomedy #slapstick #altcomedy #alternativecomedy #comedy #standupcomedy #standup #improvcomedy #pranks #theericacrooksshow #trans #transgender #lgbt #twinflame #twinflames #twinflamelesbians 

Art vs Business : Not All Artists Are Created Equal

Art vs Business : Not All Artists Are Created Equal

( Image from : The Erica Crooks Show 2017 Season : Happy Mascot Man sketch )

Even before I became the anti-capitalist libertarian socialist Anarchist I am today , just the idea of selling off art like a Pimp does with a prostitute is something that always made me cringe to the soul . 
The reason I didn’t think money was the root of all evil is probably because of just living in a society where there are in fact good people who happen to make a living doing what they love doing probably because it was the work they admired , not the money.
Jim Henson is a great example of that. He was an artist first and foremost , and really the only reason why he had a company in the first place was so he could earn and raise enough money to do the art he always dreamed of.
There’s even a book about that “ Make Money , Make Art .” 
Sure Jim was able to enjoy luxuries but here’s the thing , he treated his employees like friends because THEY WERE HIS FRIENDS ! That was his second family. Jim Henson and The Muppet Group were a team. Just because Jim was the boss , didn’t mean he was like a boss.
I strongly recommend the Brian Jay Jones book “ Jim Henson : The Biography “ which my opinion is still strong as it was when the book came out , the #1 Jim Henson documentary EVER !

But there’s a big difference between The Muppets of the 1970s vs The Muppets of the 1980s . In fact , LOTS OF MAJOR DIFFERENCES . But business can totally be an indicator.
In the 1970s , The Muppets had their worldwide success staring on Sesame Street as most already know even 50 years later. And of course Jim’s dream Muppet Project which was a HUGE STRUGGLE to get perhaps THE FIRST ADULT PUPPET SHOW ON MAINSTREAM TELEVISION “ The Muppet Show “ .
The 1980s was different because The Muppet Show ended , Sesame Street was still running. Jim created Fraggle Rock , he was doing his dream film projects The Dark Crystal , Labyrinth , The Storyteller but they weren't successes like The Muppets. Muppets Take Manhattan didn’t do so well at the box office. So the company was starting to sell out with Muppet Babies , Jim Henson’s Play a Long Video , Little Muppet Monsters , Elmo was slowly becoming a major character ( but more so in the 1990s aka Tickle Me Elmo etc ) . The Jim Henson Hour wasn't a success . 
Jim was going to sell to Disney. DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN ? DO YOU SEE THE STRUGGLE ?
And also remember when I just said that The Muppet Show was for ADULTS ! The Muppets have always been for the most part for everyone , but most importantly reaching to the inner child aspect of adults. The saddest thing about the 1980s I think was just like what was happening with Looney Tunes , The Flintstones , the early attempts of non-human fictional art for adults were started to be marketing towards CHILDREN ! As this Kids thing. There was even this Traffic Safety thing with The Muppet Show Muppets. 
There’s a big difference between The Walt Disney Company putting The Muppets on Disney Jr ( not the revival of Muppet Babies which was sort of recent , but the actual Muppets )
and what was happening at Jim Henson Productions during Jim Henson’s final years living on Earth. Jim was struggling , Disney doesn't care. Speaking of Looney Tunes , did you know that Chuck Jones thought Space Jam was a stupid idea ? He was going to direct the next Looney Tunes movie I think. Frank Oz was going to direct the next Muppet movie which could have been the lost script written by Jim Henson , Jerry Juhl and Frank Oz “ The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever . “ And it was something which was going back to the original 1970s Muppet Magic. Gonzo directs a movie and messes it all up. lol :P Hilarious. But guess what we got instead , Muppets Most Wanted ! And you want to know why Muppets From Space was only 50% good ? Jerry Juhl’s script was butchered because there was all these addictional Hollywood Gimics through out from Alien Gonzos , Sam the Eagle dancing with girls on the beach , to cheap Toilet and Karate chop to the balls gags. It’s like Star Wars fans doing fan edits , someone could do a fan edit of Muppets From Space taking all that garbage out , and Muppets From Space would have been seen more so as Jerry Juhl’s last work.

Ok so my work has cheap low brow humor too. But as I stated previously regarding The Happytime Murders , when it isn’t creative enough , it’s crap. So in a way Muppets From Space’s cheap gags are slightly funny but DOES IT REALLY WORK WITH THESE CHARACTERS ? Ok , Animal and the toilet scene sort of. But DOES IT WORK WITH THE STORY ? NO !

Anyway back to Jim Henson and The Disney Deal.

The books “ Jim Henson : The Biography " and “ Street Gang " and even “ Make Money , Make Art “ showed that Jim Henson was struggling with Disney during the end of his life. They Disney people were heartless and this was the sort of thing Jim Henson did not take likely.

By the way , for those who don't already know this , Jim Henson’s MBTI personality type is INFP . It’s right there in the Brian Jay Jones book . Jim Henson DID take the Myers Briggs Personality Type and it said he was “ The Idealist “ ( aka INFP ) .

As an INFP myself , I can definitely relate to all that. 

And that’s the thing about capitalism , it’s not only deadly and toxic to everyone , it is especially to artists.

But unfortunately there’s artists out there who only do it for the money. It makes you question about John Kricfalusi , George Lucas and Matt Groening ( separated from birth ? lol  I couldn't resist . ) now a days. 

In Henson’s Place ( 1986 ) when mentioning the short lived Muppet Store ( which I wish existed in the 1990s outside Walt Disney World which was the last existing one in my childhood years ) , Jim Henson mentioned that on one hand it was serving the needs of the audience if someone wanted a Fozzie Bear or Wembley Fraggle in their home or on their clothes , then there’s the other side where it helps bring money back into projects. “ Puppeteers need to be well paid and our projects are very expensive , but we are living in the real world here. It would be nice if that weren't the case however. “

Frank Oz finished Muppet Vision 3D for Jim Henson after his passing and he didn't want Disney to pay him which is understandable . Jim passed away and Frank wanted to finish this film for Jim. Frank Oz mentioned this story at the Star Wars Weekend at Walt Disney World a few years back. Eisner and Katzenberg didn’t understand. So Frank Oz said just to get these guys off his back “ Fine , you want to pay me , how about some new socks. “ So they gave him a huge back of Mickey Mouse socks. Sure this may seem funny , innocent , and silly but again read the books , Eisner and Katzenberg WERE FUCKING PRICKS ! Pardon my language but I strongly feel it was needed. If you read the books , especially the Brian Jay Jones “ Jim Henson : The Biography “ book , just look at how pissed off they made Jim Henson. 
It would be controversial of me to come up with a conspiracy theory but if you read the books and come to the realization that perhaps all of this stressed out Jim Henson inwardly so much , that he passed away on the week he was going to sign everything off to Disney , it makes you think. Most Muppet Fans I think don’t even talk about this. 

And if there’s something I hope people realize is that sometimes you got to separate the artists from the business a little bit. Not every cartoonist ended up like John Kricfalusi.

Seriously , read Joe Murray’s ( Rocko’s Modern Life ) Creating Animated Cartoons with Character . Also Joe is an environmentalist ! 

All of this reminds me of that guy I was on the phone with looking for a college internship at some sort of film production studio since that’s what my father forced me to go because he didn’t like the idea of me going to some Fine Arts college. This jerk on the phone said to me “ Listen Kid , It’s not about art , it’s all about making money ! “ 
And if you heard that repeated a lot on The Erica Crooks Show since 2008 , know you know.

Even in college I was very rebellious about art and business . In filmmaking class I must have kept pissing my teacher off with my satirical short films like “ Today’s Hollywood “ and “ Everybody Hates You ( a parody of the 1980s song Everybody Wants You ) “ and all were ANTI-CAPITALIST and a big satirical middle finger at the mainstream Hollywood entertainment industry , but with puppets. lol My father was pissed off afraid that I was going to get thrown out of college for my shenanigans . Whatever that bully is out of my life ! 

But like I was mentioning , not all artists are equal. There could be puppeteers to have claimed to work with Jim Henson but as a background puppeteer. If fans don’t know who they are , maybe there’s a reason. There’s one which was a guest at my Muppet Show fan panel at a local Comic Con that I did who was trying to take the spotlight for himself. I told him that the reason why he was there in the first place was the people at that comic con said he wanted to join in. And I said ok to it because he claimed to work for Jim Henson himself . Which was great because that is who the panel WAS FOR ! The panel was NOT FOR ME , The panel was NOT FOR HIM , it was for Jim Henson and the original Muppet Team as well as a spit at Disney for barely doing anything for The Muppet Show’s 40th Anniversary other then the Dr Teeth and The Electric Mayhem Concert . WHERE’S SEASONS 4 AND 5 ON DVD AND ITUNES ? I’ve BEEN WAITING 10 YEARS DAMN IT ! ( again pardon the language ) .

This guy had something at his comic con table which perhaps DID NOT BELONG TO HIM.
I let a very good puppeteer friend of mine know. And perhaps I shouldn’t say anything further. But we both agreed , this guy was SCUM !

In my lifetime , I have came across people who may have had the artistic skills and talent but there was something they cared about more than the creative freedom of artistic expression . MONEY !

And of course , I’m not going to bitch and nag at every artist earning things. Hell , when I had my film screenings in 2015 and 2017 , I actually wanted the film screenings to be for free.
When I had an artist table at RI Comic Con in 2015 , I was willing to give autographed drawings for free. But no one showed up. It’s a good thing I had a looping 6 hour video of my videos on one small HD TV with a broken stand on one side and a small flat screen computer monitor with web comics in an automatic slideshow sort of thing on the other. Sure I paid the extra hundred and so for the electricity , but IT’S A REALLY COOL IDEA if you think about it. Plus a free VIP pass if you do panels ( or the table but the panels don’t cost anything but anything can change. )  . Unfortunately as I stated in a previous post about an idea for a NEW COMIC CON , it just relates to everything I’m saying. Capitalist kills art.

And again , I’m not going to bitch and nag at anyone who’s trying to earn a living with what they do. But what I’m trying to say is this. You can tell if someone is passionate about their work vs just doing it for money !

If we were all living in a libertarian socialist Anarchist society / 5D Earth , then it’s going to be just like the curtain being pulled revealing THE WIZARD OF OZ for who is really and truly is ! 

The true artists will stand out , and those wannabes and hasbeens who don’t care as much as the fans do will step aside.

I wonder which side Steve Whitmire is on ? That’s still a mystery and another thing I don’t think Muppet fans will talk about. And perhaps I already said something about that in my “ Transgender Artists “ video blog when I found out that Steve Whitmire was making a cheap Transgender joke with a random stuffed frog saying he wasn’t Kermit. It’s 2018 PEOPLE , NOT the 1970s when people didn’t have the internet and were aware about stuff like they are now thanks to the internet ! SAVE THE INTERNET / NET NEUTRALITY / IMPEACH THE REPUBLICANS ! 

Anyway I hope people can see a little bit regarding artists.
Perhaps this in the art / entertainment world separates the Workers from the Capitalists !

_ Erica

For more hilarious puppet and cartoon animation parodies , Dark Comedy humor , satires and funny stupid videos for adults
( and other cool stuff )
visit The Official Erica Crooks Websites :

 #art #entertainment #fandom #comiccon #puppetry #puppeteers #cartoons #animation #anarchy #anarchist #anarchism #ericacrooks #animators #cartoonists #puppeteer #cartoonist #animator #puppetbuilder #puppet #puppets #anticapitalist #anticapitalism #capitalismkills #capitalismkillsart #makeart #artist #artists #filmmaker #indpendentfilmmaker #filmmaking