Erick Avari b. 1952
Ron Perlman b. 1950
With today's choices of birthdays, the Pretty Girl rule is rendered moot, so I give the picture this year to Ron Perlman, who has had more roles near the top of the bill than Mr. Avari, who is also a terrific actor. In genre, Perlman's best known roles are his title characters, Beauty and The Beast on TV and Hellboy in the movies.
For anyone uncertain, on the TV show he was the second billed character, not the first. I have to say without any ill will, there is a line in the song Goin' Out West by Perlman lookalike Tom Waits that I think best describes him.
My friends say I'm ugly, I got a masculine face.
Many happy returns to both gentleman.
Prediction: In 1946, the United Kingdom goes to war with Nicaragua.
Predictor: Stella Gibbons in her novel Cold Comfort Farm, published 1932
Reality: Cold Comfort Farm may be the oddest piece of predictive fiction I have ever come across. Ms. Gibbons sets her story about twenty years ahead for just a few toss-off gags that are completely unnecessary to the plot.
The idea of the futuristic setting with several events that might surprise her readers is that the surprises are mostly noticeable in London but completely unseen in the countryside where most of the story takes place. Besides the war, fashionable Mayfair has become a slum and Gibbons writes about TV phones and air-taxis, which sounds very close to flying cars, though they could just as easily be planes for hire.
Cold Comfort Farm is one of those odd pieces of fiction, a parody that is now more famous than the genre it originally set out to skewer. Many British works of fiction follow the hopeful young lady from a good family who has fallen on hard times, cast out to be taken in by odd relatives, usually living far out in the country. In the early 1930s, these books were waggishly called the Loam And Lovechild genre, owing a great deal to the writings of Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters and Thomas Hardy, though most of the work of the late 1920s and early 1930s was not of the same level as literature. Ms. Gibbons makes her heroine Flora Poste not a helpless waif sure to be seduced and abandoned, but a charming young woman with nearly superhero levels of kindness and cleverness, much more like Jeeves than like Lizzie Bennett. Her own marital status is not a Problem To Be Solved in the book. Men fall all over her and she has no interest in picking any of them until she helped all the people she believed needed her help. As for being adorable, the 1995 version of the film had Kate Beckingsale as Flora, and in that era she was at the top of the Adorable Ingenue list in Britain at that time.
It should also be noted that in the 1995 film, the action takes place in the 1930s, not the 1950s and all the futuristic embellishments are completely ignored.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Instead of seeing what the early 1930s thought the 1950s would look like, we return tomorrow to our series written in 1988 looking forward to the wonderful advancements of... 2013!
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!