mighty organ

The Origin of the Tsuburaya Productions Logo

Tsuburaya Productions has a pretty cool logo if you ask me.

But where did they get it?  Who designed it?  How long have they been using it?

The answer to all of those can be found in the 1968 production Mighty Jack!

Eiji Tsuburaya considered Mighty Jack to be his masterwork because of its focus on characters and people over mecha and monsters.  It was a story of a top-secret International Peace-Keeping organization who travelled the world fighting the evil, terrorist organization “Q” in their flying submarine.  Both the Submarine and the Organization itself were known as Mighty Jack.

The logo for the Mighty Jack organization was designed by Tsuburaya’s famous artist Tohru Narita and looked like this:

It was this logo sans the rings and M.J. that would become the official logo for Tsuburaya Productions and is in use to this day.

Sadly, Mighty Jack was not a ratings hit and the sequel Fight! Mighty Jack! added in aliens and monsters to boost ratings.  It worked.

A lot of Americans might know this series best from the Sandy Frank movie version which took episodes 1 and 6 and combined them into a feature-length along with an English dub.  This version appeared on the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1991 as part of its third season.

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So downtown there is this adorable little cinema that my best friend loves called the Byrd Theatre that was built in 1928. It’s one of the Nations’s Grand Movie Palaces and is both a State and National Historic landmark. You can see second-run movies for $1.99. You can still catch a Saturday night performance of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ prior to the movie.

Her boyfriend knows her well, and wins all the awards. 

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For “My Body Is a Cage” and “Intervention,” Win and Régine heard in their aural imaginations the sound of a mighty organ, so they rented the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Montreal with its 500-pipe instrument; after an engineer miked the entire place, Régine recorded the parts in a series of single takes (though there was a half-second delay between depressing the keys and the overwhelming sound it generated) while the band tracks played into her headphones.

The New York Times, March 4, 2007

I can't bring myself to celebrate

It’s Gay Marriage USA today, but it brings me no joy. Twelve years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down sodomy laws across the country. That day is inextricably linked to this one. Yet the feelings on this day are so different from that one. I remember June 26, 2003 quite distinctly. I was an intern that summer at Equality North Carolina, a small but mighty organization that then was teetering on the brink of financial collapse. We were in desperate need of good news. At the time, North Carolina was the South’s bastion of progressivism, such as it was. Yet consensual same-sex intimate encounters were still illegal. I was living in Raleigh that summer with my partner Elijah – the first time I’d ever lived with anyone. We needed good news. 

I remember it well. The Supreme Court ruled that morning. An ordinary day at the office became something dramatically different. A party seemingly came out of nowhere at a cafe over in Durham. We raised some money. We had new energy. It was a good day. An odd victory, I suppose – “Hey, congrats! For the first time in your life, you can legally fuck!” – but a victory just the same.

I don’t feel that today. I feel all twisted up, raw, emotive, angsty, and disaffected. I grabbed a drink with a friend this evening after work, and noted to him that this seems like a victory for one group of folks – namely the affluent, white gays – won largely on the backs of trans women of color like Sylvia Rivera and Miss Major and Jennicet Gutierrez. Those women are, of course, unrecognized in today’s celebrations. And the ills they suffer – poverty, homelessness, inadequate healthcare, inaccessible education, rampant employment discrimination, violence both within and without our legal system – go on unabated. I hope that today’s ruling gives some poor child in some tiny Southern town a glimmer of joy for a better tomorrow, but I know from my own experience that probably isn’t the case. It’s hard to plan for your wedding when you’re constantly planning for how to stay alive.

A young black gay man was killed in DC early on Thursday morning. You haven’t heard about it yet. His story will be erased. He was walking to his boyfriend’s house. He was 21. Marriage will not bring him back. Nor will it bring back the dozens of trans and queer people that have been killed in DC in the last fifteen years. Marriage won’t make their schools safe. It won’t make their doctors competent. It won’t get them a job. And it sure as hell won’t stop a cop’s bullet from entering their chests. I just can’t seem to celebrate today. What I want to do is cry.

The last paragraph of today’s ruling, which so many have found beautiful, I find terrifying. It reinforces this myth that married couples are the ultimate members of our society, somehow more valuable, more productive, more worthy of protection than lowly single people or those who choose to construct their intimate relationships in other ways. In the same breath that rights are enshrined for a few, they continue to be disdained for many more. It’s frightening. I’m only barely able to contain tears and rage and sorrow and pain. Today was a victory, but look at the collateral damage. How many people died, their plights ignored, while the allegedly LGBT movement focused too much of its energies to getting to this moment? Can we even count them? Do we even know their names?

Of course we don’t.

My twitter exploded this morning when the ruling was issued. Tweets came in by the hundreds. There was no way to catch them all. Of course, the message was clear: marriage was won, and it was time to celebrate. What a momentous occasion for equality. This afternoon, as President Obama gave a stunning and vibrant eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a man who died at the hands of a racist killer – a man who clearly did justice, loved mercy, and walked humbly – those same digital voices were largely silent. White gay twitter went quiet. Black twitter was alive. As someone who grew up among dozens of Dylann Roof clones, the silence was deafening. I’ve seen that kind of hatred. It has looked me in the eye. It has threatened my own life. But it seemed that no one shouting with joy this morning was shouting with grace this afternoon.

Equality is a weak word. It lacks ambition. It lacks hope. Those who seek only equality do so with seemingly no understanding of the injustice in this world. Imagine yourself walking up to the top of your local pile and saying to the man up there (and it will be a man): “Hi, my name is Jason, and I want to be just like you,” and the man says, “But what about all the people you passed on the way here?” and you say “Who?” and so he says, “Yes, ok, you’re in.” That’s equality, and that is this day.

Congratulations on joining the crowd of oppressors. You’ve made it. You’ve moved on up. You’ve finally got your piece of the pie.

What? Millions can’t even reach the pie? Well, that’s their problem.

I have no interest in equality. What I want is justice. I want the death to stop. I want the homelessness to end. I want healthy, vibrant people equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their dreams. I want a system of laws that values life more than it values order and the status quo. Lacking those things, I can’t bring myself to celebrate this day.