Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon Category Archive: Goats


Posted at 6:00 AM on March 5, 2010 by Dale Connelly (61 Comments)
Filed under: Goats

The Oscars will be given away Sunday night.

I say "given away" like the gold statues are totally free, but of course each one carries with it a long list of obligations and expectations that could turn out to be a burden for the recipient. Being an "Academy Award Winner" is not easy. Or so I hear.

Unfortunately, the Trial Balloon movie "Goats From Outer Space" hasn't been nominated in any category.

This is another case where the small film suffers unfairly because it does not have the necessary marketing or political connections to get the attention of the Academy. Being exceptional simply isn't enough to win an award these days. You have to campaign for the laurels, and we are too dignified for that.

Our film is also being discriminated against because it hasn't been written, financed, shot, edited, or distributed.

2_Astronaut Goat.jpg

There is also a certain amount of discomfort surrounding this project because the Hollywood elite recognize it as the brainchild of a group of people who rarely, if ever, actually go out to see movies. That's a handicap? I see it as one of our greatest strengths!

And "Goats From Outer Space" has already been cast. In some cases it has been DOUBLE cast with numerous mega-stars tagged to play specific roles. And while it may be true that the stars in question don't even know that they've been selected and there's absolutely no money to pay them, that's still quite an accomplishment for a film without a script!

And yet the naysayers continue to disparage "GFOS" by ignoring it completely. Well, I for one am tired of so called "critics" focusing on what a film doesn't have instead of what it does have! In this case that the "does have" column would include two important things - no actual artistic or box office failures yet, and unlimited potential!

When you look at it that way, "Goats From Outer Space" may already be the best movie EVER! If only there was an Oscar category for "Best Intentions Surrounding an Unmade Film". We'd be sharing a gold statue on Sunday night!

I'll watch the Academy Awards until the disappointment and rage I've swallowed overwhelms me, or until my usual bedtime at 9:15 pm, whichever comes first. I'll try to project good thoughts and congratulations towards the beautiful, happy people stumbling through their thank-you's, though it is hard to be gracious when you know you've been overlooked!

What is the most promising and rewarding project that you will never, ever actually attempt?

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Marking Territory

Posted at 6:00 AM on March 3, 2010 by Dale Connelly (49 Comments)
Filed under: Goats, Poetry

Thanks to those who have volunteered to write a blog during my next scheduled absence during the weeks of March 29th and April 5th.

So far I've heard from Barb, Beth-Ann, Clyde, Barbara and Donna. That's five of ten slots spoken for. Old hands and newcomers are welcome. There are no rules or restrictions on repeat guesting. It would be rather silly of me to suggest that someone had posted too often, given that my personal count is approaching 400 entries.


Animals in the News

Earlier this week a goat led police on a chase that started in a Taco Bell parking lot and led to a dead-end alley in Odessa, Texas (thanks to Beth-ann for the tip). Also, bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation in Yellowstone.

These two stories are written from the human perspective, of course. Thus a goat at Taco Bell is a problem to be solved by police, and a grizzly bear out of his den is a threat and a reason to carry pepper spray and a gun, even though carrying the gun in Yellowstone is legal but firing it is not. Odd.

It made me wonder how an animal might view these developments, so I took a chance and sent a quick e-mail query to Billy Bovid Capra, America's Poet Ungulate.

Sure, he's a goat, but he's also a tenured professor of English at Barth College, and is as quick as Clyde when it comes to tossing off a few lines of verse. Here's his response.

Stand Off

Drop that chalupa, and put up your hooves.
You are going straight back to the pen.

At the Taco Bell drive-up a goat might get served
But I wouldn't attempt to say when.

Don't you bleat or try anything tricky or sly,
Just a flinch and my darts tranquilize you.

And don't fish for leftover food in the trash.
Quesedillas alone supersize you.

Over there! With the fur! Name is Yogi, correct?
I am not scared of you although I'm shaking.

See this gun? And I've also got peppery spray.
No, my beer and chips aren't for the taking.

I came to see nature and dine in the wild.
And not to be dinner instead.

If I were a bear facing me, as you are
I'd surrender and go back to bed!

All you four legged animals better stay back.
I'm a dangerous creature. Beware!

Stay away from the places I've marked as my space.
Over here. Over there. Everywhere!

What do you consider to be your territory?

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Space Goats, Part 2

Posted at 6:00 AM on January 7, 2010 by Dale Connelly (77 Comments)
Filed under: Goats

Yesterday, I quite seriously suggested we develop a movie scenario about Invading Goats from Outer Space. In the ensuing discussion, Heartlanders took this idea to be a rather lighthearted, inconsequential concept, and that's exactly what it should be as long as you do not turn out to be one of the unfortunate Earthlings to fall under the hoof of an Extraterrestrial Goat.

2_Astronaut Goat.jpg

When (not if) that happens, then the idea suddenly becomes deadly serious.

I can't get it out of my mind. Look at that face and think about it for a moment.

Goats from outer space!

Any invading force has to have a reason for wanting to take over a territory.
The essential question we had to answer yesterday was "Why?"
"What are they after?"

The options for Space Goat Motivation fell into these general areas:

Room for Expansion
A Population to Dominate (us!)

More specific reasons included:

They have come to eat Christmas.
They run CARLOS (Covert Abduction Research Lab from Outer Space)
They are monitoring The Cows (also alien)
Goats are climbers, and Earth was the next rock in sight.

It seems to me in a movie of this sort the invading force should actually have two motivating factors - what we think the reason is, and what it really is.

I like all our options as an explanation what we THINK drives the space goats.

Because we Earthlings always think everything is about US, I'll choose "A Population to Dominate (us!) as the presumed reason.

But what it is REALLY?

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Goats From Outer Space

Posted at 6:00 AM on January 6, 2010 by Dale Connelly (38 Comments)
Filed under: Goats

This afternoon at 1, we'll repeat Sunday night's broadcast of a Radio Heartland exclusive - a series called Americana Showcase .

Organized by Brandon Sampson and the band Six Mile Grove, these shows bring together musicians from southeastern Minnesota, the Twin Cities, Nashville and beyond for performances at Rochester's Civic Theater.

The January installment features Brandon along with Dezi Wallace, The Flatwheelers (Martin Devaney and Jake Hyer), and Chris Knight, an excellent songwriter who is often compared with Steve Earle and John Prine.

Americana Showcase will be heard the first Sunday of the month at 6 pm, with a repeat broadcast the following Wednesday at 1 pm.

My, what a busy, chatty group you have been in the scant two days since I returned to the studio! The back-and-forth in the comments section has been exceptionally brisk. Yesterday a strong interest surfaced regarding alien abduction theories as a plausible explanation for mysteriously lost hours, misplaced identity and other missing valuables. I should have known.

It will not surprise you to hear that there are other communities on the internet that share your tendency to believe this bizarre explanation for a world of troubles - that aliens are among us and are messing with our stuff and with our minds.

2_Alba Alteration 8_2.jpeg

It was a few weeks ago that I posted this photo of what I casually claimed was an actual image of a Goat Queen from Outer Space issuing invasion orders. I immediately went to great lengths to assert that I had doctored the photo and there was, in fact, no reason to panic. Hmmm. Why try so hard to calm fears that hadn't been expressed .... Unless!

Could it be the rumors are true?

No, the rumors are not true. But I did hear from marketing analyst and idea man Spin Williams, who had this to say about the topic:

"It's a great time for space alien theories in general. At The Meeting That Never Ends, we regularly review ideas for movie projects to determine if there is a market, and I can tell you that right now people hunger for stories that explain human behavior in a way that shows humans are NOT RESPONSIBLE for a lot of the stuff that is going on. The most promising script to come before us recently told the story of an incredibly successful athlete and celebrity with this amazing twist - he was a space invader sent here on a mission to impregnate as many Earth Women as possible before being recalled to his home planet. Genius!"
But Spin went on to say that legal problems with the copyright status of words like "Tiger" and "Woods" will probably keep that movie from being made.

Regarding the Alien Goat Force concept, he said:

"Goats are an under-exploited animal in Hollywood. Dogs, Cats, Bears, Whales, Dolphins and Chipmunks have been done to death ... but goats are still fresh and new. Image-wise, of course."

So the field is wide open. The world might be ready for a movie about Goats from Outer Space, but it will happen only if we decide to write it.

I guess the first step would be to determine their motivation.

If Goats from Outer Space invaded Earth, what would they want?

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