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Worlds Without End Blog

Thies’ Pieces: Top Jimmy Posted at 7:30 AM by Paul Thies


Capricorn_OneIt’s turning out to be quite the summer of government scandal.  Pick your poison: The IRS. The NSA. The AP. Benghazi. James Rosen.

It’s not surprising, then, that this month we are also celebrating the 35th anniversary of one of the penultimate conspiracies of the U.S. government.

I’m referring of course to the flight of Capricorn One.

Here’s the skinny. James Brolin and crew were the first men slated to land on Mars. However, right before their launch a technical problem was discovered in their ship and the government pulled them out. Now they could have just postponed the flight, but no, the government had a better idea (I’ve heard that one before): film a fake Martian landing in an Arizona soundstage.

An investigative reporter was tipped off to the rouse by an insider, and the government decided it had to fake the astronauts’ deaths a la crash landing to conceal the truth. Which meant they’d have to kill the astronauts for real. Jimmy Brolin and his mates caught wind and went on the lam, black helicopters in tow.

BrolinI won’t spoil the ending, but you can guess that James Brolin proved to be every bit as elusive as Ed Snowden, but with better hair.

In this time of rampant cronyism, lack of transparency and unfathomable intrusiveness, America needs someone with experience bucking government malfeasance. With the 2016 Presidential election coming up, don’t be surprised if a sea of “I’m Rollin’ with Brolin” bumper stickers are seen motoring down the highways of America.

That’s right; James Brolin for President.

To kick off his campaign in style, let’s take a look at

The Top Ten “James” of 70s Sci-Fi Who are Not Brolin

James_Doohan10. James Doohan (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) – The WWEnd lawyers warned me that if I didn’t include someone from Star Trek in the list, I could be facing a nerd class action lawsuit. And as we learned this summer, apparently the IRS likes Star Trek, too. Alright, so here you go. This is to cover my bacon.

James_Earl_Jones9. James Earl Jones (Star Wars: A New Hope) – A key member of Governor Tarkin’s re-election bid, Darth Vader set the paradigm emulated by all campaign managers in modern American politics. Rumor has it he even had G. Gordon Liddy on speed dial.

jim_dale_digby8. Jim Dale (Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World) –Forget V’Ger and the Death Star; I’m much more daunted at the prospect of pooper scooping after an English sheepdog the size of Howard Taft. If Roger Waters of Pink Floyd had a sense of humor and made kids’ movies, he’d be Jim Dale.

James_Olson7. James Olson (The Andromeda Strain) – Secret government installation? Check. Space funk? Check. Imminent human extinction? Check. Somebody get this guy a Ricola!

James_Franciscus6. James Franciscus (Beneath the Planet of the Apes) – In politics, there are doves and there are hawks. And then, as this film showed us, there are subterranean mutants who worship atomic bombs and can peel their faces like bananas. Props to Jim Franciscus for attempting to negotiate a SALT treaty while dressed in a fur diaper.

James-Caan-in-Rollerball5. James Caan (Rollerball) – Still mad about being killed off in The Godfather, Caan epitomized ‘roid rage in the roller rink. Cue KC and the Sunshine Band.

James_Coburn4. James Coburn (Goldengirl) – Before Jeff Gillooly and Team Tonya Harding attempted to fix the 1994 Olympics, James Coburn and Team Susan Anton attempted to fix the Moscow Olympics, thanks to some science fictiony performance enhancing voodoo. As sports agents go, Coburn’s villainy is matched only by the guy who got Ryan Leaf signed by the Cowboys.

James_Mason3. James Mason (The Boys From Brazil) – He worked for a shadowy organization and bossed Gregory Peck around like he was a Congressional page. There’s something about the smooth menace of James Mason that whispers, “Yes, I really am reading your emails.”

Jim_Backus2. Jim Backus (Now You See Him, Now You Don’t; C.H.O.M.P.S.; Ark II; Fantasy Island; The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon; Kolchak: The Night Stalker; I Dream of Jeannie) – In the 70s, Thurston Howell III was a one-man super PAC of cheesy sci-fi greatness. Say what you will, but he was seeing more action than a donor at a White House dinner.

jimmy_carter1. Jimmy Carter (39th President of the United States, 1977 – 1980) – Stars Wars. Alien. Close Encounters. And of course, Saturday Night Live’s Coneheads. Carter was president at a time when the country’s woes created a fertile landscape for escapist science fiction. Which makes sense, as his policies and administration were themselves the stuff of science fiction.

Here’s hoping I don’t get audited.


icowrich   |   06 Jul 2013 @ 18:19

“we are also celebrating the 35th anniversary of one of the penultimate conspiracies of the U.S. government.”

Can’t there only be one penultimate conspiracy?

Paul Thies   |   06 Jul 2013 @ 20:01

Well, technically, yes there should only be one – but in a pluralistic society with more than one political party, who gets to decide what that penultimate conspiracy is?

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