Pierre Francis de Marigny Berton was a noted Canadian author of non-fiction Canadiana and Canadian history, was a television personality and journalist. He won many awards for his books. An accomplished storyteller, Berton was one of Canada's most popular authors, he wrote on popular culture, Canadian history, critiques of mainstream religion, children's books and historical works for youth. He was a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community. Berton's 50 books became popular in part due to fast-paced writing style, he was born on July 12, 1920, in Whitehorse, where his father had moved for the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. His family moved to Dawson City, Yukon in 1921, his mother, Laura Beatrice Berton was a school teacher in Toronto until she was offered a job as a teacher in Dawson City at the age of 29 in 1907. She met Frank Berton in the nearby mining town of Granville shortly after settling in Dawson and teaching kindergarten.
Laura Beatrice Berton's autobiography of life in the Yukon entitled I Married the Klondike was published in her years and gave her, what her son Pierre describes as'a modicum of fame, which she enjoyed.'Berton's family moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 1932. At age 12 he joined the Scout Movement and wrote that "The Scout Movement was the making of me", he credited Scouting with keeping him from becoming a juvenile delinquent. He started his journalism career in scouting and wrote that "the first newspaper I was associated with was a weekly typewritten publication issued by the Seagull Patrol of St. Mary’s Troop." He remained in scouting for seven years and wrote about his experiences in an article titled "My Love Affair with the Scout Movement". Like his father, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his years as a history major at the University of British Columbia, where he worked on the student paper The Ubyssey, he spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily, replacing editorial staff, called up during the Second World War.
Berton himself was conscripted into the Canadian Army under the National Resources Mobilization Act in 1942 and attended basic training in British Columbia, nominally as a reinforcement soldier intended for The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. He elected to "go Active" and his aptitude was such that he was appointed Lance Corporal and attended NCO school, became a basic training instructor in the rank of corporal. Due to a background in university Canadian Officers' Training Corps and inspired by other citizen-soldiers, commissioned, he sought training as an officer. Berton spent the next several years attending a variety of military courses, becoming, in his words, the most trained officer in the military, he was warned for overseas duty many times, was granted embarkation leave many times, each time finding his overseas draft being cancelled. A coveted trainee slot with the Canadian Intelligence Corps saw Berton, now a Captain, trained to act as an Intelligence Officer, after a stint as an instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, he went overseas in March 1945.
In the UK, he was told that he would have to requalify as an IO because the syllabus in the UK was different from that in the intelligence school in Canada. By the time Berton had requalified, the war in Europe had ended, he volunteered for the Canadian Army Pacific Force, granted a final "embarkation leave", found himself no closer to combat employment by the time the Japanese surrendered in September 1945. In 1947 he went on an expedition to the Nahanni River with pilot Russ Baker. Berton's account for the Vancouver Sun was picked up by International News Service, making him a noted adventure-travel writer. Berton moved to Toronto in 1947. At the age of 31 he was named managing editor of Maclean's. In 1957, he became a key member of the CBC's public affairs flagship program, Close-Up, a permanent panelist on the popular television show Front Page Challenge; that same year, he narrated the Academy Award-nominated National Film Board of Canada documentary City of Gold, exploring life in his hometown of Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush.
He released an album in conjunction with Folkways Records, entitled The Story of the Klondike: Stampede for Gold – The Golden Trail. Berton joined the Toronto Star as associate editor of the Star Weekly and columnist for the daily paper in 1958, leaving in 1962 to commence The Pierre Berton Show, which ran until 1973. On this show in 1971 Berton interviewed Bruce Lee in what was to be the famous martial artist's only surviving television interview. Berton's television career included spots as host and writer on My Country, The Great Debate, Heritage Theatre, The Secret of My Success and The National Dream. From 1966 to 1984, Berton and long-time collaborator Charles Templeton made the daily syndicated radio debate show Dialogue. Berton served as the Chancellor of Yukon College and, along with numerous honorary degrees, received over 30 literary awards such as the Governor General's Award for Creative Non-Fiction, the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, the Gabrielle Léger Award for Lifetime Achievement in Heritage Conservation.
He is a member of Canada's Walk of Fame, having been inducted in 1998. In The Greatest Canadian project, he was voted No. 31 in the list of great Canadians. Berton was named Toronto Humanist of the Year 2003 by the Humanist Association of Toronto; the honour is presented by H. A. T. to men and women who, in
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper, published in Los Angeles, since 1881. It has the fourth-largest circulation among United States newspapers, is the largest U. S. newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast. The paper is known for its coverage of issues salient to the U. S. West Coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters, it has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine. In the nineteenth century, the paper was known for its civic boosterism and opposition to unions, the latter of which led to the bombing of its headquarters in 1910; the paper's profile grew in the 1960s under publisher Otis Chandler, who adopted a more national focus. In recent decades, the paper's readership has declined and it has been beset by a series of ownership changes, staff reductions, other controversies. In January 2018, the paper's staff voted to unionize, in July 2018 the paper moved out of its historic downtown headquarters to a facility near Los Angeles International Airport.
The Times was first published on December 4, 1881, as the Los Angeles Daily Times under the direction of Nathan Cole Jr. and Thomas Gardiner. It was first printed at the Mirror printing plant, owned by Jesse Yarnell and T. J. Caystile. Unable to pay the printing bill and Gardiner turned the paper over to the Mirror Company. In the meantime, S. J. Mathes had joined the firm, it was at his insistence that the Times continued publication. In July 1882, Harrison Gray Otis moved from Santa Barbara to become the paper's editor. Otis made the Times a financial success. Historian Kevin Starr wrote that Otis was a businessman "capable of manipulating the entire apparatus of politics and public opinion for his own enrichment". Otis's editorial policy was based on civic boosterism, extolling the virtues of Los Angeles and promoting its growth. Toward those ends, the paper supported efforts to expand the city's water supply by acquiring the rights to the water supply of the distant Owens Valley; the efforts of the Times to fight local unions led to the October 1, 1910 bombing of its headquarters, killing twenty-one people.
Two union leaders and Joseph McNamara, were charged. The American Federation of Labor hired noted trial attorney Clarence Darrow to represent the brothers, who pleaded guilty. Otis fastened a bronze eagle on top of a high frieze of the new Times headquarters building designed by Gordon Kaufmann, proclaiming anew the credo written by his wife, Eliza: "Stand Fast, Stand Firm, Stand Sure, Stand True." Upon Otis's death in 1917, his son-in-law, Harry Chandler, took control as publisher of the Times. Harry Chandler was succeeded in 1944 by his son, Norman Chandler, who ran the paper during the rapid growth of post-war Los Angeles. Norman's wife, Dorothy Buffum Chandler, became active in civic affairs and led the effort to build the Los Angeles Music Center, whose main concert hall was named the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in her honor. Family members are buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery near Paramount Studios; the site includes a memorial to the Times Building bombing victims. The fourth generation of family publishers, Otis Chandler, held that position from 1960 to 1980.
Otis Chandler sought legitimacy and recognition for his family's paper forgotten in the power centers of the Northeastern United States due to its geographic and cultural distance. He sought to remake the paper in the model of the nation's most respected newspapers, notably The New York Times and The Washington Post. Believing that the newsroom was "the heartbeat of the business", Otis Chandler increased the size and pay of the reporting staff and expanded its national and international reporting. In 1962, the paper joined with The Washington Post to form the Los Angeles Times–Washington Post News Service to syndicate articles from both papers for other news organizations, he toned down the unyielding conservatism that had characterized the paper over the years, adopting a much more centrist editorial stance. During the 1960s, the paper won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than its previous nine decades combined. Writing in 2013 about the pattern of newspaper ownership by founding families, Times reporter Michael Hiltzik said that: The first generations bought or founded their local paper for profits and social and political influence.
Their children enjoyed both profits and influence, but as the families grew larger, the generations found that only one or two branches got the power, everyone else got a share of the money. The coupon-clipping branches realized that they could make more money investing in something other than newspapers. Under their pressure the companies split apart, or disappeared. That's the pattern followed over more than a century by the Los Angeles Times under the Chandler family; the paper's early history and subsequent transformation was chronicled in an unauthorized history Thinking Big, was one of four organizations profiled by David Halberstam in The Powers That Be. It has been the whole or partial subject of nearly thirty dissertations in communications or social science in the past four decades; the Los Angeles Times began a decline with Los Angeles itself with the decline in military production at the end of the Cold War. It faced hiring freezes in 1991-1992. Another major decision at the same time was to cut the range of circulation.
They cut circulation in California's Central Valley, Nevada and the San Diego ed
Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian. Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of many different ethnic and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of Old World immigrants and their descendants. Following the initial period of French and the much larger British colonization, different waves of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today. Elements of Indigenous, French and more recent immigrant customs and religions have combined to form the culture of Canada, thus a Canadian identity. Canada has been influenced by its linguistic and economic neighbour—the United States. Canadian independence from the United Kingdom grew over the course of many years since the formation of the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
World War I and World War II in particular, gave rise to a desire among Canadians to have their country recognized as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship. Legislative independence was established with the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on January 1, 1947, full sovereignty was achieved with the patriation of the constitution in 1982. Canada's nationality law mirrored that of the United Kingdom. Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and socioeconomic development; as of 2010, Canadians make up only 0.5% of the world's total population, having relied upon immigration for population growth and social development. 41% of current Canadians are first- or second-generation immigrants, 20% of Canadian residents in the 2000s were not born in the country. Statistics Canada projects that, by 2031, nearly one-half of Canadians above the age of 15 will be foreign-born or have one foreign-born parent.
Indigenous peoples, according to the 2011 Canadian Census, numbered at 1,400,685 or 4.3% of the country's 33,476,688 population. While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of permanent settlers were the French, who founded the New France settlements, in present-day Quebec and Ontario. 100 Irish-born families would settle the Saint Lawrence Valley by 1700, assimilating into the Canadien population and culture. During the 18th and 19th century; this arrival of newcomers led to the creation of the Métis, an ethnic group of mixed European and First Nations parentage. The British conquest of New France was preceded by a small number of Germans and Swedes who settled alongside the Scottish in Port Royal, Nova Scotia, while some Irish immigrated to the Colony of Newfoundland. In the wake of the British Conquest of 1760 and the Expulsion of the Acadians, many families from the British colonies in New England moved over into Nova Scotia and other colonies in Canada, where the British made farmland available to British settlers on easy terms.
More settlers arrived during and after the American Revolutionary War, when 60,000 United Empire Loyalists fled to British North America, a large portion of whom settled in New Brunswick. After the War of 1812, British and Irish immigration was encouraged throughout Rupert's Land, Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Between 1815 and 1850, some 800,000 immigrants came to the colonies of British North America from the British Isles as part of the Great Migration of Canada; these new arrivals included some Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances to Nova Scotia. The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s increased the pace of Irish immigration to Prince Edward Island and the Province of Canada, with over 35,000 distressed individuals landing in Toronto in 1847 and 1848. Descendants of Francophone and Anglophone northern Europeans who arrived in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries are referred to as Old Stock Canadians. Beginning in the late 1850s, the immigration of Chinese into the Colony of Vancouver Island and Colony of British Columbia peaked with the onset of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.
The Chinese Immigration Act placed a head tax on all Chinese immigrants, in hopes of discouraging Chinese immigration after completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The population of Canada has risen, doubling every 40 years, since the establishment of the Canadian Confederation in 1867. In the mid-to-late 19th century, Canada had a policy of assisting immigrants from Europe, including an estimated 100,000 unwanted "Home Children" from Britain. Block settlement communities were established throughout western Canada between the late 19th and early 20th centuries; some were planned and others were spontaneously created by the settlers themselves. Canada was now receiving a large number of European immigrants, predominantly Italians, Scandinavians, Dutch and Ukrainians. Legislative restrictions on immigration that had favoured British and other European immigrants were a
Philip Edward Hartmann, better known as Phil Hartman, was a Canadian-American actor, comedian and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario and his family moved to the United States in 1958. After graduating from California State University, with a degree in graphic arts, he designed album covers for bands like Poco and America. Hartman joined the comedy group The Groundlings in 1975 and there helped comedian Paul Reubens develop his character Pee-wee Herman. Hartman co-wrote the screenplay for the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and made recurring appearances as Captain Carl on Reubens' show Pee-wee's Playhouse. Hartman garnered fame in 1986, he won fame for his impressions of President Bill Clinton, he stayed on the show for eight seasons. Given the moniker "The Glue" for his ability to hold the show together and help other cast members, Hartman won a Primetime Emmy Award for his SNL work in 1989. In 1995, after scrapping plans for his own variety show, he starred as Bill McNeal in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio.
He voiced various roles on The Simpsons, most notably Lionel Hutz from seasons 2–9 and Troy McClure from seasons 2–10. Other Simpsons characters included Mr. Muntz and minor characters, he had roles in the films Houseguest, Sgt. Bilko, Jingle All the Way, Small Soldiers and the English dub of Kiki's Delivery Service. Hartman had been divorced twice before he married Brynn Omdahl in 1987. However, their marriage was fractured, due in part to her drug use and Hartman’s own emotional distance, a factor in his previous two marriages ending. On May 28, 1998, Brynn Hartman shot and killed Hartman while he slept in their Encino, Los Angeles home killed herself several hours later. In the weeks following his death, Hartman was celebrated in a wave of tributes. Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly opined that Hartman was "the last person you'd expect to read about in lurid headlines in your morning paper... a decidedly regular guy, beloved by everyone he worked with." Hartman was posthumously inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2012 and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014.
Phil Hartman was born Philip Edward Hartmann on September 24, 1948, in Brantford, Canada. He was the fourth of eight children of Doris Marguerite and Rupert Loebig Hartmann, a salesman specializing in building materials, his parents raised their children in that faith. As a child Hartman found affection hard to earn and stated: "I suppose I didn't get what I wanted out of my family life, so I started seeking love and attention elsewhere."Hartman was ten years old when his family moved to the United States. The family first lived in Maine. There, Hartman attended Westchester High School and acted as the class clown. After graduating, Hartman studied art at Santa Monica City College, dropping out in 1969 to become a roadie with a rock band, he returned to school in 1972, this time studying graphic arts at California State University, Northridge. He developed his own graphic arts business, which he operated on his own, creating over 40 album covers for bands including Poco and America, as well as advertising and the logo for Crosby, Stills & Nash.
In the late 1970s, Hartman made his first television appearance on an episode of The Dating Game. Working alone as a graphic artist, Hartman amused himself with "flights of voice fantasies". Citing the need for a more social outlet for his talents, aged 27, began in 1975 to attend evening comedy classes run by the California-based improvisational comedy group The Groundlings. While watching one of the troupe's performances, Hartman impulsively decided to climb on stage and join the cast. Phil's first movie appearance was in the 1978 film Stunt Rock directed by Brian Trenchard Smith. After several years of training, paying his way by re-designing the group's logo and merchandise, Hartman formally joined the cast of The Groundlings. Hartman met comedian Paul Reubens and the two became friends collaborating on writing and comedic material. Together they created the character Pee-wee Herman and developed The Pee-wee Herman Show, a stage performance which aired on HBO in 1981. Hartman played Captain Carl on The Pee-wee Herman Show and returned in the role for the children's show Pee-wee's Playhouse.
Reubens and Hartman made cameos in the 1980 film Cheech & Chong's Next Movie. Hartman co-wrote the script of the 1985 feature film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and had a cameo role as a reporter in the film. Although he had considered quitting acting at the age of 36 due to limited opportunities, the success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure brought new possibilities and changed his mind. After a creative falling-out with Reubens, Hartman left the Pee-Wee Herman project to pursue other roles. In addition to his work with Reubens, Hartman recorded a number of voice-over roles; these included appearances on The Smurfs, Challenge of the GoBots, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, voicing characters Henry Mitchell and George Wilson on Dennis the Menace. Additionally Hartman developed a strong persona providing voice-overs for advertisements. After appearing in the 1986 films Jumpin' Jack Flash and Three Amigos, Hartman auditioned for NBC's variety show Saturday Night Live and joined the cast and writing staff, he told the Los Angeles Times, "I wanted to do because I wanted to get the exposure that would give me box-office credibility so I can write movies for myself."
In his eight seasons with the show Hartman beca
A film studio is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own owned studio facility or facilities that are used to make films, handled by the production company. The majority of firms in the entertainment industry have never owned their own studios, but have rented space from other companies. There are independently owned studio facilities, who have never produced a motion picture of their own because they are not entertainment companies or motion picture companies; the largest film studio in the world is Ramoji Film City, in India. In 1893, Thomas Edison built the first movie studio in the United States when he constructed the Black Maria, a tarpaper-covered structure near his laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey, asked circus and dramatic actors to perform for the camera, he distributed these movies at vaudeville theaters, penny arcades, wax museums, fairgrounds. The first film serial, What Happened to Mary, was released by the Edison company in 1912; the pioneering Thanhouser film studio was founded in New Rochelle, New York in 1909 by American theatrical impresario Edwin Thanhouser.
The company produced and released 1,086 films between 1910 and 1917 distributing them around the world. In the early 1900s, companies started moving to California. Although electric lights were by widely available, none were yet powerful enough to adequately expose film; some movies were shot on the roofs of buildings in Downtown Los Angeles. Early movie producers relocated to Southern California to escape Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company, which controlled all the patents relevant to movie production at the time; the first movie studio in the Hollywood area was Nestor Studios, opened in 1911 by Al Christie for David Horsley. In the same year, another 15 independents settled in Hollywood. Other production companies settled in the Los Angeles area in places such as Culver City and what would soon become known as Studio City in the San Fernando Valley; the Big 5 By the mid-1920s, the evolution of a handful of American production companies into wealthy motion picture industry conglomerates that owned their own studios, distribution divisions, theaters, contracted with performers and other filmmaking personnel, led to the sometimes confusing equation of "studio" with "production company" in industry slang.
Five large companies, 20th Century Fox, RKO Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer came to be known as the "Big Five," the "majors," or "the Studios" in trade publications such as Variety, their management structures and practices collectively came to be known as the "studio system." The Little 3 Although they owned few or no theaters to guarantee sales of their films, Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, United Artists fell under these rubrics, making a total of eight recognized "major studios". United Artists, although its controlling partners owned not one but two production studios during the Golden Age, had an often-tenuous hold on the title of "major" and operated as a backer and distributor of independently produced films. Smaller studios operated with "the majors." These included operations such as Republic Pictures, active from 1935, which produced films that matched the scale and ambition of the larger studio, Monogram Pictures, which specialized in series and genre releases.
Together with smaller outfits such as PRC TKO and Grand National, the minor studios filled the demand for B movies and are sometimes collectively referred to as Poverty Row. The Big Five's ownership of movie theaters was opposed by eight independent producers, including Samuel Goldwyn, David O. Selznick, Walt Disney, Hal Roach, Walter Wanger. In 1948, the federal government won a case against Paramount in the Supreme Court, which ruled that the vertically integrated structure of the movie industry constituted an illegal monopoly; this decision, reached after twelve years of litigation, hastened the end of the studio system and Hollywood's "Golden Age". By the 1950s, the physical components of a typical major film studio had become standardized. Since a major film studio has been housed inside a physically secure compound with a high wall, which protects filmmaking operations from unwanted interference from paparazzi and crazed fans of leading movie stars. Movement in and out of the studio is limited to specific gates, where visitors must stop at a boom barrier and explain the purpose of their visit to a security guard.
Studio premises feature multiple sound stages along with an outside backlot, as well as offices for studio executives and production companies. There is a studio "commissary", the traditional term in the film industry for what other industries call a company cafeteria. Early nitrate film was notoriously flammable, sets were and are still flammable, why film studios built in the early-to-mid 20th century have water towers to facilitate firefighting. Halfway through the 1950s, with television proving to be a lucrative enterprise not destined to disappear any time soon—as many in the film industry had once hoped—movie studios were being used to produce programming for the burgeoning medium; some midsize film companies, such as Republic Pictures sold their studios to TV production concerns, which were bought by larger studios, such as the American Broadcasting Company, purchased by The Walt Disney Company i
The Incomparable Atuk
The Incomparable Atuk is a satirical novel by Canadian author Mordecai Richler. It was first published in 1963 by Stewart; the novel was published as Stick Your Neck Out in the United States. The Incomparable Atuk tells the story of a Canadian Inuit, transplanted to Toronto and who adopts the greed and pretensions of the big city, it satirized the Canadian cultural elites of Richler's day, who in the novel fetishize Atuk first as a noble savage and, when his corruption becomes apparent, as a symbol of Canadian nationalism and anti-American sentiment. Many of the characters are parodies of real Canadian celebrities, including Hugh Garner, Nathan Cohen, Pierre Berton, Nathan Phillips. A film adaptation never followed through; the movie, which would have been called Atuk, has been called cursed as several actors associated with the film died, including John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, Chris Farley. Many overweight actors were interviewed for the movie, the actors who died early were said to have lived rather unhealthy lifestyles.
It attracted the interest of other actors who have survived well beyond the film’s ceased production, such as Will Ferrell, Jack Black, John Goodman, Josh Mostel, as well as Jonathan Winters, who lived to age 87, dying in 2013
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which reached publication in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. Published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy and Toole's mother, the book became first a cult classic a mainstream success; the book's title refers to an epigram from Jonathan Swift's essay, Thoughts on Various Subjects and Diverting: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Its central character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is an educated but slothful 30-year-old man living with his mother in the Uptown neighborhood of early-1960s New Orleans who, in his quest for employment, has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters. Toole wrote the novel in 1963 during his last few months in Puerto Rico. Ignatius Jacques Reilly is something of a modern Don Quixote—eccentric and creative, sometimes to the point of delusion. In his foreword to the book, Walker Percy describes Ignatius as a "slob extraordinary, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one".
He disdains modernity pop culture. The disdain becomes his obsession: he goes to movies in order to mock their perversity and express his outrage with the contemporary world's lack of "theology and geometry", he prefers the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages, the Early Medieval philosopher Boethius in particular. However, he enjoys many modern comforts and conveniences and is given to claiming that the rednecks of rural Louisiana hate all modern technology, which they associate with progress; the workings of his pyloric valve play an important role in his life, reacting to incidents in a fashion that he likens to Cassandra in terms of prophetic significance. Ignatius is of the mindset that he does not belong in the world and that his numerous failings are the work of some higher power, he continually refers to the goddess Fortuna as having spun. Ignatius loves to eat, his masturbatory fantasies lead in strange directions, his mockery of obscene images is portrayed as a defensive posture to hide their titillating effect on him.
Although considering himself to have an expansive and learned worldview, Ignatius has an aversion to leaving the town of his birth, bores friends and strangers with the story of his sole, abortive journey out of New Orleans, a trip to Baton Rouge on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, which Ignatius recounts as a traumatic ordeal of extreme horror. Myrna Minkoff, referred to by Ignatius as "that minx", is a Jewish beatnik from New York City, whom Ignatius met while she was in college in New Orleans. Though their political, social and personal orientations could hardly be more different and Ignatius fascinate one another; the novel refers to Myrna and Ignatius having engaged in tag-team attacks on the teachings of their college professors. For most of the novel, she is seen only in the regular correspondence which the two sustain since her return to New York, a correspondence weighted with sexual analysis on the part of Myrna and contempt for her apparent sacrilegious activity by Ignatius, they both deplore everything the other stands for.
Though neither of them will admit it, their correspondence indicates that, separated though they are by half a continent, many of their actions are meant to impress one another. Mrs. Irene Reilly is the mother of Ignatius, she has been widowed for 21 years. At first, she allows Ignatius his space and drives him where he needs to go, but throughout the course of the novel she learns to stand up for herself, she has a drinking problem, most indulging in muscatel, although Ignatius exaggerates that she is a raving, abusive drunk. She falls for Claude Robichaux, a well-off man with a railroad pension and rental properties. At the end of the novel, she decides, but first, she agrees with Santa Battaglia that Ignatius is insane and arranges to have him sent to a mental hospital. Santa Battaglia, a "grammaw", friends with Mrs. Reilly, has a marked disdain for Ignatius Claude Robichaux, an old man on the lookout for any "communiss" who might infiltrate America.