“Spicy ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch, Spicy ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch”
In 1989, when I decided to go public with my views on the flaws in the “standard” version of Holocaust history, I was a young man. And stupid. Very stupid. Not stupid about history, but stupid about life. I had this idea, dumb as it sounds to me now, that my work would be taken more seriously if I published under my own name. See, in those days, some Holocaust revisionists worked under pseudonyms, and in my stupid, childish mind, I thought that if I let people know that I was willing to attach my real name to my theories, I would garner, if not the accord, at least the respect of those with differing views.
What a moron I was. All the use of my legal name did was get me beaten up (on three different occasions) and threatened with death.
Okay, lesson learned. In 1998, I vowed to never again do anything under my legal name.
When I fled my identity as David Cole, I still needed to make a living. I had only a few options to choose from. There was ditch-digging, but don’t even consider that in L.A. unless you’re a member of the International Brotherhood of Ditch Diggers Local 15437. And, sadly, they have a height requirement that I, as a Dinklage, couldn’t meet. But then I realized that my knowledge of Holocaust history was rather formidable…especially formidable, as, during my revisionist years, I had been forced to defend my views over and over and over again, to the point where my mind was a steel trap of Holocaust facts.
For the record, it’s good for historians to have to defend their views. My complaint is not that I was forced to, but that my opponents weren’t.
I decided to make some money by offering my services to colleges and universities as a supplier of Holocaust education classroom materials. But, of course, I couldn’t be Cole. I’d paid a pretty penny (and a few ugly ones too) to buy my way out of the $25,000 death warrant the Jewish Defense League had put on my head. I needed a new name. I was living as David Stein, but that name, purposely chosen to be bland and commonplace, wasn’t funny enough. I needed an in-joke. I needed to be able to laugh at my former foes whose money I was now taking, because I was full of anger and hostility, and also because I’m kind of a dick.
My favorite low-budget horror film was the 1982 “Alien” rip-off “Forbidden World.” In 1985 I got to meet the director, Allan Holzman, at UCLA. He was giving a talk on how to make a film on the fly, and I was totally captivated by his sage advice. “Forbidden World” isn’t a good film. What it is is a guy given zero dollars by schlock-meister Roger Corman who nevertheless figured out how to turn in a slick, entertaining final product. By the time I saw Holzman in person I had already bought the film’s vinyl LP soundtrack, which I brought to UCLA for his wife, Susan Justin (the composer), to sign.
So skip ahead to 1998, and I’m choosing a pseudonym that can be both an in-joke and a way for me to milk money from my former adversaries. I only had one name in mind – Dr. Cal Tinbergen, the heroic scientist from “Forbidden World” who cuts out his own cancerous liver to feed to the mutant that is killing people at a space station on the planet Xarbia.
I think I need to stress one more time that “Forbidden World” is not a good film.
(pictured below: Dr. Cal Tinbergen sacrifices his liver for the good of humanity. I only sacrifice mine for the love of alcohol)
“Cal Tinbergen” became a sensation in the Holocaust education community. From 1998 through 2002, Cal was a star. Folks loved Cal. Cal even wrote an op-ed for the L.A. Times after 9/11.
My favorite moment was when Dr. Laurence Moss, an economics professor at Harvard, Tufts, and Babson, wrote about the “Tinbergen Archives” as though it was a real institution. This 2001 article in The American Journal of Economics and Sociology is my favorite thing in the world. I wasn’t aiming at achieving performance art perfection by inventing Cal Tinbergen as a real person, but I reached a level that would have made Andy Kaufman proud. Take a second and read the piece, while remembering that Cal Tinbergen is a scientist in a grade-z horror film who cuts out his cancerous liver to feed to a mutant, and there is no “Tinbergen Archives.”
Cal Tinbergen’s career ended in 2002 after I found out, much to my amusement, that “Forbidden World” director Allan Holzman, the only guy in the world likely to get my in-joke, had gone from directing Roger Corman schlock films to making respected Holocaust documentaries. He was in the same field as “Cal.” Now that’s funny. Not wanting to risk being exposed, I started doing my work as Stein from that point on.
And then I became a Hollywood conservative and hung out with celebs and Dick Cheney and John Boehner only to get outed by an evil six-foot-tall fashion model and a fat lispy suicidal perverted Hilary Duff/Disney Channel/New York Post/National Review scribe. But all that stuff’s in my book. Did I mention I have a book? I have a book. You can get it on Amazon, Walmart, or Barnes & Noble.
Today, I just want to revel in the early ‘80s cheese perfection that is the sex scene music from “Forbidden World.” Two weeks ago, some magnificent bastard uploaded to Youtube a clip from an early ‘80s community access cable show (for those of you too young to remember, “community access” was where bearded fat libertarians took their rants before there was the Internet) in which the stunning Susan Justin, who I had SUCH a crush on, performs the “song” live. It will sound like crap to you. To you, it will sound like horrid ‘80s synth music, with a chorus of “spicy ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.” But to me, it’s pure heaven. It takes me back to that day in 1983 when I spent my allowance on that vinyl LP at Tower Records on Sunset. And it takes me back to 1998 when I made Cal Tinbergen a real guy.
If the death threats that I’ve already started to accrue since my “outing” increase markedly after my book comes out, I might need to find a new pseudonym. But Cal will always be my first. And you never forget your first.
Here’s how it sounds and looks in the film (and kudos for best use of a retro toy as a masturbation metaphor):
And here’s the newly-rediscovered live version (“spicy ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch”):