TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…

     Not too long ago, we received an email from what appears to be a long time reader. Our reader calling him/herself “Terry” writes….

     I remember a few years ago, you had a (column) called “Tiffi’s Friends Say”. It was about somebody who you placed on Facebook, and the things that her online friends would say about her. What because of Tiffi, and are her friends still talking about her?

    As we stated, we don’t know what the gender of Terry is, so short of calling Terry an “it”, we’ll address our long time fan to the best of this writer’s ability using a “he”, “she”, and/or its equivalents. 

     Yes, we did have such a column called “Tiffi’s Friends Say..” We started to post that column around c. 2010 around the time when Facebook was a place to post one’s ideas and thoughts for all to read, aassuming you were “friends” with the others you “friended” through notes, paragraphs, as well as a photo and/or an image that was worth sharing. 

     We had an idea at that time to see how others would react to a person on Facebook that in reality, didn’t exist. We were not out to fraud or mislead others for devious purposes. We just did it just to see if it was quite possible to get personal information from others without specifically asking for it.

     So we created a few personalities with names, locations made up, as well as using stock photos of pictures of people found through various sources we had access to at the time. Then we created these personalities while attempting to become “friends” with others. A few we never heard from, but many were willing enough to become “friends” without knowing if these personalities we created were indeed for real.

     Out of the few we kept track of, we focused upon one person we named “Tiffi Purewhite”. “Tiffi” was a middle aged woman (perhaps in her 50’s) that lived in a small town in southern Illinois-Carbondale. She was a typical, if not stereotypical, person from the Midwest, somebody that was gentle, faithful, and held a sweet persona.

     Over time and tide, Tiffi generated some 2500+ “friends” from around North America. (US and Canada mostly) that were of the same personality as Tiff, mostly middle aged white women. (No offense to not being as diverse as we could, since this was an experiment, not anything that dealt in diversity.)

     To make a long(er) story short(er), we read some of the entries posted by Tiffi’s “friends” over time and tide as they had their say in what was important to them, yet trivial to anyone else. So we collected some of these lines and created this column letting everyone know what was on the mind of the friends that Tiffi collected.

     To give you an idea of what some of her online buddies had to say, here are some random phrases extracted from Tiffi’s Facebook site (or “wall” as it was called) as collected during the 2013 calendar year…

It’s after 3 am. My neck hurts. I remember how I used to be able to tell the weather with my hair. It’s naturally curly and it would go into spiraled frizz mode during rainy weather. I thought that was a pain until I was introduced to Rheumatoid arthritis.

-Diane

Hey 80’s kids, what movie was I thinking of while waiting at the curb to spring my son out of high school on a beautiful spring day? (Okay, it was for an appt, but you get the idea.)

-Gwendolyn 

Hi all–Anyone still have a land line phone at home?

-Kathleen

Super sad. Schnitzel, 1week old kitten, didn’t make it. No kitty on my radar. 😦

-Angela

Bruised some ribs. Wearing back brace today. So thankful to have this aid to help me keep going. What’s going on with you?

-Janet

The house in Charlotte is sold! Hallelujah!

-Barbara

Hours on the phone. Insurance still comes up as “ineligible.” So not getting in tomorrow like I had hoped.

-Susan

I hooked my computer to my TV. Now I can sit in bed and see your pictures and play my games on a 44 inch screen. Pretty neat.

-Terry

Mary called to tell us she is going to be inducted into the college National Honor Society! So proud of my girl!!! WOOT!

-Pam

Made meatloaf, green beans, and brewed some ice tea before I went to Mom’s this afternoon. What does my husband ask me? “Are we having company?” LOL.

-Ann

It is insanely stupid how happy a bag of Skittles can make me.

-Romona

Does anyone realize how many truly strange people there are at airports?

-Bonnie

Yesterday I was taking books from the top of 4 shelves and found a couple I haven’t read! Well, the living room is full if scattered games, books and boxes but the pile to give away isn’t very big! What should I do with all the author signed books? We have old records and a sound system that barely works. My hubby likes to hold on to things. Sigh. Not sure how much I can get rid of!

Well it’s one of those all day rains so I will drink my coffee and continue to READ!;)

-Janyce

When your kiddos are fighting over who gets to clean up the spill, you know grandma’s been in the house! Thanks, Carolyn …I’ll try to keep up the trend for at least…well…today. 😉

-Nicole

Would a seven-year-old say they slept good or slept well?

-Andrea

1. Go to airport.

2. Splatter coffee on blouse.

-Tamela

6 days. 14 pounds. BAM.

-Sandie

    So what became of Tiff herself? Well, we decided to end this experiment due to the fact that Facebook was starting to be too commercial and added a lot of extras, most notably Facebook Live, where using one’s cell phone can present an audio and video stream, almost like a “live” video hookup. Much of this service was created by others for fun and thrills, while others used it for questionable purposes.

     So Tiffi stopped collecting “friends”, as well as posting her own comments. From what we can find, the last entry she posted was on January 1st, 2018, letting everyone know that she can be reached through an outside email address that we created. 

     A few weeks after we placed our post, we somehow lost the password to get into Tiffi’s account and we never bothered recovering it. So through that blunder, we just left Tiffi out there to defend for herself.

     And yes, Tiffi’s Facebook presence is still available to view. Just look her up using the link https://www.facebook.com/tiffi.purewhite. If you do post anything, just remember that Tiffi won’t respond. However, her “birthday” falls on March 17th, and many of her remaining friends will place a birthday greeting. So wish Tiffi a happy b-day if you want! She will appreciate it!! (Really!!)

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN!

Greetings to you readers out there! Yours truly is on an out-of-town assignment that is located far away from our spot in the San Fernando Valley!

Today (or at least as of this writing), your humble reporter is in Appleton, Wisconsin, located in the center part of the state. If anyone wants to follow us on a map (a paper one or a located affixed on your phone), Appleton is located north of Oshkosh (b’gosh), and just south of Green Bay, home of the ever lovin’ Cheeseheads that don the true-blue(ish) colors of yellow and green! And in the nick of time, too!

Appleton was also the home of Harry Houdini, who eventually made a disappearing act from hanging around town. It’s also a community that is famous in its own right for being part of what small town America is really like–or should be like anyway!

I can’t state how long I will be in this berg that boasts a population of either 73,xxxx or 74,xxxx as two “Welcome to Appleton” signs aren’t in sync. But then again, what difference dose all of this make? It’s just a community where the people are friendly(er) that the folks that live in the southland–or so it seems anyway!

In the mean time, expect the next few installments of this here newsletter to originate from this hamlet. And when I return, I’ll continue to do what I have been aways been doing the last few sessions by bringing you the news and information that matters to us. It should matter to you the readers as well since you stayed long enough to read this message!

So as they say down in Madtown, On Wisconsin!!


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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY…

As the summer season comes to its close, and the Labor Day weekend makes its unofficial ending to that time of year, it’s the moment where new beginnings tend to take place, from the return to school to the new season for television programming.

However, thanks to the elements known by many names, but often referred to as “The Pandemic”, much of the school return has brought a load of question and anxiety, But also to note is an anniversary that was one of the many “new beginnings” that were entered within this domestic society.

This coming Saturday, September 11th, will make the twentieth anniversary of the day known as “9/11”. That was the day that was noted to change things over matters that were never experienced previously. Some changes were for the good while others were for full awareness.

Of course, it was a red letter day for the people involved in journalism, be it in print or through electronic means. And yours truly was part of the former method, literally having my writing appear on physical pages.

Back then, I was the writer of this newsletter. My side job was the writer of a column called “Richer By Far’ that appeared within the monthly edition of The Epicenter, the official publication of the Los Angeles California chapter of The Catholic Alumni Club.

I wrote that column for three years from 2000 through 2003. Long after I left the LACAC, I compiled some of my past columns for a book I was working on placing in some order on those articles with commentary of what I composed. Although that book’s creation was placed on hold for a number of reasons, I thought that to pay tribute to that monumental “day of infinity” where to publish my commentary of what I wrote about in the aftermath of 9/11 in that edition of The Epicenter, as well as my reflection to what went into my scribbling.

Of course, things have changed since that Tuesday past. The most noted that didn’t exist back then was social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even YouTube didn’t exist! American Online did have its chat rooms and its AOL Messenger services, and there were a few weblogs (“blogs”) out there, but were only out there for anyone that was lucky enough to have a computer hooked up to “the internet” to make it all work. And cell phones barely had the capacity to send and receive messages via text!

So it was up to those sitting behind a work processor or a typewriter to get their points across. Nevertheless, here’s the real story to it all…

When I wrote my columns, I tried to get them completed as close to the deadline as I could. This was more true for articles that were topical, making sure that the write up was as fresh as I could get away with. However, many of my notes were rather generic, so beating a deadline wasn’t as crucial as it seemed.

The article for the October, 2001 issue of The Epicenter was going to be one of those generic pieces. I first wrote my rough draft on the second weekend in September, creating the general idea for the entry on that Saturday, and then completing it on Sunday. I was glad to get that out of the way so far in advance. Now I was able to concentrate on other matters!

Two days after I completed my column, disaster struck!

Millions of folks were turning to the media to get any news or information of what went on once the story broke. People in this nation, as well as others around the world, were seeing the coverage on TV, hearing reports on the radio broadcasts, and turning to the web based news services for any bit of news they could find. CNN and Yahoo had so many logging on to their web sites, both of their servers crashed! E-mails were being sent back and forth containing such messages as “Are you OK?” and “Are you hurt?” Phone lines were jammed! Cell phone service had to be shut down in many places due to an overload of calls. In short, it was a day that was indeed “a day of infamy”.

Of course, many of the events and activities that would have been held that day were immediately canceled! Yours truly and my then girlfriend (and now wife) Mary were going to attend a touring stage production company performance of the musical Chicago in nearby Thousand Oaks. (It was either that or attending an advance press screening of a Keanu Reeves feature called Hardball. I chose the former!) Instead, we joined the millions and stayed at home watching Tom Brokaw on NBC telling us what by then everyone within earshot had already known!

As that afternoon turned into evening into the late night, I was staring into my computer monitor screen, reading the manuscript of my article–the one I completed over the previous weekend. Mary was in my bedroom, fast asleep on the bed after watching countless “updates” and reports of the events from that day on TV. I felt that I just couldn’t ignore what just went on. So in true journalistic fashion, I promptly started to write a whole new column on what occurred, and how something like that wasn’t going to make anyone live in a world of countless fear or uncertainty. What I didn’t know at the time was that others like me–those that write for the written word, professionally or semi professionally, were doing exactly the same thing, throwing out their old dribble pieces and commenting on the shock, horror, and later, peace and recovery of things tragic!

This “Richer By Far” article was the fastest one I had ever written, before or since. I believed I wrote this column at around 2:30 AM Wednesday morning while hearing the sounds of Mary snoring like a buzzsaw in the next room. The entire piece was written as it stands in about 15 minutes!!

Last September 11th, I received a phone call from my close friend Mary. When she phones me, she usually tells me about some of the things that are going on with her at the moment or just to say a quick “hello”. When she called me that morning, I thought she was getting details on what we were planning to do for that evening. Instead, she started to babble about what first sounded like the plot line for Die Hard IV. I was imagining that the hero Bruce Willis was once again dealing with some evil terrorist (played by Christopher Walkin perhaps?) who was planning to take over the nation by causing all sorts of havoc!! Of course, after hearing Mary’s story “pitch”, I had later found out that this was no movie plot line. This was for real!!

For many of us, that was not the first time in our lives that some episode that was not of our making had affected us emotionally in one way or another. Many still recall such events that brought the entire country, if not the world, to a brief standstill. Whenever it happened some twenty, forty, or even sixty years before, it touched many lives. However, in spite of what happened, one element is sure and clear; life goes on!

Frank Sinatra in his big hit “That’s Life” sang about no matter what life may bring to someone, the world keeps spinnin’ around. People will go back to doing the so-called normal stuff that makes up living the domestic life; paying bills, feeding the cat, and catching up on the latest installment of Fraser on TV. This is the same idea for each one of us. Within our lives and feelings, no matter what can happen and how it happens, time will match on and on. If one can get back on track, it can make one a heartier person. A person that does this has self esteem and can go forward into their own world with little or no fear! At first, it can be difficult, but it is not impossible!

Yours truly had to live through many events where at first it was the “end of the world”. But guess what folks? I’m still here plugging away as I did before. Sure, I have a slightly different attitude than I did before the episode, but that attitude has made me stronger and assisted me to overcome such future events that can occur to me once again.

This may be one of the most difficult facts to face in times of stress. If one person experiences an event that is emotional, such as a loved one passing on, one can feel and remember the loved one for their times. Yet after the last tear is shed, one has to continue to carry on for the future. Such carrying on is an important action that any person can do. Sure, pause for a moment or two, and then resume standard activity.

With a strong mind and stronger heart, we can go on with making life as we can really make it, using the wisdom and guidance that god has given to us! As to note that no matter what happened before, Bruce Willis made sure that he was able to kick the butts of all of the bad guys before the end credits, only to take ‘em out again in the next feature!!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS

It appears to this writer that the first day(s) of the standard school season is getting off to its start a lot sooner than what I recall, and I suppose there is a reason to this.

First and foremost, this school year, (2021-22) is a season where students from the lower grades and up will be attending school in person and for real. Granted, there will be some teleconferencing involved that was leftover from the previous two seasons, but there will be in-person attendance in some form by those enrolled through their schooling.

The schooling that this writer will be addressing caters to those from the first grade (age 7-give or take) through post high school. Most of the same schooling from elementary through high school is usually done on a local and regional platform. That is, most of its students reside within a ten mile radius from where the school grounds exist. For college, it could be a school located across town as with a community college, or could be located in another part of the state or nation, as many of those attending on an undergrad basis will be utilizing.

To keep things rather simple, this article will focus on these types of sessions since attending school is part of a domestic citizen’s “life of passage”, where many of the more amusing episodes tend to take place. Also, this writer is a subscriber to many news blasts sent via email that speaks for a lot of domestic family life issues for those that have kids or are caretakers to such kids under the age of twenty five when it comes to handling school related issues.

I cannot speak from experience of how it’s like to handle a young(er) student in these times as I was never in a parental situation outside of telling (or retelling) my personal reflection of what it was like to be that person getting back into school. All I had was how things were as a kid living within a middle class (and mostly white) suburban community during an era now long removed. Yes, things have changed, and students tend to be more aware of what is going on around them in terms of environment, social justice, choice of lifestyle, and other notions that either I didn’t understand or even cared much about.

Anyway, back to the back to school saga. Since June, when many students were taking part in virtual graduation celebrations as well as getting a lawn sign that states something to the effect of “Graduate of (name of school) Class of 2021”, there was the talk of how the new school season was going to take place. In my community of the western San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles proper, the school season was going to begin the third week of August. Classroom attendance was going to occur with limited seating while being placed inside of a physical classroom at safe distances from one another. On June 12th, the mayor of Los Angeles announced that the mandates of social distancing were going to be lifted, meaning that donning face masks inside or outdoors were no longer required.

A few weeks later, the Delta strain of the virus was playing havoc to the region, meaning that mandate that was supposed to end was quickly pulled back. As of this writing, Los Angeles county is still under its purple zone, meaning that face masks are still necessary to wear indoors, vaccinated or not! This would apply to attending indoor schooling as well.

Again, this writer doesn’t have much details on these restrictions (those can be found through quick online searches), but the whole idea here is how these students are taking their back to school sessions through these circumstances.

I can understand the drama and trauma that going back to school has on a kid, teen, and even a so-called “young adult”. But I did recall the catching of a deadly virus, but it was through a fictional account!

When I was a kid, I recall seeing the feature film The Andromeda Strain that was about a group of these scientists that battle to find out how a small town was totally wiped out by a deadly virus that came from outer space. Although it was science fiction and all, it brought a chill to me wondering if something like what I experienced in this movie was ever going to happen for real! You may say that I indeed got my admission’s worth in seeking this feature. (For the record, I think I paid 75 cents since it was at a neighborhood “scratch” theater–but I digress!)

It gave me the notion to also think what if my school was ever hit by this mysterious virus. Would everyone attending be killed off by this virus–including me? What if I survived? What would I do? Would I be celebrated as a hero or would I just wind up attending another school only to start over?

Obviously, this virus episode never took place. But when it comes to attending school through teleconferencing, I do recall seeing some documentary on TV about how video conferencing could be a thing in the future. I recall seeing this demonstration backed by The Bell System where one can attend school classes through a video screen. In the demonstration as part of this documentary, a camera that was the size of a bank camera of the day was hooked up through a series of TV monitors where one can watch what was going on from a classroom setting.

The narration stated that within the next ten or so years (meaning sometime in the 1980’s), it would by commonplace to enroll into a form of schooling without venturing into a physical classroom (and a school house for all that mattered) so kids could get their lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

I thought that this idea of going to school via TV was great. This way, I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn (6:45 AM at least), struggle to get dressed in “school clothing”, wolf down breakfast (a pair of Hostess cupcakes and a glass of milk) while my mom, acting as traffic director, was getting the time, temp, and traffic reports from the all news radio station WBBM to make sure that we kids (myself and my elder siblings) were off to school to arrive on time! Through this electronic magic, I can just snap on the TV set, and lo and behold, I was at school! I would be seeing my teachers giving me the lessons I needed to know while seated within the comfort and privacy of my own home! And during “recess”, I can perhaps catch an hour’s worth of my favorite daytime TV shows–mostly game shows as I didn’t care much for soap operas! But attending school while not attending school would be my be-all-to-end-all!

That was then, and this is now. In today’s post modern society, kids were teleconferencing their schooling sessions via their laptops, electronic pads, and their phones with mixed results. Some liked it since it was another part of their usual screen-time antics. Others did miss seeing everyone in person. And a few did see this as a thing of the future. However, kids from those of the single digit age groups to those attending higher education had their own personal dilemmas to face.

But thanks to his group that has been wired up since birth, it’s all part of a catchphrase that’s expressed through social media platforms. As time progresses for its better or for its otherwise, school days are just that–school days!

Looking back to that video schooling I would never receive, I will state that without being with those other kids within the classroom, I would have never had the opportunity to hone the “talents” I possessed at the time and to use those fellow kids as part of my “subjects”, or even “victims”! What I am speaking about here is part of yet another episode of my life and times that I may write about in a future article in ALO-L.

So I better wolf down my cupcakes, chug-a-lug my glass of milk, put on my school clothes, and head on out so I don’t miss the first school bell scheduled to ring at 9:00 AM under partly cloudy skies and 67 degrees.

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FORWARD TO THE PAST

There was a recent article that appeared in Ad Age that spoke on implying nostalgia, the emotion for a longing of a past time that one may recall or not as a hot topic when it comes to marking products or services.

The article went on to state that the said products or services, especially if they hold a legacy to them (i.e. they have been around for quite a while), have been dipping into their vast archives to create a “new” look upon them while recalling a time when life was supposedly a lot simpler to what it is at the present state of time.

Currently, much of this nostalgia falls within the last fifty or so years, covering the decades of the 1970’s through the 1990‘s–the last third of the 20th century. Much of this nostalgic sense of being varies, from the re-releasing of a design scheme of a packaged good from “back in the day”, to the classic reboot of an item that is geared to those that actually recall the item when it was at its peak.

The more unique the time frame is, the more appeal it holds to whatever the cause of the marking is geared for. (Gen-Xers, etc.) However, there are limitations to such, because bringing back a product, a service, or an idea for the said product/service must contain some actual remembrance to it! It would not make much sense to go back to the 1920’s since a few people alive today holds a recollection of that decade!

Perhaps that is why the cutoff seems to be within the last fifty years. The reason? Depending on what the product is, many of those it caters to would only be a few years older in physical age versus what the product is and what demographic is set to. For instance, American muscle cars built in the 1960’s and 70’s have an appeal to (mostly male) Baby Boomers-those born between 1946 through 1964. That is the period where one would have been of age to legally drive, and perhaps were able to own such a vehicle that was affordable to get for what the car was.

In addition, the 1980’s, rightly an era that spans between thirty and forty years ago, caters to those that are in their late 40’s through their early 60’s. In the 80’s when one was of a youthful age i.e. A “young adult”, one would have had to have been born in the latter decade of the 1960’s through being born in the middle-late 70’s. If one was a kid under the age of, let’s say, twelve in 1981, one would have been born in 1969. That was the youngest demographic targeted by Warner Amex Communications when that cable TV service launched MTV, a channel whose demographic peak age was at 24 years. Of course, MTV back in the day may have also catered to those that were a bit older or even younger. However, for many years, their sweet spot was 12 through 24. When VH1 first made its mark in 1985, it was for those aged 25 through their 30’s. So doing the math, if one was 25 in ’85, that person is 61 years old in 2021–give or take a year!

Selling nostalgia is far from being new or unique. In fact, this writer was first exposed with the realms of nostalgia in the early 1970’s with a local radio program I stumbled upon called Those Were The Days that aired on a 5000 watt daytime only station, WLTD-AM, located in Evanston, Illinois. Its host, Chuck Schaden, was a collector of vintage broadcasts of old time radio programs that were part of the domestic media landscape from radio’s beginnings in the 1920’s to about the 1950’s before television made its mark in the USA and later the world. Each Saturday afternoon for three hours each week, later expanding to four hours, he would program these radio shows that featured such titles as The Shadow, The Lone Ranger, Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos and Andy, among other titles. Some of these shows featured well known stars as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Dinah Shore, as well as other personalities. Many such as Hope, Crosby et. al., were still active. Others that were featured fell out of the spotlight, barely being remembered. It was Chuck and its rebroadcasts that saved these personalities from total obscurity. People such as Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn, and Fred Allen were brought back again for those to enjoy. (All three were since deceased by the time TWTD first made its over the air mark!)

I was twelve years old when I first stumbled on to this program. Although I first heard about it when it was already on the air for about a year when Chuck was a guest on a local morning TV program that aired on station WGN, the notion of the show didn’t phase me much since I did not remember radio outside of listening to my top-40 favorites on WCFL and WLS. Besides, when watching his appearance on TV that morning, my mom was yelling at me to get dressed or I would be late for school.

But one Saturday afternoon in July, I was taken down on some kind of illness. I didn’t know what I caught, but it felt like a hangover! (What that illness had since been long forgotten!)  Anyway, while lying in my bed feeling sick as a dog, I had my Ross portable AM and FM radio at my bedside. Thinking I could tune in to a ball game or perhaps to “my” music on WLS or WCFL, I scanned the radio dial attempting to find something to listen to. I twisted the dial going from 550 AM through 1600 AM. When I reached the far right of the dial around 1590 AM where WLTD was located, I picked up some interesting sounds. The sounds consisted of dramatic dialogue as if I might have picked up the audio portion of a TV broadcast.

So I listened for a bit. It wound up to be a 1940’s isolated episode of The Adventures of Superman. The scene featured the man of steel as played by Bud Collier, who was speaking to some character that was explaining a diabolical plot. That character, played by another radio actor, was the bad guy in the story. It had something to do with the plot to blow up a railroad bridge. Meanwhile, cub reporter Jimmy Olson of The Daily Planet was on a train that was heading toward the bridge that was about to be blown up. Then the voice of the narrator of this story, Jackson Beck, informed the listeners, “Will Superman arrive on time to save Jimmy Olson from this possible fate? Tune in tomorrow for The Adventures of Superman, brought to you by Kellogg’s Pep cereal”.

Now I didn’t know that this show was from nearly thirty years before, since Jackson Beck was a voice I did recognize since he was still active in providing voice overs for radio and TV commercials and related programming. (Beck would be active in radio spots well into the 1990’s with a series or radio commercials for Little Caesars Pizza!) I also knew of Kellogg’s cereals, but never heard of Pep. Perhaps that was a new brand of cereal.

To make a longer story shorter, Chuck then went on the air telling the radio audience that that Superman show just programmed was indeed from the 1940’s, and that it was a good thing that Kellogg’s didn’t make Pep anymore because it was a bland tasting cereal!

TWTD’s theme that day was Railroads, where Chuck played other radio programs consisting of episodes of Grand Central Station, The Railroad Hour, and even The Jack Benny Program featuring the gang at the railroad station with Mel Blanc’s announcement for trains leaving for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga.

And at the end of the show, Chuck stated that Those Were The Days would return the next Saturday afternoon from 1:00 through 5:00 PM. So as a hunch and since recovering from my illness, I tuned in again the next Saturday. And I returned the next Saturday, And the next Saturday! And the next Saturday! And the next Saturday!

The weeks turned into months, The months turned into years. The years turned into decades. Before long, I was getting a load of nostalgic sounds from this program that recalled the same sounds of radio from that not-so-long-ago period.

The was something unique about this nostalgia I was exposed to. Out of those sounds and voices from that not too distant past, I didn’t remember about 99% of it. Most of the radio shows Chuck would program aired between c.1935 through c.1955. Some were older and a few were newer. However, it was a time long before I was born, or a time that I could even conceive my landscape. However, I was hooked from a nostalgia that I didn’t even remember!

And whatever became of TWTD? I’m happy to report that that program is still on the air! Its creator and original host, Chuck Schaden, retired from his on-air host duties in 2009, giving the reins to Steve Darnell, who took over. The show can now be heard through WDCB-FM in Chicago either over the air (in Chicago anyway) or via live streaming on http://www.WDCB.org on Saturday afternoons from 1:00-5:00 PM (CST). And archived episodes of TWTD can be streamed online through Chuck Schaden’s website called Speaking of Radio found at http://www.SpeakingOfRadio.com.

PS..for those that desire to hear that long forgotten episode of TWTD when I was lying in bed sick to the gills, tune in to the episode that aired on July 29th, 1972. I tuned into that same episode about 45 minutes in progress.

What this writer is emphasizing is the fact that nostalgia is far from being a new idea. In fact, it’s so old, it’s new again! In fact, there is even some nostalgia regarding the early days of the internet. The Internet Archive based in San Francisco and found at https://archive.org, can reproduce old websites through its Wayback Machine portals that still preserve inactive websites from the middle 1990’s through recent times. You can visit http://www.Pets.com, http://www.Blockbuster.com, and even http://www.Amazon.com as it was a spot on the ‘net to purchase textbooks! You can even visit http://www.TheFacebook.com, an online directory connecting people through social networks at colleges. If one wants to connect through TheFacebook, make sure you register with an email address that ends with “edu”. For those that don’t have access to such an email address, you can always try http://www.MySpace.com, and see what happens

So as the old saying goes, don’t forget to remember before you forget to remember what you are remembering. Otherwise, you’ll forget to remember. So don’t forget!! Got it??

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

THE FALL SPORTING LIFE

Now that the Summer Olympics are said and done for this season, now it’s time to concentrate (if the term “concentrate” is the word to use), on other sporting events that are out there in media-land.

Since it’s middle summer, or it was the last time this writer checked, now it’s the moment to deal with one of the bigger forms of pro sports to deal with. And that sport in what makes the fall season worth its time–Football, spelled with a capitol “F”!!

Of course, there are many levels of this game that are out there. There are the peewee leagues for kids (boys mostly) that are for those in the single digit age. Then there are the leagues played among the middle schools a.k.a. junior high schools. Moving up there are the senior high school leagues. Then we have college level teams, where things begin to get rather serious. Finally, there are the pro leagues where every Sunday (or Thursday or Monday nights), two teams battle it on with the hopes to reach the top where they become involved in the only championship game that matters, the ever lovin’ Super Bowl!

This writer won’t get involved with stats or figures for the game as this same writer isn’t too keen on who’s playing for what and where. You can leave those figures for the bookies out there, as well as those that are involved in Fantasy Football, a method of play that has a participation of many, and a game that isn’t quite understood by this same writer. (“Me”!) I never quite got the idea why anyone would play a game where it’s part of a “fantasy”. But then again, what do I know?

But getting back into the game of football for this moment. In many communities, high school football is the be-all-to-end-all! The following of the local team that plays each Friday evening for the community it represents is part of what makes the community stand out among the others. And when I speak about “community”, we are speaking of small town America, where local pride runs higher than, let’s say, a larger urban area. Although the suburban regions near a larger megagapous could count as well, small town communities hold more drama and the passion that goes along with it. In fact, one of the most popular legacy TV series available for streaming is the TV series Friday Night Lights, an episodic drama about a high school team located in a small town in Texas. (This writer believes it’s available on Peacock since FNL was produced by Universal, and Peacock is owned by NBCUniveral.)

One element of high school football is the fact that it receives little to no publicity outside of the communities they belong to. For many years, if a local Cable TV company provided service to the said community, games would be televised through the local public access/local origination channel. Watching these games through your local CATV provider created an incentive to become a subscriber, especially if one had some connection to the local school team.

When I was once employed by a franchise of Group W Cable in a suburban area of north Minneapolis, the channel would air all of the  home games each Friday night, complete with a play-by-play and color man, along with the pre- and post-game interviews with coaches, players, with an occasional spot with the staff from the athletic department, as well as the parents of the players themselves. It was local TV at its finest!

College football is another league of its own. Thanks to the recent mandate that players of college football can actually receive some form of monetary keep, the game became competitive, especially for the bigger schools that live on the backbone of football. (Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana comes to mind!) And thanks to such channels as the many forms of ESPN that exist, as well as Fox Sports, other regional TV/Streaming networks, as well as ABC and Fox, gop up their schedules running college football on Friday nights and all day on Saturdays.

The NFL is perhaps the “name” of football. The various leagues out there will battle it out on the gridiron for the amusement of its many fans. Those fans know of the teams, the colors the teams stand for, and just about everything that really matters. In the dairy state of Wisconsin for instance, fans and even non-fans will don the colors of green and gold! Why? It’s been that way since anyone could remember. and why break a tradition? In Washington, DC, the team is still known as “The Washington Football Team”. Granted, it’s a rather clunky title, and it doesn’t have the same sex appeal to something as “Bears”, “Lions”, and even “49ers”. But what did one expect from a district that is loaded with more government that ever?

Of course, leagues do come and go. Many a time there has been attempts to compete with the all-mightily National Football League with little to no success. In the middle 1970’s, there was the World Football League. Ten years later, The United States Football League (USFL) marched on and off the field. In the early 2000’s, the XFL–Xtreem Football League, wasn’t as extreme (xtreem?) as it could have been. And the most recent casualty was the Alliance of American Football League. Unlike the previous leagues, the AAFL has social media at its disposal where it would bring the team, the players, as well as the league itself up close and personal to its fans, or lack of them!

To get to know more about this latest football fumble, there is a documentary out there entitled Alliances Broken, written & directed by Steven Potter that illustrates in detail the real low-down on what happened to the league that never really made it, even being called “The Fyre Festival of Sports”! (Alliances Broken is now available for viewing on digital platforms. Check the program guides for the streaming video carriers for more details!)

Whatever the case, there will be plenty to view on whatever device one uses to see video content. Although the Pandemic (Yep, it’s still here!) isn’t as bad as it was let’s say a year ago this time, folks are still a bit scared to get out among the crowds of people. Perhaps this will be another excuse to watch football safe from others between now and February, when he Super Bowl makes its return back to Los Angeles, close enough to the Hollywood elite that tends to hang around a game that really matters. But until then, just dust off the ol’ pigskin, have plenty of snacks handy, make sure the beverages are nice ‘n cold (or hot if one is watching outdoors where the weather can get a bit nippy), and enjoy!

Even if you are not a fan, then it’s there to amuse and/or confuse! As they say, it’s only a game!!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

A FLASHBACK FROM TELEVISION LAND or GILLIGAN! DROP THOSE COCONUTS!!

Since this is August, we thought we would turn our attention to “Summer Reruns”, a term used by TV programmers to offer programming originally arranged for the summer season. This would be a series that only consisted of a limited about of episodes that would serve as a place marker on the TV schedule until a new(er) series would take its place. That new(er) program would replace the summer replacement, where the former would be highlighted and the latter would end its video run, never to be seen again!

So we through we would place a summer rerun (so to speak) by reprinting another column written by yours truly. This time around, this featured “golden oldie” comes from another publication that I was involved with.

In 2000 and 2001, I wrote a column called Richard By Far for the publication The Epicenter, the “official” newsletter for the Los Angeles chapter of The Catholic Alumni Club, a social group whose members were those that were unmarried and practiced the Catholic faith.

All of my columns consisted of what I was seeing within my domestic world, and an occasional look of what life is (was?) like as living as a non-married person of adult age. I never wrote about the Catholic faith per se since I didn’t have the knowledge to know enough about the faith in question. So all of my pieces were secular in nature, but would be of interest to those that would have access to each issue.

In the October, 2000 edition of The Epicenter, I wrote about a recent interview I had with comedy writer and television pioneer Sherwood Schwartz. Among many of the talents he had, he will be best known to be the creator of such TV sitcoms as Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, among other entries. So here is that column that I hacked out back in the day…

I recently has the opportunity to speak with Sherwood Schwartz. A long time joke writer for such comics as Bob Hope and Red Skelton, he is best known as the creator of such classic TV sitcoms as Gilligan’s Island, It’s About Time, The Brady Bunch, and a host of others.

During our conversation, he went on to tell me the intellectual philosophy(?!!?) behind the concept and theme of Gilligan’s Island.

“…It’s a social microcosm..” Sherwood tells me. “..We all live in one world. It’s about time we recognize that fact!…The show illustrates how people who are forced to live together can also learn to live with each other! That’s the story of our world!…”

I wanted to relate that bit of wisdom to this deal ol’ club. I don’t mean that we have among us a member that can build a radio transmitter out of coconut shells and seaweed, or a millionaire that carries suitcases full of money on three hour sightseeing cruises. We are a group of people that come from separate styles of existence, living in environments not necessarily experienced by all of us. Some of us are starting out in life, while others have seen much more of this same life. Though there are a few things in common that some of us share (material status, education, etc.), we are still all different within our own right, and have to get along with each other. The most important fact is to accept each person for who and what they are. This gives us the chance to see and learn from how we are like one another, and how we are not! Unlike the crew of the S.S. Minnow, we can “get off the island” any time we want. If we do leave, it’s for our own personal reasons. Some of the people in the group had left the club, never to return. While at the same time, some of these same folks did come back later—hopefully for a while, rather than just for a 13 week season.

So take it from your “ Little Buddy”. We are a great bunch to be part of. Whenever you possess what you want or need, or have less than the minimum (such as no light, no phone, no motorcar), we can be like a family! Think of this method as to living in one big household with a dog, a wacky maid, and maybe a could of kids to boot! (The youngest one in curls.)

Until the next station break

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When describing the types of movies that catered to a specific audience and held a theme or concept, one could understand what was a “comedy”, a “musical”, and even a “drama”, although there could be a variety of types of movies that could fit within the “drama” mode.

One type of movie that’s often understood is what’s called “Film Noir”. Some mistake it as a movie from France since it contained a french word. (“Noir” is the french word for “black”). Others may find that a Noir film is dark in nature, meaning that there is some emotional pain, misery, and regret among its characters and plotting. That is more correct than the notion of a French origin. It’s meaning as according to Oxford Dictionaries is …a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.

That might be the definition to a film scholar. But to a fan of old(er) movies, it’s a feature that contains tough and dangerous characters that shoots first and asked questions later. A flick that boasts women that are cunning and as equally dangerous with a gun or otherwise. There where those on the proper side of the law that were there to help or where there as part of the take. They all dwelled in big urban areas that started to grow up and grow out with all of the cheap women, cheap booze, and cheap lives that held them in. The best part about them all is that they were all captured on motion picture film shot in glorious black, white, and various shades of grey.

Eddie Muller, one of the leading fathers of film noir has recently expanded and revised his book Dark City-The Lost World of Film Noir (Running Press) a jammed pack title that writes upon the movies that graced the big screen for most of the middle 20th century that reeked with crime, justice, greed, corruption, revenge, sex, and even death by murder, suicide, or both!

Within the pages of this book, Muller examines many of these sort of feature films where its heyday was between the middle 1940’s through the later 1950’s, a time where most of the nation (as well as part of the world that benefited under the Marshall Plan) were showing prosperity. It even stemmed with the returning vets that fought in World War II where not everyone that returned was deemed a hero. Many of film noir’s characters were vets that not only lived a hell on the battlefield, but still held to shocks from the Great Depression from a number of years before, emphasizing who were the “haves” and the “have nots”. It was dog-eat-dog, and may the best man (or woman) win. lose, or both!

Not only Muller, in his classic writing style of a pulp fiction author adding plenty of color through his placement of words while exposing many of these types of features, he speaks about those that appeared on the screen, with such stars as John Garfield (the “face and voice” of noir), Burt Lancaster, Edmond O’Brien, Dennis O’Keefe, Robert Mitchum (Hollywood’s “bad boy”), Lloyd Nolan, and even Jimmy Stewart and Bogie taking a stab (pun?) in this genre.

And there were the woman that also made it happen, from Gloria Grahame, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Ida Lupino, and even such stars as Belita (born Maria Gladys Olive Jepson-Turner) whose hopes to be a ice skating star came to being iced out from an skating accident into appearing in dark pictures, and even comic star Lucille Ball appeared as a femme fatal in Fox’s The Dark Corner that co-starred Clifton Webb, William Bendix, and Mark Stevens–billed as He’s Different….and Dangerous!

Muller started to become a fan of these types of movies as a kid living in San Francisco in the 1960’s when KTVU programmed these features as part of a local version of Dialing for Dollars on daytime TV. Since that time and long after, he started to curate these movies that were once semi-forgotten into an art that they never were. He even went to supervise the preservation of some thirty plus films that were made by the big studios (all of them except for Disney(!) as well as the smaller “B” and poverty-row outlets. (Republic, RKO, PRC, Allied Artists, etc.) And although its “bright” period was the 1940’s and 50’s, a few post-era noir titles made its mark. Some were great (L.A. Confidential) while a few were indeed in the dark! (In order for this writer to mention those titles, you will have to place him under the third degree to make him sing!!)

This book is the ideal companion to really know and understand these kinds of movies and how they spoke upon what was going on in American society for the nation, (and the world that Hollywood fed), to become aware. And as Mike Hammer would say “She was a stalemate. So I slugged her!!”

PS..Turner Classic Movies gives this book its blessing as Muller is the host of TCM’s weekly showcase Noir Alley that plays tribute to these movies that were red hot and dangerous that can now be screened within the conformity and privacy of one’s video portal! Get it? Got it? Good!!

Dark City-The Lost World of Film Noir is available where better books are sold, both in store or online.

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

GOIN’ TO THE MOVIES 2.0

One of the many duties this writer has to curtail to present a decent edition of this here newsletter is to place a review or two of some sort of visual element, be it a theater production, a television/video program, a book title, or a feature film. And for many years, I used to attend a lot of screenings of a new movie title for the purpose of reviewing the thing as a journalist.

A few of these screenings would take place at a screening room, a place that is really a mini theater that might hold as little as ten people (or have ten seats anyway) to as many as fifty. These screening rooms would be located within an office complex in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, perhaps in Burbank, or wherever one would have a room for rent to show a film. But most of the movies I would attend were at an actual movie theater where those on the movie studio mailing list would obtain a notice to view a film scheduled a week or so before its intended release date. (Movies are normally released on a Friday so it could capture the weekend attendance–the criterial period that could spell out how successful the movie would become in terms of box office receipts.)

For many years, the movies would be screened in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, not to far off from the UCLA campus. Up until the turn of the 21st century, this area of Westwood, usually north of Wilshire Blvd. East of the 405 freeway, and just at the southern edge of UCLA, had the biggest concentration of single screen movie theaters in town. A studio would rent out the theater for the evening just to show that film off to those on the mailing list, rather than to the public at large.

Over time, the screening should also be held at the AMC Theater complex at the Century City mall, the Pacific Theater inside The Grove shopping area, or at The Arclight Theater in Hollywood, set just right behind the Cinearama Dome that Pacific Theaters operated since its opening in 1963.

Of course, this was from the 1990’s well into the start of the 2020s. Thanks to a load of factors ranging from the closing of the many movie house in Westwood, to the ever lovin’ pandemic, movie screenings of this nature has been far off and rather limited. Thanks to technology, many of these advance screenings have been arranged through secure online streaming portals, where anyone that needed to view the feature title would be able to do so in the comfort and privacy of one’s home base. And yes, I have been part of that ordeal of late.

Also, especially around what’s called “Awards Season”, usually running between November 1st through the end of February, I would obtain dozens of DVDs that would offer a selection of movies released from the previous year that would be as “For Your Consideration” a.k.a. FYC, where I was supposed to view these titles to place whatever element the movie held as a ballot entry so that movie in question can be eligible to win some award for the best in whatever the movie itself was pushing for, from costume design, film/picture editing, acting, and of course, for a best picture slot. Most of these movies would usually be of the “art house” or “independent film” variety that would be of something that holds a greatness to it, but not necessarily something that would be of the “popcorn movie” type. That is, unless an action/adventure picture that has a lot of special effects would be up for a “best special effects” category, rather than for a best actor or best supporting actress slot. But as always, I digress!

Anyway, back to going to the movies. It has been some time that yours truly has been inside a real theater, be it a screening room or commercial theater complex, to view a movie projected onto a big sized screen with a load of perfect strangers seated within that would react to whatever was going on within the movie, such as laughing, crying, screaming in horror, or even applauding at the end of the movie right around where the end titles would roll for the next five minutes(!) with selections of the movie soundtrack (or the “hit single”) playing along with the said rolling titles.

And with all of this said and done, the musical question arrises. Do I, a writer of film reviews, really miss going out to a movie to see a film as originally intended for my own personal entertainment?

The answer to that question is…no!

Let’s back it up for a moment. Granted, as a movie theater attendee for over fifty years(!!) I always enjoyed to see a feature film inside of a huge darken room with a load of those people I don’t know that would laugh, cry, yell, applaud, and react otherwise to the sound and movement coming from that huge screen. I would have memories of attending a special theater with a second person or perhaps just as myself to view this movie for whatever reason I would be there. I would recall the general atmosphere of being in that movie house watching the crowd attending, looking at those working within the theater such as the staff at the concession stand, seeing the items available at the concession stand, as well as taking a gander of the staff cleaning up the joint after the final roll of the end credits, and seeing how many people would remain to actually sit through those credits. Here in Los Angeles, that was a very common act as many of those attending these screenings were involved in the industry, and perhaps they were looking for names of those that might have been part of the film’s creation. (This writer once recalled attending a movie’s closing credits to hear somebody say to the person they were with such things as “Hey, this guy’s still working!”, or “I though he was long dead!” to even “I have to call this guy because he still owes me fifty dollars!” But I still digress!)

That is what makes movie going appealing! One could experience such sights and sounds that one would otherwise never be exposed to if one sees a flick inside of a home, or perhaps through any electronic device that sports a video screen. Of course, this would really ring true of one would be attending a movie showing of a title that the attendee would really want to see, verses a movie that may hold limited interest (if any at all) to the movie goer. Unless or course, the viewer desires to attend the film for various reasons, the best one of these reasons is that the movie is with free admission, or something to that effect!

I have had many memorable moments of attending a movie showing at a theater. Those reasons behind those memorable moments do vary. If would be based on where I saw the film such as a huge theater place that no longer exists. (The late Mann’s National Theater in Westwood comes to mind!) Of even who came along with me. I have had many a date with girlfriends, all presently long forgotten, to take them out for the evening at the expense of the movie studio showcasing the film. I have attended movies as a single person as well. If I were at a multiplex, I would see what other movies were playing. And if there was a title that I was interesting in seeing, I would check the starting time of that film, usually as the last showing of the evening. And when the movie I intended to see was over with (usually ending between 9:00 and 9:30 PM, depending on the starting time of the intended screening and how long that screening ran), I would sneak in to the other theater room to take a “double feature”. Sometimes the movie I snuck inside to see was better than the flick I was intended to view! At least I would get my money’s worth!

But those days and my intentions are long past. I don’t watch a lot of new releases as I once did. And the ones I do see are based upon selection, availability, and unless I have a time based deadline, when I would get eventually around to viewing the thing! I became rather picky on sitting myself down plopped on my Herman Miller office chair to view the movie on a 27” video screen. Yes, there isn’t much of a theater atmosphere involved in these kind of viewings. However, I know I could take a peek of the flick at my convenience, rather than somebody’s else’s, and I don’t have to shelp myself to the location of the screening. (This is rather important based on traffic patterns experienced in the Los Angeles region!)

Also, if I do have to write a review, I can do so as the feature plays. If I have to stop the action for whatever reason, I would place the film on “pause”, jot down a note or two, then resume the film as normal. I have seen a few reviewers attending movie theater screenings taking along note pads along with then, only to see those writers place notes while seated in the dark. One person I used to see would bring a penlight along. As the film played, he would turn on the pen light to shine a light onto the page so he could see what he was writing. Of course, that irked the people sitting around this guy bringing a slight distraction to the real movie going experience.

Will yours truly ever go back to a real theater to see a movie as intended? I will. However, it has to be for a special reason. Perhaps next year (2022), I will be attending the Turner Classic Movies film festival in Hollywood where I would be able to view older titles on the big screen with a load of people that share the same reason why I am there in the first place! (Cuz we like to watch older movies, that’s why!!) But that isn’t until the next Spring. Hopefully, the pandemic we have been going through will wind up for the history books, and everything will be back to near normal. However, those movies will still remain, and as long as Hollywood keeps churning them out, there will always be movies, movie theaters, and those that still enjoy a flick or two as seen far away from their home base. And yes, I’ll be there seated along until the end credits roll to its final verbiage. After all, somebody’s gotta know who was in charge of the lighting, who was the assistant set supervisor, as well as the name of the driver who hauled the leading star to and from the set! (Yep! The screen credit “Driver for name of star” has been placed on film credits on a number of recent releases!) Anything for a IMDB listing!!

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The Sierra Madre Playhouse makes its triumph return in presenting live stage productions with its kick off, the evergreen classic musical YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, based upon another evergreen source, Charles Schultz’s beloved Peanuts comic strip.

In this stage production, Hamilton Davis Weaver is Charlie Brown, the lovable loser that tries to success in everything he faces, from flying a kite, pitching for his sandlot baseball team, kicking a football, and even feeding his dog Snoopy (Alexander Mashikian) who upstages Charlie with his ever present happy-go-lucky life.

With with every good man there are those that stand besides him, with Lucy (Mary Zastrow), the resident Fussbudget, her younger sibling Linus (Melvin Biteng), always handy with a security blanket, Schroder, (Luke Sweeney) seated behind the piano knocking off a Beethoven sonata or two, and Marcha Kia as Sally, Charlie’s younger sis. They make up the neighborhood kids that have been charming millions of their fans for generations.

This musical, with book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner with additional dialog by Michael Mayer and additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa was first performed off-Broadway in 1967 and revised twice in 1971 and again in 1999 (The SMP’s presentation), and has been a staple in regional and community theater for those same generations. And no wonder why! It still has all of the charm and grace that the Peanuts strip has offered to readers the world over, and this production as presented by the Sierra Madre Playhouse is no exception to that rule! With musical direction by Sean Paxton, choreography by Palmer Davis, scenic direction by Nicolas Santiago, and under the stage direction by SMP’s artistic director Christian Lebano, this show is perfect for those of all ages that can once again experience live theater the way it should be–live and in person!

And with the weather being as ideal, this performance is presently outdoors at the Sierra Madre Memorial Park, located a block or so away from the actual Sierra Madre Playhouse. Bring your own lawn chair or a blanket and make a whole evening of it. (There will be a limited number of lawn chairs available for rent for those that forgo their own seating arrangements.) Of course, the regional mandate for social distancing and face mask protection will still apply. But for those that desire real face time rather than “FaceTime” (among other teleconferencing applications), this show will be a supreme treat to experience out in the open!

For the fall season, the SMP will present its next two show indoors at the Playhouse. Stay tuned for further updates!

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, presented by The Sierra Madre Playhouse and co-presented with the City of Sierra Madre, performs outdoors at Sierra Madre Memorial Park, 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., downtown Sierra Madre, until August 29th. Showtimes are Friday through Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. Additional Thursday evening performance take place on August 12th and 26th at 7:00 PM. No performances on Friday, August 6th and 13th.

For tickets or for more information, call (626) 355-4318 or visit online at http://sierramadreplayhouse.org

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JUNGLE CRUISE (Disney) is an adventure yarn about a person’s quest to find a living treasure located deep in the heart of the jungles of Brazil, and the ideal person that could lead the way.

The year is 1916. At a prestigious archaeology society based in London, some recent artifacts were obtained that came from a lost expectation that occurred centuries before by Spanish explorers, seeking a tree located deep within the Brazilian jungles along the Amazon River that could cure all illnesses from its leaves and petals. Some say this tree is a legion, while other state it does exist, thanks to an artifact the society holds, an arrowhead given to the Spanish explorers by the leader of the indian tribe of people that lived within these jungles–just before they were executed as part of the Spanish Inquisition’s way of dealing with native citizens. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) whose father was once a professor within this society, holds interest in finding this tree long sought for yet never found. She is determined to find this tree of life. So with this determination, she decides to head off to Brazil and find this tree, knowing that she faces the odds of getting into danger, and the fact that she is a woman–not a person to get into such assignments.

Meanwhile, Frank Wolff (Dwaine Johnson) an expat American, is a skipper that charters tours of this region for tourists that desire to see this part of the river. With his tolerable wit and using bad jokes and puns within his delivery, he is just scraping by owing everyone money for something. Things start to change from Frank when Lily hears that Frank is very keen with this part of the jungle. He becomes the flawless man to take her on this quest to find the healing tree. So with his good spirits and the fact that Lily is willing to pay him a lot of money, the two embark on this journey to find the tree, with a lot of dangers that lie ahead of them, both natural and otherwise!i

This feature film as the title implies, is based upon (or actually, “inspired”) by one of Disneyland’s (and Disney World, along with its other parks) most beloved attractions, The Jungle Cruise, a staple of Disneyland since it opened back in 1955, witch in turn was inspired by The African Queen, a feature film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.

In this movie, Dwaine Johnson is more of the comical free spirit as one could expect, while Emily Blunt is more of a no-nonsense type who doesn’t care of being a “lady” in the traditional since, but is willing to put on pants (so to speak) to get along with this man that is getting into his real thrill. (Traveling along the Amazon that is!) The story and screenplay, created by a team of five (count ‘em!) writers consisting of Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, John Norville, and Josh Goldstein, and based on a screen story by Ficarra and Requa, has all of the elements found in a Disney title of this sort. It features action (violent in nature, but nothing graphic of course), comedy (with the for noted puns along with other elements extracted from the ride itself), as well as having a strong female lead as portrayed by the British star Emily Blunt. Of course, Dwaine comes from films that range from action/adventure to comedy, so his depiction of a carefree (or careless) jungle cruise skipper and tour guide fits this intellectual property from the The Walt Disney Company quite well.

In addition to its leading stars and its cast of characters (too many to list by name right now, but look ‘em up through IMDB.com), it features lots of special effects since it would be rather difficult (if not costly) to actually shoot this flick in the Amazon jungles, as well as to wangle a load of jungle type animals! (CGI took care of that aspect!) Much of the interiors and exteriors were actually shot in Hawaii and in Georgia(!!) where the Peach State gives back lots of tax incentives to shoot moving imagery down there! Jaume Collet-Serra, who started in the film biz directing TV commercials with an occasional music video, is on helm to direct this flick that is very amusing and entertaining to say the least

This isn’t the first time that this studio has taken its more popular attentions and rides from the Disney Parks to perhaps create another franchise movie series. It did well with Pirates of the Caribbean, but not so hot with The Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy as its lead, although rumors state that Disney may give it another shot with another movie starring its haunted house loaded with 999 lonesome ghosts.

Nevertheless, JUNGLE CRUISE is a film that is ideal to take part in for summertime entertainment, be it as seen in a theater setting or via Disney+, the streaming portal that saved the studio from folks staying home due to the Pandemic. And just like the namesake’s park attraction that was recently revised, this film won’t offend anyone in particular..or so this reviewer believes!

This feature film is rated “PG-13” for adventure-esque (and cartoonish) violence. Now playing in physical theaters where available, and through video on-demand (premium) streaming on Disney+

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
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(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

YOU, THE PEOPLE SPEAK! LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

And now, it’s your turn to place your two cents in what we’ve been up to the last time we asked for your comments.

Your current issue (Vol. 26-No. 28) is perhaps one of the strangest ones ALOL has released. Was this article part of some secret code to let everyone know that the election was really won by (Donald Trump), or am I missing out of something…?

If we solve the puzzle, what do we win?

I think something is wrong with your website. Maybe the hackers got it. How much bitcoin are they asking to set it free?

Did Pat and Terry make up with one another? Are they lovebirds once more, or did they br(e)ak up?…

My name is Pat. I have a good friend named Terry. I don’t think we know of you, unless you subscribe to our YouTube channel or TicTok link! Make sure you do by clicking our “subscribe” button…

The above list of comments are a few of many that we received over an article we wrote about describing a platonic relationship between “Pat” and “Terry”. (Both names used were aliases, and “Pat” and “Terry” did not want their real labels used in the article!)

We placed that article there as a favor to one of the persons addressed as that same person is a good friend of yours truly. Yes, we were a bit hasty is getting that write up to grace the pages of ALO-L. However, we did it just to see what might happen. Although as of this writing, we don’t know if Pat and Terry did come to terms. However, we received a lot of feedback from it. (The above is just a small sample to the comments we received!) But at least it proves to us that somebody is actually reading our articles! Unlike the social media platforms were in order to receive feedback, one had to either “like” us or log in a viewing. Granted, we aren’t a TickTok video where it’s viewed by a million or so viewers and its creator(s) receive offers from some start-up company as an “influencer”, but it’s just a start!!

I am very pleased that you are placing movie reviews here (Accessibly Live Off-Line). I really didn’t care to see (In The) Heights in a theater, so I will wait to see it on HBO.

Can you review F9 soon..?

We did! See our review in Vol. 26-No. 26 -Eds.

I, too, remember writing a letter to myself ten years into the future when I graduated from high school. I write (sic) to me with the notion that I was going to be an artist with my own gallery in New York City. I was going to hob-nob with all of the elite, have my picture in the gossip columns, and have a review in People (Magazine).

Sadly, much of my art was sold at those open market craft fairs. I would be lucky enough if I sold at least three canvases during a weekend. I did this on and off for a few more years until I got arthritis pains in my hands. I could no longer hold a brush as I once did. So sad.

But thank for your blog on writing to the yourself of the future. At least I got to do what I said I was going to do!

-Phyllis Shyroke
Temecula
, California

I like the flashback articles you reprint. Will you ever reprint more of your “Richard By Far” pieces?

Sure! Although the RBF series came from another source (The Epicenter, a monthly news letter for members of the Los Angeles Catholic Alumni Club), we’ll dig through the slush pile to pull out more RBF columns that would be of interest. Stay tuned!

That’s all the letters for now. If you desire to place your two or three cents worth, we’ed be honored to hear all about it! See the last section of this issue (right below actually) for our contact details, and drop us a line! We’ll look forward to hear from you!!!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

AN ABSENTEE REPORT 2.0

As this news service continues to celebrate our 25th anniversary, we once again dip deep into our not-so-distance past to find a previous article that speak for the time as it was then as it’s now.

Although the pandemic isn’t as bad as it was a year ago this time, and is NOT over with in spite of what some may claim, a number of events that would normally take place this time of year that focus upon in person happenings will be either be held later in the season, or will occur one year hence. And one of those events is the ever lovin’ San Diego Comic Con, the be-all-to-end-all place to gather to celebrate, as well as sell, the best (and perhaps worst) of comic related elements, science fiction, fantasy, and any other aspects that is part of the popular culture universe–no matter what kingdom, sector, galaxy, planet, or alternative reality tribal vantage point they may hail from–or not!

Although this writer has never attended the SDCC, I was aware of it since its humble beginnings in the early 1970’s when comic book collecting began to grow up.

As some of you readers out there may know, the biggest get together of its kind took place over the previous weekend. (Actually, a weekend and a half!) It was the infamous San Diego Comic Con, where a massive crowd of folks, enough to fill a good sized city, arrived at this town along the Pacific Ocean and just a stone throw’s from Tijuana, to literally “geek out”, burring themselves in anything and everything within the form of comic books, graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy, horror, animie, and anything one can create that mostly caters to a young(er) demographic or for those that never got around to growing up. This party won’t report on just what went on for mainly one specific reason. Yours truly never showed up!

Yes, this very writer did have opportunities to attend this five day event (including the Wednesday night preview) that met at the San Diego Convention Center, but for various reasons, some important and others long forgotten, just could not get away to meet all of the fan boys along with a few fan girls to live, breath, eat, sleep, text, tweet, blog, and poop about this form of domestic popular culture.

However, by the time this issue hits the streets (or is made available via cyberspace), there will be millions of other reports on just what went on. From the big movie studios using the convention to market their new releases to the comic books publishers, (DC, Marvel, and everyone else) plugging new and existing titles, as well as the teams of wannabes that are seeking their nitch into writing, drawing, and creating the “next big thing” when it comes to this art for print, movies, television, video streaming, or however media is presented.

The San Diego Comic Con has been around for some forty plus years, staring out in 1970 formed by a group of comic book collectors that paid tribute to comic titles from the “Golden Age” (1933-1955), “Silver Age” (1956-1970), as well as those comic strips that appeared in newspapers aka “The Funnies”. From that humble beginning (as well as one of many other comic book conventions that took place in various cities around the nation), this weekend meeting of comic fans grew slow but steady to a massive orgy of comics and everything in between that exists to this very day!

This writer used to attend some of the smaller conventions that usually took place in a hotel ballroom over a Friday night through Sunday afternoon period. The first one this writer attended was something called “Nostalgia ‘72” that took place at the Pick Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago, as well as its sequel, “Nostalgia ‘73” that was also at the Pick the next summer. (Both conventions met in late June-early July) As far as yours truly can recall, there was no “Nostalgia ‘74”, but did attend another convention that year whose name was long forgotten–mainly because it wasn’t as well organized!

Throughout the decade of the 1970’s aka “The Bronze Age”, this same ol’ person would show up at few of these gatherings. Not because I (no more third person references) was deeply into comics or anything although I did find ‘em amusing for what they were, but just to view what was out there in terms of comics, movie related materials, TV, and so on. At the evening hours, there would usually be special events (sometimes with a lecture attached) of comic related subjects, from a complete run of some 1940’s-era serial made by a poverty row movie studio, to live appearances of some star that was part of the era. At another convention name long forgotten (c.1976), Kirk Allen, the first screen Superman, made an appearance to speak about his career and how he turned down an offer to appear in the TV series that made George Reeves a star! Before he spoke, the first episode of Superman Vs. The Mole Men was run, followed by Kirk speaking on stage while taking questions from the audience. At another connection (c.1979), Bob Clampett made an appearance to speak about his days at Warner Bros. as well as his creation of the puppet show TIme For Beanie and its cartoon version Beanie and Cecil. Later that evening, a selection of Clampett directed Loony Tunes were run, as well as a few kinescopes of TIme For Beanie and Beanie And Cecils from the early 1960’s were screened.

But those meetings and conventions took place multiple generations before, now totally irreverent. But this writer (now returning to third person reference) still makes an attempt to follow upon what’s going down in comics and so on. Perhaps the only notion behind it all is to attend conventions. But that’s a schlep as it is! So much for geekdom!

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SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (Warner Bros.) features LeBron James appearing as LeBron James (i.e. “himself”), a professional basketball player. But this isn’t the LeBron James story. It’s a take of a basketball playing person being involved with a bunch of cartoon characters that are out to save the world and his character as a caring dad–sort of!     

Let’s get into the plot first as created by the story writing team of Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, and Terence Nance, with a screenplay by the for named team with additional material by Jesse Gordon and Celeste Ballard, and based upon the Space Jam story written by Timothy Harris, Steve Rudnick, Herschel Weingrod, and Leo Benvenuti (Whew!) It starts out as a standard sports bio movie. We see LeBron as a kid living in working class Akron, Ohio, playing hoops in a community center while getting chewed out by his coach for not concentrating on his playing the game. Then comes the montage of stock footage and TV clips showing off his rise to fame. Then we see LeBron at home living in a fortress of a mansion set in the Hollywood Hills being portrayed as a family man–and a well-to-do one at that! (This is all happening just in the first eight minutes of the movie, including the opening credits!) After some Tyler Perry-esque banter, then comes the real plot of the feature.

Deep inside the serververse (computer mainframes) located deep within the Warner Bros. studio lot of Burbank, California, a digital algorithm being of artificial intelligence,  Al G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) watches LeBron from far and within with envy because he’s a rather successful being both on and off the court. Meanwhile at a staff meeting with a group of WB executives, LeBron is offered a place as part of the studio’s intellectual properties. After the high tech pitch featuring Al as its top “pitchman” showing he can team up with DC super heroes, etc., LeBron turns down the offer, in spite of what his twelve year old son Dom (Cedric Joe) feels as he is more into creating video games than following his dad’s footsteps on the court. Al, not too pleased in this turn down, gets his revenge by sucking LeBron and Dom inside the serververse. Al proceeds to  “kidnap” Dom, only to offer LeBron a deal. Al challenges him into a game of basketball with his squad of cyber players to win freedom. If LeBon’s team wins, he and Dom can go off and run back into the real world. If he loses, the two are stuck inside of serververse forever! Since LeBron is within the WB lot, he gathers the studio’s best intellectual property to form a team–the Loony Tunes characters consisting of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and the rest of the bunch for another round on the b-ball court!

This movie is a follow up to the 1996 release Space Jam, which in turn was based upon a c. 1992 TV spot for Nike entitled Hare Jordan where Bugs Bunny through animation and Michael Jordon through “real life”, go out for a one-on-one game of hoops. Of course, this latest entry to the Space Jam series(?) has been tweaked for a postmodern audience of kids, mostly young boys and perhaps some adults, that grew up in the wired age where everyone is connected through online portals, as well as being somewhat familiar to selected Warner Media’s intellectual properties, or IP for short!

But getting back to the SP-ANL movie itself. Unlike the previous SM feature that hinted that one was watching a flick with live action and animation blended in, this entry takes the same idea and stretches out entirely, nearly making this film as one long advertisement for Warner Media, or at least the sellable parts of WM! As to the animation, it’s a lot better than what was seen in the original SJ flick, since CGI has improved within the last twenty five years.

Although there’s a lot more involved in this title, this writer won’t get into the details. (No, it’s not a spoiler alert since there isn’t anything to spoil!) However, don’t expect anything intelligent about it, unless that intelligence is from artificial and digital stock!

As directed by Malcolm D. Lee, this film would appear to please a rather juvenile (and again, mostly male) audience! It might cater to a standard fan of professional basketball, but don’t expect those involved in sports talk radio, TV, or wherever one obtains their sports stat sheets to discuss this feature in any regarded terms. However, it still does make ideal product placement, just like it was back in the day when Air Jordon ruled the NBA b-ball set! And so it goes!

PS..Don’t also expect to see Pepe Le Pew in this feature. The reason has something to do with the character not being “politicly correct” in today’s landscape. But this writer won’t get into that issue as this is a movie review, not a political forum! And we’re gonna keep it that way! Get it?

SP-ANL is rated “PG” for cartoon-type violence (or course), as well as for mild television suitable cussing. Now playing in theaters where available, as well as streaming online via HBO MAX (“ad free” a.k.a. “subscription” version) for a limited time.

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!