GET WIRED OR ELSE!

Well..maybe not “or else”, but the notion of being wired is another method of survival, or at least as just getting by!

GroupM, a marketing research firm, recently conducted a survey asking consumers over their use of modern technology. The results showed that (54.3%) of consumers acknowledge that it’s important to be equipped with the latest technology, with 82% of those responding to the survey believe that either they or a family member should be the only ones with access to health and fitness tracker data.

The report, conducted in December of ’20 by GroupM’s LIVE panel, asked 100 American consumers on their perspectives toward technology covering six general categories: attitudes toward technology, information sharing and privacy, virtual reality-based devices and services, smart appliances, mobile devices and digital services, such as visual search, streaming audio and streaming video.

Among other notions, the survey results found..

Attitudes toward Technology: 54.3% of respondents agree with this statement: “It’s important my household is equipped with the latest technology.” Males, younger people and higher-income households all “completely agree” with a much higher propensity than other groups.

Information Sharing and Privacy for health and fitness trackers: 81.7% of respondents believe that either they or a family member should be the only ones with access to this data. On the other hand, only 6.9% of respondents believe the company that made the device or software should have access.

Virtual or Augmented Reality: the higher the income, the more likely a consumer would respond “yes” to having a “virtual travel experience” like visiting a museum or a foreign city—8% of the highest quintile, while only 24.7% of the lowest quintile. Overall, males across each age group showed a higher propensity to have accessed a “virtual” trip.

Smart Appliances: 48% agreed that they would like a home appliance to “automatically order replacements when I am running out of related products” (i.e.: a washing machine ordering new detergent or a refrigerator ordering food).

5G Connected Devices: 51.5% of respondents said they have a 5G device such as a mobile phone that can connect to a 5G network. Among the half of the population without a 5G connected device, 59.6% of 35-54s said they expect to buy one in the next year, while 45.2% of 18-34s said the same.

Digital Services: Voice Assistance/Visual Search: 96.1% of respondents used an Amazon or Apple connected product to help with their shopping.

Streaming audio services: the responses were significantly higher for females than males regarding YouTube Music (49.1% to 42.4%), Pandora (53.4% to 39.7%) and local online radio station (19.6% to 15.4%).

Streaming Video: In order to maintain a lower monthly bill for streaming services, 66% of respondents said they would accept having to watch commercials.

Note: The above elements as stated were retransmitted from GroupM’s report. The complete results from GroupM can be accessed directly at https://www.groupm.com/groupm-research-reveals-1-in-2-us-consumers-believe-its-important-to-be-equipped-with-the-latest-technology/

It isn’t too much of a surprise that technology in these times have taken its acceptance over the previous year. The current pandemic execrated the use of high(er) tech gadgets and its associated applications, as well as the acceptance of said gadgetry in multifold aspects. Who would ever imagine that Zoom, a video communication source that was mainly applied for business conference related purposes, would be used for just about anything from communication with family members, personal friends, and eventually became part of domestic life milestones ranging from birthday parties, weddings, graduations, bar/bat mitzvahs, bible study groups, and other localized events that used to be done as in-person gatherings?

Streaming services, once considered as a method of getting TV programming that was a lot cheaper than what the local cable TV company offered, also increased in usage∂ thanks to having people staying home through choice and/or circumstance.

Disney+, the streaming channel started by The Walt Disney Company in November of ’19, has recently surpassed Netflix, perhaps known as the be-all-to-end-all streaming channel, as the most-downloaded entertainment video-on-demand app in the USA in the previous year, logging in some 45.2 million downloads compared to Netflix’s 44.7. And WarnerMedia’s HBO Max is now the fastest growing platform. Since its launching in May of ’20, it grew some 242% in daily active users, ranking in as the 8th most subscribed platform. The other channels running through numbers three through ten are in their order, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, Roku, Google Play Games and Pluto.

And Quibi, the streaming subscription service once made for smartphone viewing with programming running at ten minutes of less, recently found a home through Ruku and will soon be available for streaming for free (It’s going to be advertising supported) made for all devices for viewing, no longer limited just to smartphones! And one will be able to share content to all social media platforms! It will be better to let your friends and “friends” know about what you have been watching lately!

Although tech is usually linked to those that are of a younger demographic, many seniors aged 60+ are also embracing technology and accepting it for what it is. Many of those in that same demographic were first getting acquainted in computers and the internet once found within their places of employment starting in the latter days of the 1980’s to later enhance it in the 1990’s. Those that are of the “Gen Z” group born from 1965 through 1979, first got into video gaming from the arcade found in shopping malls, moving later toward home based devices. They were also the ones that first embraced the internet and its early applications, such as chat rooms! (This group “invented” the letter word “LOL” that stands for “laughing out loud”!) Of course, their kids of adult age and perhaps their grandkids did some part of introducing their parents and grandparents in suiting up to such applications. But the notion that the older one gets the less connected they tend to be, is slowly fading away.

On a side note, this writer has a personal contact with somebody over the age of 65, that still uses a flip phone and doesn’t have any access to a computer device. (This is the person’s personal choice!) This person has stated that she doesn’t feel the need to have a computer device within her reach. She is still employed and isn’t ready for retirement. She is attempting to find another job, and can’t seem to understand why she can’t submit an application for employment somewhere by sending a resume and/or application through standard mail. I did tell her that most, if not all companies that have more than five employees, are even able to process a resume and/or application through the mail. Perhaps they could have as recently as fifteen or even ten years ago. But in this day and age? Not so much! Although I did try to help her out by giving her these hard facts, she doesn’t seem to “get it” quite yet!

Whatever the case, technology, be it as high brow or as low key, is here to stay like it or not! This may be of a good thing, depending on how its used and applied. And as this year is attempting to shake off of the notions that occurred in the previous year, that won’t be too difficult to take. But as the ol’ cliche seems to go, there is an app for that!!
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LIVING IN A VIRTUAL WORLD

It’s no real surprise that because of the uncertainty of The Pandemic (a term that has its own name, thus, the capitalization), a lot of events that was suppose to take place around this time of year is going to become a virtual event. One can still attend the event, but don’t expect to be in a physical place with a lot of people crowding among each other as they used to do back in the so-called “good old days” long before there was any real worry that such crowds would become a health and safety hazard.

For those that follow the movie business for instance, this would be the start of the awards season where many groups and organizations would fob off awards for movies that aren’t necessarily blockbusters of even “tentpole” pictures. These movies would be smaller “art house” and/or “independent” feature films that are plot and character heavy, aren’t loaded with big-name starts, unless one can count people as Meryl Streep as a “big name”, or when Tom Hanks used to appear in cute and perhaps silly light comedies, and for the most part, as suppose to be “good” movies. Not necessarily entertaining per se, but are well crafted for what they are!

Thanks to the said Pandemic, many of those same smaller movies never had a genuine opportunity to play in a real movie house as most of these titles, if not all of them, wound up as video on demand selections through a streaming device. And those tentpole picture, the kind that people really want to see, were limited to a few of the theaters that were open, but wound up as revised drive-in fodder or in many cases, were also available through the streaming circles.

Out of the many elements that The Pandemic gave to the winners, it was technology that won hands down! Because people were forced to stay at home or in some form of sheltering, they turned toward internet connected devices. They watched a lot of television (movies or otherwise) through anything that can connect to the ‘net and sported a video screen, as well as making their own “movies”. They flocked on YouTube, they went to Tic-Tok, and Zoomed their way to happiness, if not totally stressed out on a virtual source that wasn’t very known of the year before.

Many trade conventions will be held this year through virtual means as well. The only good that’s coming through that element is the fact that people won’t have to travel to attend such events. However, watching faces through streaming services got very old and tired months ago. This is especially true if the connection isn’t as great as it could be, meaning that the next Zoom meeting (out of too many to count) will remain a meeting where people will be “frozen”, and perhaps not able to speak or be heard with a sound source!

As of this writing, people will be deciding if they actually want to attend a meeting in person. Here in Los Angeles, COVIG cases are still on the rise, and the vaccine can only get around for so long. So until people will start feeling safe to venture out, they will continue to attend such meetings and events through their video screens.

And to add, on January 20th, the USA will crown its new king. Of course, that event will still be presented on the steps of the Capital building in Washington, DC. However, that event will be performed through live means rather than through virtual portals, although that king-to-be will become more careful in preventing others in catching the virus of the year. (Decade?) As to the old king? Well, his followers attempted to storm the castle with the notion of telling anyone that their king should remain the leader of the band. But in concept, it dosen’t seem likely to happen, concidering that the only one doing all the tweeting about it will be the birds in the trees that will whisper Louise…or something like that!

So here’s to you ol’ virtual world. Many you live long and prosper. Then again, what can one can do..?

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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!

WHEN MOVIES BECAME VIDEO PROGRAMS

For those that are regular readers of this news service, this writer tends to write about feature films, both the current crop as well as an occasional vintage title. However, the previous year didn’t give me much of an opportunity to write about new movies for the reason that most movies released in the 2020 calendar year never arrived in a theater. It was pretty much an all online affair where one would watch the movie on a video device, be it a TV set, a cell phone, an electronic pad, or wherever video content can be obtained.

There’s been a load of talk within the industry lately that traditional movies theater may be on the chopping block, if not presumed as “dead”. Yes, a lot of feature titles that were scheduled to play in a movie house had been moved through video streaming means. In other words, these theatrical movies turned into movies first seen on television and its related applications.

Yes, movies and television were for a long time, separate elements. A theatrical movie has a different feel and vibe, from its overall look to the way the story was told. If featured performers that were “bigger than life” (i.e. “movie stars”) that were only limited to appear in said movies. Television, on the other hand, were made for smaller (and less expensive) means. Sets and scenes were not as lavish, the actors appearing may not be as well known, the music score was somewhat limited, (many times, using “stock” music cures between scenes), and of course, were closely catered to more of a general audience. While movies, especially of titles created and released from the latter part of the 1960’s and onward, could be a bit graphic, TV shows, especially the TV movie a.k.a. a “movie of the week” a.k.a. a “MOW” also showed its differences. There was no cussing heard or spoken, no nudity seen, no graphic violence depicted, and no outrageous behavior portrayed. If somebody in an MOW was taking drugs, those uses either had wind up in changing their ways, or to suffer some form of demise from their excessive usage.

Theatrical movies on the other hand, didn’t have to apply to those rules. However, those same movies did have to warn those of what they may experience in the movie through the Motional Picture Association of America’s movie rating code using the letters “G”, “M” (later “GP” changed to “PG”), “PG-13”, “R”, and “NC-17”. (The term “X” was later abandon by the MPAA, and is now associated with porn titles–a genre in its own right!)

On December 21st of ’20, an article was written by Robyn Bahr of The Hollywood Reporter that spoke about the mash-up of theatrical movies seen in a theater and movies experienced or television entitled Movies Have Always Had Their Place on the Small Screen. She noted, among other elements, that many movies were first seen by many on television, both the new titles as well as the classic collections.

Although I rarely write such “letters to the editors” letters, I did take part in placing my two cents over the notion of how movies are experienced.

I have taken the liberty to reprint my commentary to the writer. I can’t state if THR ever reprinted by commentary online or otherwise, so I’ll let you readers out there take a gander to what I wrote.

Of course, these are my own opinions, so take them for what they’re worth…!

Robyn Bahr
The Hollywood Reporter

I was rather amused with the commentary you wrote about on discovering movies that aired on television rather that first seeing them in a movie theater. I myself, was also the one that got weened on old movies thanks to television. Although I have attended movies seen in a theater since the 1960’s (my first theatrical film was Disney’s The Incredible Journey–the original 1963 release), I started to get hip to older and more eclectic movie titles in the 1970’s. My local TV station, WGN Chicago, would at one time air a minimum of four movies a day! On weekends, they would air as many of six movies, unless a Cub game would air in the movie’s TV place during the Spring and Summer months! Their timeline ranged from the sound movies of the 1920’s through the 1960’s. From all of these movies I’ve seen, I developed followings of old stars from the golden years. I even had a crush on actress Joan Leslie at age 14! (Some of my elders thought this was cute, while a few thought I was nuts!)

I also embraced home video when I bought my first VCR in 1980. After paying $950.00 for the device, I started to record old movies on TV to watch them when it was a better time for me to look at them. Later in the decade, cable TV came to town, and so did the pay channels (HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, etc.) running “newer” titles released from the previous year. The same went for movies on videotape where I would head on over to my local tape rental house–an independent place at first, later moving to a franchised joint, to view titles I’ve seen before, as well as watching movies recommended to me by other people. I was still attending movies in a theater, and started to attend advance screenings of movies to write film reviews. I really did enjoy seeing a movie in a theater thanks to the emotional appeal that went with seeing movies in a darken room full of strangers that laugh, cry, yell, and applaud with the action that’s taking place on the screen. However, Television bought movies to me that I would never see on the big screen again, unless I attended some special screening of an older title somewhere.

For the next twenty or so years, this method of movies in a theater vs. TV remained stable. This form of viewing really started to change in the 2010’s. In this decade, people started to play with their phones as the movie was running! Many people also talked to one another during the film where I can hear them when I didn’t want to. And to make things worse, when I would attend screenings of movies released from October through December, there were a lot of titles I used to call “Gimmie an Oscar” movies since they were loaded with heavy drama (sometimes too much drama for me to take), complex characters, and other factors that perhaps made this movie as a “good” movie that would only appeal to voting members to the Motion Picture Academy or any other movie voting peer group! (Disclaimer: I am a member of what used to be called the Broadcast Film Critics Association, so I fall into those voting members.)

From these movies, some of them are so boring and dull for what they are, I am at times tempted to walk out of them. Not because they are “bad” or painful to watch, but they would just made me lose my interest. It even seems that these kind of titles were meant to be viewed on a smaller (video) screen rather than a big movie theater sized screen. Some of these movies move in a slower pace in the way a TV drama would, and there are a lot of close-ups. A close-up works well seen on a 52” and smaller sized screen. But on a movie house screen? It becomes a bit overwhelming!!

I haven’t received a load of screener copies of films sent to me “FYC” this year as I used to, but I have received more online screener links to so many titles, I can’t keep track of them all, let alone even viewed them!

So will I miss seeing movies in a theater on the big screen? In a way, yes, but only because of its nostalgia. But if I never set foot in a movie theater that only runs first run titles released in the same calendar year, then so be it! I know that the days when I would attend my local neighborhood theater to see a second run title, or a bigger movie where its admission price was set “at popular prices” where I would sneak in snacks in my pockets and stay all day seeing the movie twice or perhaps three times in a row are long gone! Ditto for the days when seeing a movie in a theater was a lot better than waiting for its home video release and to later having it air on cable TV. However, watching a new(er) movie on a video screen is just as good as seeing the same title in a theater. If I watch new movies at home, I can view any title whenever I can (even at 3:00 AM), and snack on anything I damn well please! I can stop the film in the middle of a scene to jot down a note or two, only to resume the film where it left off. And if the phone rings or if I have to “see a man about a dog”, then I can stop the action, resume my business, and continue from there!

I humbly apologize to all of the movie theater chains giving them this big snuff! But this change falls within the same method where a new medium is introduced and a threat is given to the medium it’s suppose to replace! When radio came around in the 1920’s, newspapers were given a threat with the belief that people would get their news on the radio and not in print. When TV made its mark in the 1940’s, radio was threatened. The same goes for over the air broadcast TV to cable in the 1980’s, and even when cable TV was seeing its “death” thanks to streaming. But newspapers still remain. Radio is still around. Over-the-air TV still exists, and cable TV hasn’t gone away. All of these mediums adapted themselves. Now it’s time where movie theaters should take heed as well as well as to the studios that churn out these movies themselves.

And a P.S. to all of this! Movie theaters made its most drastic change in the 1970’s and 1980’s when one time single screen houses converted themselves as twin screens or even triple screens. And the multiplex came to light with six screens each, later to eight, twelve, sixteen, and even more! Don’t get me started in those movie houses where you sit in a Lay-Z-Boy-esque lounge chair, and have waitstaff take your order for foods found in an upscale restaurant, washing it all down with a glass of white wine!! If I wanted to watch a flick seated on a lounge chair noshing on beef wellington and the booze of my choice, I would have stayed home! It’s a lot cheaper (and safer) besides!

Rich Borowy
Editorial Manager
Accessibly Live Off-Line
North Hills, CA

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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 SILVER ANNIVERSARY

This issue kicks off some twenty-five years of service to our community back in the days when “community” was a place that consisted of a physical neighborhood where people worked, played, and lived. It was a time when being in a place called “cyberspace” was often confused with “outer space”, although the two names had a strange bedfellow connection to it. After all, both places suggested science fiction. We may have not be considered labeled as an “alien”, but we sure weren’t part of the little green men that rode in space ships ready to land on earth to take over the world as we knew it!

But here we are, ready to start a new year and a new chapter in the world of journalism. It’s very appropriate that we start off on a silver anniversary, since our hair, and everything else for that matter, has turned various shades of gray thanks to all of the events that occurred within the previous year!

But as we attempt to shake off all of those events be it as good, bad, or otherwise, we have decided to once again step on that good foot while looking very careful for those piles of dogs#it that we weren’t expecting to step on when we started out on our trip down through the roarin’ 20s one year before.

Even through we started off in a year year, we are actually half way through our fiscal year that ends on June 30th. But we won’t necessarily wait for a turning point to start anew. We’ll begin some sort of phase when the time is right. And that time is now!

For this year, we are going to continue in presenting those reviews that made us so-called “famous”. Granted, we are awaiting for things to open up a bit in terms of regional theater, movies and those other forms of entertainment that you folks love to know about. We will also write editorials (such as this one) that start each issue off each week. And we will try to do some new things as well. We won’t necessarily give any specifics right now. But believe us folks, they will be new!
But as of now, we are going to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, as well as our 26th year of our existence. We are going to forget the previous year as those 2020 calendars are already sitting in garbage heaps, along with those Christmas trees that are sitting along street curbs, ready to be taken away to their final resting places.

So as we sip the last of our egg nog, wolf down the final Christmas cookie, and to safely preserve that fruitcake we received from Aunt Muriel to be ready to fobbed off to somebody else the next season, we are ready, willing, and to start anew!
In short, the number “21” is very lucky! That’s the age when you can legally drink! “21” is the number you want to hit on in Las Vegas, or wherever gaming is accepted. It’s also a nice number because it’s not “20”! But we turned 21 four years ago. We are now on a silver lining!

So let’s make that term to be just as good as gold, even if it’s just silver!

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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!

GOOD BYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE!!

Although there is still two or so weeks left in this calendar year, we, along with the millions (give or take) of you out there that just want to have this year come to a close, we want to give our final farewells right here and now!

This was the year that nobody expected. When it all began on that January 1st, it was going to be the start of a new decade that would have been called “The Roarin’ 20’s 2.0”

We would have been doing crazy stunts such as flagpole sitting, making bathtub gin from a bathtub (duh!), and perhaps do those hot-cha-cha dances such as the charleston, cutting a rug to the hot jazz sounds coming from Coon-Sanders and the Kansas City Nighthawks, Bix Beiderbecke, or perhaps Duke Ellington. We would have been watching silent movies starring Clara Bow or Rudolf Valentino for drama, and laughing to the antics of Charlie Chaplin or The Keystone Kops. It would become a decade for the masses while the economy was booming with an unemployment rate a barely 3%, the lowest its been is some fifty years!

So what happened? Well, we did those crazy stunts such as wearing face masks. We drank enough gin, along with any kind of alcohol one could grab their hands on just to pass the time away or just to cope. We danced by ourselves on our own rugs in our homes since we were forced to stay there! We heard all of the jazz bands playing, with just about any form of music to keep our wits at bay through audio streaming sites. We also watched a lot of movies, TV shows, and just about anything we can find just to give us something to do because the movie houses were shut down. Many didn’t work due to massive layoffs. And those that did keep their jobs did it in our homes. We did zoom into the new year. Not through speed, but through teleconferencing for everything from business meetings and even baby showers! In short, instead of stepping on the good foot for the new year, we wound up stepping in a pile of dogs#it!

We can go on with the year, from civil unrest to racial divides to an election that was not rigged. (There’s proof folks, just in case you don’t believe us!) A new king was selected to run the kingdom that became a sorry state, while the previous commander in chief took his loss like a spoiled brat. All in all, good ol’ Charlie Dickens said it best. It was the best of times while it was the worst of times!

We are not trying to be nostalgic here, since much of what was being noted was anything but nostalgic! However, a lot of good that came out from all of this had reared its not-so-ugly head. It made people become fully aware of their personal situations. It made them break old habits they wanted to break but didn’t do such because they didn’t know how, or were just chickens#it to even try! A lot of others took advantage of many monetary based stimulus packages that were made available to those that really needed it, ranging from generous unemployment benefits to forgivable loans handed toward small businesses by way of the Small Business Administration. (For the record and as a disclaimer, this newsletter’s parent company applied for and received the said SBA loans.) Many of those improved their dwelling spaces for the better, performing tasks such as painting, cleaning, adding decorative and practical items, etc.. And in short, it was the kick in the rear that a lot of people really needed, yet didn’t realize that this swift kick should have been applied for generations of time!

But as this year sinks slowly in the west, east, north, and south, all we have right now is one word to apply for the next year-hope! There are a lot of hopes to pass around, and the new year would be the template to do it all. All that everyone has to do is to find that hope and take advantage of it, using the same method of doing that something or another that one wanted to do but never got around to it. This year, one finally got around to it! And it didn’t kill them in the process!

So with this being all said and done, we will thank everyone of you readers out their in cyberspace land for hanging in there! Think of that classic 1970‘s-era poster of the kitten handing on a horizontal wooden bar (stick?) with its front paws while exposing its underbody toward the viewer, with a single line of “Hang In There” printed above the photo of the said kitten! If you want to see a picture of the poster, use that Google search you’ve been using to find anything since this pandemic took hold!

See it now??


On December 14th, The Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board announced the twenty five film titles that will be entered as part of the LOC’s National Film Registry.

Under the guise of the National Film Preservation Act, the LOC chooses twenty five titles that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least ten years old at the time of creation or public release, and must be an American production or co-production. Any motion picture can be chosen as long as it meets those guidelines, and do not necessarily have to be a commercial production. (Amateur and home movies can be selected.)

Each year, the LOC selects the titles are suggested by the LOC’s film preservation staff, moving image scholars, as well as the general public.

Listed below are the twenty five titles along with its year of release/creation. A “#” in front of the title indicates that it is a non-feature length film. (Short subject, amateur film, etc.) “D” indicates it is a documentary/non-fiction title.

#The Battle of the Century (1927)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Bread (1918)
(D)Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Cabin in the Sky (1943)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Dark Knight (2008)
(D)The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
(D)Freedom Riders (2010)


Grease (1978)
#The Ground (1993-2001)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Illusions (1982)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
#Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)
Lilies of the Field (1963)
Losing Ground (1982)
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
Outrage (1950)
Shrek (2001)
Suspense (1913)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
Wattstax (1973)
#With Car and Camera Around the World (1929)

For more details on the above titles including titles of other films on the registry as well as how to vote for the 2021 selection, visit the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board web site at http://www.loc.gov/film
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This will be the final edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line for the calendar year. We’ll be taking the next two weeks off, only to return during the week of January 4th, 2021 to kick off our 25th anniversary year!

On behalf of the staff and management of Accessibly Live Off-Line, we wish each and everyone of you a very happy holiday season, and a better new year!

See you in ’21!

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

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 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!

EVERY DAY IS BLACK FRIDAY

Now that December is here, it’s the time to shop for the season. Or at least, one would normally be shopping for the season!


Yep folks, those ever lovin’ gift giving holidays are here! Since earlier this year, people that never got around to buying stuff through the ‘net has learned how to do such. For those that’s been handy with their internet connected device as well as a credit card account have been spending in vengeance. And although shopping is a real store has its moments, getting out there has been performed through much caution.

There has been news, possibly rumors, that a vaccine for fighting the virus of the year (Decade? Century?) is getting close(r) in development. But as of this moment, that may be the case or not. But until it all becomes official, folks will attempt to do the so-called normal stuff that would usually do now that the end of the calendar year is slowly running its course.


But when it comes back to the seasonal shopping, there are deals o’ plenty around out there. There’s money to be spent for a few folks, while others are tightening their belts and pocketbooks. But that will add some creative license to be thrown around when it comes to making the best for the season.

However, as we create this column, the paramedic has changed from bad to worse. Since the weather is a lot colder than it was back in August, folks tend to stay indoors. Depending where one is, places are going through lock downs. Malls may be limited to allowing fewer folks inside, if at all! And since everyone is rather spooked out in everything from hunkering down to going through election withdrawal, shopping for gifts may not be the best move.


Some folks have started their shopping long before the traditional season. A recent marking report following this trend stated that those of the “Baby Boomer” demographic, those born between 1946 through 1964, were the first group to start their seasonal shopping, even going online to get their gear. Those that are Millenniums (born 1980-1996) and Gen Z (1997 and later) are the ones that wait until the last moment. It’s assumed that thanks to the for noted online shopping, an order can be turned around as little as a day or so. So if you want a gift to arrive on December 25th, one can order as late as December 23rd. That’s progress!


So it’s all going to become an interesting season to document for sure. Let’s home that this first annual virtual holiday season will be its last. Come December, 2021, there will be a new way to conduct business. And let’s also hope that this change will be for the better and through personal choice, rather than through governmental order. But guess what folks! This time around, The new(er) king of the USA will take a different perspective in things that what the previous ruler did!

And so it goes!

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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
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 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!

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…

Guess what folks? The season is all upon is. Known as “The Holidays” because there are a lot festive days that have a connect within one another falling within the same six week period, there will be a lot of gift giving done, although the standard playbook on selling and buying through this time of year is somewhat different.

First of all, November 30th, the Monday after the Thanksgiving holidays, is normally known as “Cyber Monday”, meaning that this is the day where people are back at their places of employment (i.e. “the office”) where they tend to do their seasonal shopping on goods that they didn’t get during the traditional “Black Friday” sales held at their local in-person retail outlet.

Because spending indoors face-to-face with other people crammed within tight places are not the thing to do right now, retailers started their own version of Black Friday (known hereon as “BF” to keep things a bit neat around here), by offering their good online with available in-store pickup. (A few retailers are still offering curb service in case somebody doesn’t feel like physically entering a store!) There sales started as early as the Columbus Day weekend with offers rolling in and out of time, meaning that some goods are being offered at a “doorbuster” price for days at a time through their web portals. This means one doesn’t have to bust a door down in order to grab the goods at a discounted price on a certain day at a certain time. (6:00 AM??)

As to Cyber Monday shopping online at the office? Well for a lot of folks, “the office” is now located within their homes, meaning that they don’t have to work for the boss as (s)he is breathing down their necks hollering at them on why they aren’t doing their work! That’s because they’re isn’t any boss to to do this. That is, unless one lives with their boss!!

And since people have been going through more that they were expecting through this year, their sense of what they desire for the season has also changed. Many folks are no longer asking for big ticket items, now requesting for items that are more personal in nature, or asking for a service done for them.

For instance, one of those lifestyle magazines out there that tend to cater to a female demographic featured an article on making gifts for the season–Christmas in this case, but one can assume that it can go for any seasonal event where gifts are exchanged, that may consist of a promise to do something for someone, such as doing yard work, baking a cake, or perhaps offering a favor that would deem right for the person. Or perhaps offering some time and respect with that person, such as being a good friend, family member, or somebody within the personal domain of the person. These sorts of gives have the heart and soul within them that shows more personal concern rather than to grab all of the loot one can fester up. In other words, picking out items from the annual Christmas catalog from Neiman-Marcus is no longer in vogue, considering the fact that the department store located in The Big “D” of Dallas, Texas may not survive the season, let along the rest of the century!

But shopping will still prevail, Christmas or otherwise! It’s just going to be done for different reasons and through different methods. So don’t exactly toss out those ribbons and wrapping paper quite yet! And if you are going to send those cards through the US mail (yep, they are still in operation since they did their duty in getting the election in gear), by all means, send ‘em out! After all, somebody’s going to have to load their mantles with something outside of knickknacks and dust!!

Oh yes! Don’t forget that fruitcake is still in season, so expect your annual piece of this pie soon. (PS..if you do receive one, it won’t be from me! So there!!)

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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
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 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!

THANKFUL FOR…

This is Thanksgiving week in America, the week where the day of thanks is being honored throughout the country. These is the days where folks, be they are family members through blood, marriage, or as close and honored friends, gather for the dinner party to beat all dinner parties. Normally, they arrive from near and far, traveling distances that could range from a few blocks off to halfway around the world. They may fight through the challenges from getting to and from, or even having their say while at the gathering place to compare thoughts that may result in a heated disagreement or not. Whatever the case, folks perform this task each and every year. They may know the results, but they will do it anyway because of the tradition such gatherings speak for.

Even perfect strangers also go through this ritual. Some people do not necessarily have any special place to go come Thanksgiving, either through circumstances that are not necessarily of their making, or through periods that didn’t work out quite the way that they have should. Many community centers and places of worship (churches, etc.) will host community Thanksgiving celebration where anyone can take part a meal consisting of turkey and all of the trimmings. They may be dwelling in a small sized apartment, living in a vehicle, or even living on the streets however they can. But there are those that care for these folks, and will allow them to have their meal with others that may not necessarily be family per se, but are with those that won’t become forgotten. (Your community may have sources that will still host these events, but may be limited depending on local standards for the current pandemic. Check to see what are this year’s protocols in order to participate in these events!)

This writer doesn’t have to remind you that this year (2020) hasn’t been the year we were expecting. From middle March onward, there has been everything from lockdowns, limited service of businesses that later rose to the occasion or have submerged, civil unrest, political based uprisings and downfalls, and a whole lot of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. In spite of all of these actions, there has always been that silver lining that’s been within reach. There has been that glimmer of hope to ponder upon. Granted, that ray of confidence may not be easy to find, but it’s there. One just has to seek it!

Although there is still six weeks left in 2020, it’s best to strive to what will result for this year, and the new year to come. This writer doesn’t have all of the answers to know about what’s ahead in this journey. In fact, yours truly is still attempting to figure it all out. But one thing is for sure. We will always remain thankful for what one has. It may not be of the same capacity as it was let’s say a year ago around this time. But you and I are still here. We may have been stirred and shaken up a bit, but we persist to take all in what’s ahead, and to see to it that we will remain on that top that we desire to be on.

On behalf of myself and the staff and management of Accessibly Live Off-Line, we wish each and everyone of you folks out there a very Happy Thanksgiving!

See you next week!

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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) 2020 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!

FOUR QUARTERS

There’s been a quote that’s been floating around through the usual social media portals that was attributed to being stated by Al Capone, the notorious Chicago gangster of the Roarin’ 20s. (The 20th century “Roarin’ 20s”!)

The story goes that when we was asked by a reporter for one of the Chicago daily newspapers on the people he associates with, he stated that it’s best to watch who you make friends with. He noted that “I would rather have four quarters in my pocket than one hundred pennies!”

What Big Al was attempting to get at was the fact that it’s best to pick and choose who to make friends with in terms of quality rather than quantity. One can only have so many friends that are deemed as “close” rather than people that are in the masses who are treated within the same capacity.

There’s many sources out there in cyberspace land where one can learn about the dynamics of friendship. This here writer has also written upon the subject a number of times before, noting that friendship is harder to obtain while one ages as living within this domestic society. It’s also a challenge to who one should make friends with and for what purpose.

Of course, this year was just as challenging as well. Thanks to the ever lovin’ COVIG-19 thing, people have been hunkering down at home, nearly locking themselves out of harm’s way. As the weather was getting better, people started to creep out from their domains, making a feeble attempt to engage in social activities but only to a point. Of course, big time gatherings were placed on hold, while doing things that could count as a social gather was altered from gym meets, going to sporting events, attending a theater (both live theater and the moving picture type), as well as hosting parties and celebrations that are another part of the domestic landscape lifestyle.

And without these gatherings and events, folks stated to feel anxiety. They started to experience some form of loneliness as well. So these folks started to reach out and touch someone, but not necessarily in any physical sense. Handshakes were out. So were hugs! If people wanted to get close that wasn’t something one would see on network TV (assuming that people still view network TV), they did so in vengeance!

Places that offer sexual aids and related accessories online reported sales to be up from the previous year. And for those that wanted to be close by watching others engage in that activity, the website PornHub.com reported a 25% increase of online traffic. Ditto for a competing website, XHamster.com.

But what’s the status of friendship as a whole, especially in these lives and times? Recently, Snap, Inc., the folks behind Snapchat, recently released The Friendship Report 2020, a collection of findings from studies the company commissioned from Alter Agents upon the current pandemic’s impact on friendships and well-beings.
The report, their second report on the study of friendship from around the nation as well as through international portals, interviewed some 30,000 people through sixteen countries noting how the COVIG-19 pandemic has changed or altered the dynamics of friendship, with a team of seventeen experts on the field contributing to the report.

As Snap stated in their introduction to this year’s report..

Our initial global Friendship Report was released in 2019 to examine the state and nature of friendship around the world. The report was broad in scope, diving into attitudes about friendship and what helps make them healthy and long-lasting. An important finding in last year’s report was that our closest friends are key to our happiness, often from early life—and while most of us do have close friends, some of us don’t.

For the second edition of the Friendship Report, we wanted to understand why. Did some of us not make those close friends in the first place, or did we lose them along the way? In a year where Covid-19 has fundamentally changed how we interact with our friends, understanding what causes friendships to thrive or falter and the impact of this pandemic is more important than ever.

Some of the highlights of Snap’s findings..

-COVIG-19 (or “COVIG” for short) brought some friends closer together, but also made some of people feel lonely.

-Friends are our first line of defense against loneliness, and we generally make our best friends in childhood; on average we have known our closest friends for at least half of our lives.  

-Most of us have lost touch with a close friend from childhood, with the majority wanting to rediscover that close connection.

-While most of us are keeping connected better through digital communication channels, we still need to develop our friendship skills to help us learn how to maintain friendships over distance and get back in touch if we do lose contact.

Other stats to ponder upon…

COVIG was the leading cause of stress for American Snapchatters with a count of 85%. Finances came next at 81%, followed by work and/or career pressures at 80%. 60% of respondents mentioned politics as well as the results of the recent election.
School was a leading source of stress for those Snapchatters of the Gen Z demographic running at 75% for those aged 13 through 24, spiking to 91% of those 13 through 17 years of age. Major concerns of this group included the lack of socialization with their peers and falling behind on their education.
67% of those responding have felt lonely since the COVIG pandemic began to take its toll, up from 59% the previous year. Almost half (49%) said that being unable to see their friends made them feel more lonelier.

However, two thirds (66%) of respondents said they are using the people they know to stay in touch more than they had before social distancing became the norm.

As this month progresses, the times where COVIG may begin its rise is in areas where the weather is getting colder and greyer. To add insult to the so-called injury, the next six weeks will bring three major holidays that are known to be famous for its social gatherings, group activities, and overall bonding of people that are considered as family, either through blood, marriage, or by way of self adaption and acceptance.

Within the last few seasons, many of those of the Millennium age (born from 1980 through 1996), whose birth family may not necessarily be acceptable or accessible, this group invented something called “Friendsgiving”, a term that is basically a Thanksgiving gathering, but everyone in attendance isn’t necessarily related to one another but are close enough be be considered as family. However, even Friendsgiving may be part of a dilemma thanks to people not able (or not wanting) to participate in any larger gathering. The same goes for all of the holidays that involving merry making, gift exchanging, food consumption, and lighting lights that mean something connected to the celebration in question. These events are simply called “The Holidays”. And within the same stance as Thanksgiving and even Halloween, nobody is going to put off the celebration of these events. Granted, it’s going to be rather different, but it isn’t going away!

Last of the three is New Year’s Eve. This is the event where big-deal parties take place with drinking and making a whole lot of noise to ring out the old and to ring in the new year. Many people used to take advantage of this event, whole others showed minimal interest. So this holiday may be put on life support, if not considered as dead. After all, Guy Lombardo, Dick Clark, and Ben Graurer are long gone, if not totally forgotten!

And PS..There isn’t any Rose Parade this year either. Save your carfare to Pasadena for this time around! Nothing is going to happen along Colorado Blvd. Another sign of the times!

But friendship is one of those human traits are are important for physical and emotional survival. In fact, yours truly has made major efforts to keep in contact with those within my inner circle. They may not necessarily understand the things I involve myself with, but that doesn’t matter! If they are out there for me, I’ll do my damnedest to be there for them. That is, if they want me to be there for them!

But take heart folks! Do what many songs sing out upon the phrases of friendship. Some are better than others, but they are out there! After all, four quarters are a lot easier to handle than those one hundred pennies. It’s also a lot easer to carry as well! And if you pay for something worth a dollar, folks are more apt to grab those coins with George’s picture on ‘em that with honest Abe–unless Abe’s mug is plastered on a five dollar bill!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 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!

WHAT’S GOING ON?

The answer to the above headline could be tallied as “Too much yet not enough!”

As 2020 is staring to wind down, although there are some eight or so weeks (give or take a few days) left in the calendar year, there has been a lot of questioning that’s been going down, from the recent election that is complete with a few sore losers in the bunch, to how and where the holiday season is going to look like! People are feeling good, bad, concerned, anxious, confused, well heeled, and in all point in between. These are the best of times as well as the worst! (That phrase may be the most quoted extracted from the pen of Charlie Dickens for this season verses the oft noted line “Bah Humbug!”) This is the moment to say “What if”?” “What’s happening?”, and the modern classic “WTF??”

This writer doesn’t have to quote upon the current status of these times. After all, this is what’s been fueling social media for the past few months. Just about anyone who is savvy enough to post, tweet, Tic-Tok, and to stream audio and/or video contact has giving their mark to the things that matters. (To the poster, anyway!)

But those elements just scratch the surface. There are a lot of things that are noted, but not necessarily for the entire public to become aware. Those folks do have their say, that’s true. Some are just expressing those notation louder than others.

It’s not too surprising to note that there are the good and the not-so-hot to ponder upon. Recently, The Ad Council, an organization based in New York that distributes and supplies those public service announcements (PSAs) to audio and video based media outlets for decades, recently teamed up the the German based skin care company Beiersdorf on the state of loneliness among people throughout the globe.

Their study was conduced from late July through middle August of this year asking those aged eighteen and over based in Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, he United Kingdom (England), as well as the USA on their status of feeling lonely and living in isolation. The study itself, entitled Loneliness, Isolation, and Human Touch: A Global Perspective in the Era of COVIG-19 presents a topic on how those are taking their status of being alone in the times where gatherings are the norm, if not something that is usually taken for granted, unless when those gatherings are altered in a drastic method, if not totally gone for good–or it appears to seem that way!

For those that hold an interest in reviewing the report, visit https://www.adcouncil.org/loneliness for the complete details!

One thing about isolation. Video viewing has seen a major change in how content is obtained and consumed. All of the streaming players has shown major increases in subscribers for this year compared to the year before. From the the channels with “plus” in their names, and the one that offer different levels of subscription (free with commercials, fee without ads, etc.), there has been more content to look at (or to not view) in the comfort and privacy of their home, their place of employment (either at home or not at all), and anywhere else where internet access is..well..accessible! Since movie houses are either making themselves available with limited seating or not all all, (with the content available to boot), one has to keep themselves busy and occupied. Granted, usually video viewing is associated as a solo activity. But many folks have arranged group viewings either in person such as inside of one’s home base with others known to the hosting party, or through virtual means. (Zoom, anyone??) Even this writer participated in a few of those group watching parties through Zoom. However, usually the material that’s being viewed tended to be rather of poor quality. Not so much via content wise, but the fact that the video was jerky, and the sound was cutting in and out, if not totally synced to the picture! But one has to give credit to the people that attempted to arrange such group viewings. It’s best suggested that one views the material on their own, and to “gather” afterword to discuss what was watched–or not!

Of course, that isn’t just the only tale of media based content failure. A few weeks ago, Quibi, the steaming channel that was arranged through Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katenzberg, two of the many media moguls out there, finally has met its match by pulling the plug! When the service was announced at the beginning of this year at the CES convention is Las Vegas in January with a Super Bowl TV spot to match, it was toted as a unique video service for those who desired to view content that ran in short segments, usually at twenty minutes or less! It was the thing to view while out and about with their phones to keep themselves busy while waiting in line at the bank, the supermarket, or the local coffee shop, perhaps sitting in a waiting room of some kind awaiting for their turn to be served or serviced, or at anyplace else where these same folks would become idle for just a few moments! It was going to start its programming later that Spring with a free trail offer! If one like what they see, then they would be willing to take a subscription! That’s how it was suppose to function anyway!

But when the CES took place as well as the running of the Super Bowl spot, it was in January and February, 2020 “BP”. (Before Pandemic). In middle March, all hell broke loose! Today, people are watching too much longer video while decorating (or re-decorating) their homes while cooking anything and everything from soup to nuts! That includes the kitchen sink! (Cleaning it, galvanizing it, or replacing it!) One has to keep busy while hunkering down, y’know!

This writer is fully aware that folks already had their fill to what’s going on, so we’ll finish this article for now! Interestingly enough, Rolling Stone magazine recently released their revised listing of the top one hundred record albums of all time created in the so-called rock era from 1955 to the present. According to those taking the survey that came from those people connected to and in the music industry of some sort, they picked as the number one album, Marvin Gaye’s 1971 release “What’s Going On?” Perhaps that album, although it’s pushing fifty years since Motown Records (under the Tamla label) made it available, still holds its significance in today’s age as it did back in its era! One can still find that album as Universal Music, the company that owns the Motown library, has it available as a streaming source, a physical CD, or even on reissued 12” vinyl! Place that record on your turntable, your CD player, or your iPod (if you still use one) and enjoy!

After all, what else one can do while working at home or creating their umpteenth batch of sourdough starter–if not repainting the bedroom walls!!
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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) 2020 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!