PHONE PFUN!

When I was a young(er) lad not too long ago, answering the phone always seemed to be a major chore, if not a royal pain the a$$! As soon as the phone would ring, there would be a heated argument around the ol’ household over who would answer the thing!

“You get it!” “No, I got it last time! You get it!” “I answered it last time! It’s your turn!” Nobody wanted to answer the call! It was usually because a salesperson may be on the other end, somebody nobody wanted to speak with somebody as Aunt Muriel may be on the other end, or it’s someone else bringing us some news nobody wanted to hear about. These little episodes both produced massive eye rolls from my parents when they were the ones that picked up the call. However, the call was usually for them. When I and my fellow siblings got older (age 13 and up), we started to receive more phone calls intended for us. However, we still had to weed through the incoming calls sorting the ones out between phone calls for us (the kids) and calls for them. (The parents!)

Now, it seems like it is the total opposite. If our cell phones make a noise of some sort with a traditional cell phone ring (whatever a traditional cell phone ring is) or making a “ding” sound with just a notification, we nearly break our arms off trying to get them out of our pockets and purses! And if we didn’t get there fast enough to take the call, we made damn well sure we would get back to the caller within a split second!

Wha’ happened? Why did we become so much more attentive to these little devices than we did to our old phones growing up? 

The answer is rather simple. Because we know the message is intended for us! Long before Caller ID became a common household staple in the late 1980’s, you had no idea who was on the other line or who they wanted to talk to! Nowadays, we have our own personal answering machine, call-waiting system, caller ID, answering service, and a telegram-esque a.k.a. text messaging system sitting in the palm of our hands, or pocket, or purse, or where we place the phone! And every message and call coming in is intended for us and nobody else! 

One can see why phone messages love to be received, just as long as they know that the call coming in is one that’s expected or even desired! Granted, there are a few phone calls that we don’t care to receive. However, since every cell phone device in this ever lovin’ world has a caller ID system built in, we will know who is on the other end! If we see a phone number we don’t know or know of, we can either take the risk and answer the call hoping for the best, or we can scoff off the call to either call later, if at all! And since we only give out our phone number to people or sources that we want to give our numbers to, we can control the flow of traffic coming in at a much better rate.

For those that still have their land line as many people, in spite of what one would believe, still keep holding on to for various reasons, some folks give that land line number to those of their lesser importance. Thus, you will never receive a call from that lesser importance source through your cell phone. That is, unless they find out that the phone number you gave them isn’t a cell phone number and discover you do have a cell phone number! Yours truly still maintains a land line phone and number to go with it. That is because I have had the phone number for nearly twenty-five years, and a few folks I once communicated with still have that number within their files, although most of those people either now have my cell number, or are those I no longer have any business with. Also, the cell phone reception around my neck of the woods can be pretty dicey. So keeping a hard line may be the only way to send out calls.

As to receiving calls through the hard line? The only calls I tend to get on that hard line are either from robots attempting to offer me goods and/or service, or from a live person calling me from some third world nation located somewhere in Asia doing the same thing, usually with the intention of scamming me out! So instead of subscribing to a caller ID service, I just don’t answer the phone! Once in a while I’ll get a call that’s legit. But for the most part, the land line doesn’t get the same priority as to the cell phone.

And for the record, those extra phone services that the local phone company such as AT&T used to advertise for a land line still offer those same services. (Caller ID, call waiting, voice mail, etc.) You just have to ask for it, although not many do so much as they used to!

As now now, the phones we all carry can be much of a blessing as it is a curse. You can take one call at a time and be done with it, or you can check to see who texted you every twenty minutes! Whatever the case, you can know if Aunt Muriel tries to call you over matter that’s important to her, while for you, it’s all bulls#it! Or if you do get a call from a robot attempting to sell you an idea or product, you can brush ‘em off! (Yep, you can receive robot calls to your cell phone, too!) The whole joy is the fact that the good news can come in, whole the bad news falls on the wayside. And that’s isn’t so bad!

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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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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!

GHOSTING HALLOWEEN?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced their recommendations that Americans should avoid Halloween celebrations that involve any in-person interactions.

The federal agency noted that traditional in-person Halloween festivities, such as an indoor costume party, going to a community haunted house, or doling out candy to trick-or-treaters going door-to-door, should be avoided this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the report the CDC noted, they stated Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Then the report noted about what’s called “safer alternatives”-actions and events one can conduct to keep the Halloween activities alive (no pun intended!!) while keeping safe and secure over a virus that is scarier than something that goes bump in the night.

Those events and activities include such elements as carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household, carving or decorating pumpkins outside at a safe distance with neighbors or friends, decorating your house, apartment, or living space, doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance, having a virtual Halloween costume contest, hosting a Halloween movie night with people you live with, and keeping a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house-to-house.

The CDC also noted other activities as categorized by health officials as “moderate risk” that includes participating in “one-way trick-or-treating,” where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance, hosting a small-group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than six feet apart, as well as attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than six feet apart.

In one visits a community pumpkin patch or orchard, hand sanitizer should be used or be available before touching pumpkins or picking apples. Ditto for wearing masks so people are able to maintain social distancing.

As one can note from the above, the CDC is doing their best in making Halloween safe for all as the intentions are for the good. However, people are still hell bent in celebrating Halloween as they have since they began to make this holiday as the only one that matters. For many folks, Halloween is much bigger than Independence Day a.k.a. The Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and all of the festive gift giving moments that fall within the month of December that’s been lumped under one name known as “The Holidays”!

Sure, it’s best to be safe and all. However, people have been spooked (and not just from Halloween) since St. Patrick’s Day because of lockdowns, shutdowns, re-openings, re-closing, cancellations, working from home, not working at all, and attending way too many meetings through Zoom that ranged from being dull and boring, to becoming Zoom-bombed! It’s enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies as they stand–or fall!

But in spite of these measures, Halloween will still be here, and many sources are letting you know about it. Many of the candy companies started to market their Halloween candy as early as August! Even though folks tend to get their Halloween goodies usually the week of Halloween, folks are stacking up just to consume the candy for themselves! After all, when one is going through stress, anxiety, and other factors connected to this pandemic, they tend to eat! And what better way to ease one’s burden is to wolf down a whole bag of “fun size” pieces of Snickers, or to gobble down a whole load of Jujubes! After all, there are no movies to see in a theater, so why not scarf down a box or three while bingeing on episodes of Tiger King on Netflix?

Even people in the neighborhood are starting to put up their Halloween decorations rather early. One house near where this writer hangs his hat had their orange colored string lights, plastic jack-o-lanterns, and LED light sets of projected animated dancing ghosts as early as the Labor Day weekend! (That’s a Halloween fan bar none!!)

Of course, one can follow some of the CDC’s guidelines. However, it’s always safe to note that one has to use their own discretion when getting Halloween its fair shake of making it all happen!

Then again, there will be lots of costume ideas going around. One can play the political game since Election Day falls on the Tuesday after All Hallow’s Eve, so keep your eyeballs out for folks dressed up as Joltin’ Joe B., The Donald, or even Anthony Fauci! (He’s not running in the election, but he is the poster boy of the year!) And don’t be surprised to have folks dressed up as a COVID-19 virus speck! After all, one has to be creative!

In the mean time, enjoy the antics of October 31st! And on a side note, the week this edition hits the streets (so the speak), October 12th is the traditional Columbus Day–a day that has lost its luster in recent times. It’s also Thanksgiving Day in Canada! But we’re getting a head of ourselves as that stands!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

TELL HIM IT’S JACKIE, a solo play about Jackie Kennedy’s emotional moments hours after the demise of her brother-in-law Bobby, and how she reflects upon her past and future, makes its premier in Woodland Hills.

Kait Haire appears as Jackie Kennedy. It’s the daylight hours of June 5th, 1968. Just a few hours before, Robert Kennedy, her brother-in-law, was assassinated in Los Angeles. It’s the second time she had experienced such a tragedy where her husband Jack fell into the same circumstances nearly five years before. As she cradles herself alone in her home in Washington DC, she begins to reflect upon what just occurred. She holds herself steady by taking upon drink and even through a few prescription pills. She becomes rightfully aware that she hales from a rather privileged background, yet becomes reflective to how her life was formed through her association with the family she marred into. Her thoughts and settlements has her verbally tell the story about her life, as well as how her husband Jack donned his way through politics as well as through other women he knew in more ways manageable! She has her children, and doesn’t quite know what their beings will become, now that they are part of a family dynasty known as the Kennedys. Through these times, Jackie is entering an hour of becoming stable while falling emotional apart. But there is a way out, even though this person that will become part of her second life has more years to his credit as well as the bank accounts that comes with the territory. Jackie’s times are far from through, although politics will now take a back end.

This new theater piece, written and directed by playwright Tom Dugan, shows a reflective period extracted from the life and times of Jackie Kennedy, a woman that was beloved (and pitied) by many of those that followed her being through the media of the era, mostly by way of television and the printed press–tabloid or otherwise! Kait Harie as the title character performs her role as Jackie as a person that is a cross of being somewhat charming yet not “sweet”, besides holding a persona that isn’t as independent or strong as others within her nature would take upon generations later. (Social media was light years away for such actions to even develop!) Tom Dugan uses an amount of fact that goes into Jackie’s stirring monologue where she speaks upon her life and times while adding a bit of “spin” for dramatic purposes. Whatever the case, the show is informative, amusing, and best of all, it grabs upon the period of a woman that may have had those silver spoons within reach, yet experienced a massive emotional hit due to tragic death and emotional destruction.

This show is currently performing not in a theater setting. It’s being presented outdoors in the back yard of a private home in Woodland Hills, meaning that a limited number of “seats” will be offered during this single act play. There is a stage area where Kait Haire as Jackie will be performing among a set that is very minimal. The seating itself is spaced out so patrons will be comfortably distanced apart. And yes, face masks will be required for all attendees! (For the record, Kait Haire will perform sans mask!)

As of this writing, there is no theater of any sort being performed anywhere within the Los Angeles region. So this production may be the only form of live theater being offered anywhere! It isn’t stating that one will be given no choice by viewing a mediocre presentation. In fact, the play itself is very well crafted, and Kait Harie does an impressive task of becoming Jackie on stage, even if the stage she stands upon is only a poolside deck! Although this play may be the only show of its kind offered in the region, it’s a showpiece that is of high quality, and very entertaining to boot!

TELL HIM IT’S JACKIE is also a loving tribute to one of the most beloved “first ladies” that this nation, if not the western world, has ever graced within the field of the political domain. It’s been often noted that a person such as Jackie Kennedy will never become companied by anyone else that will ever step into the public spotlight. In this day and age, there are many others that will become this “famous” for different reasons, through different platforms, along with the high tech apps that will make it all happen!

TELL HIM IT’S JACKIE, performs at the “Dugan Backyard Playhouse” located in Woodland Hills (91367) through November 21st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM. (It’s suggested that one brings a blanket along as the outdoor air may become a bit chilly!) The exact location of the Dugan Backyard Playhouse will be given when reservations are made (required) by sending an e-mail to Tom.Dugan@outlook.com
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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!

THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS!

Now that we are entering the fourth quarter of the calendar year (as well as entering the 31st week-give or take-of when this whole COVIG-19 episode started to take its hold), there been a lot of changes that people have been experiencing over these long and challenging days, weeks, and months.


This article will not go into some of the crucial points that’s been taking its grip, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and a distrust of those that are suppose to be in charge. But we will point out on a few of the positive things that has come to the surface. Many of these points were long overdue for some folks. A number of them saw these changes as the “kick in the a$$” that was long needed to finally get around of accomplishing tasks and events that they never got around in doing!


One elements that has seen a rise of interest of late is a feeling or emotion called “nostalgia”. Nostalgia, according to our friends at Wikipedia, calls this emotion as a “…sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations”.


Nostalgia in this form comes in a variety of emotions that play a part in a lot of people. Some see it through objects that range from a vase that may be sitting on a mantel, to a dingy t-shirt that plays a significance in somebody’s life. (A “lucky” t-shirt that is worn by a fan when one’s favorite sports team is playing on the field). Many see nostalgia through a form of media, such as a song (“our/my song”), a movie (“our/my movie) a television program (“our/my TV show”), and the list goes on.


Many view this sense of nostalgia as an elements that is part of what’s called “The Good Old Days”, describing an moment in time where those days of yesteryear were “good” in their own unique way. But seeing those days as “good” are known in the period of “now”, rather than the time of “then”.


Recently, a person that I know that subscribes to one of those many steaming services that has experienced a recent uprise of subscribers, has been binging on the series The Office. (The American version!) One of those characters, Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms), once stated in an isolated episode, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”


Andy makes an amusing point. He’s speaking of pure nostalgia. There is a synchronized emotional experience in which one gratefully recalls how it was back then yet laments over what isn’t here anymore. Thus, one has a hearty helping of “the good old days”!


So makes up what is (or was) “the good old days?” Was it a time long before the standard responsibilities and overall tasks one had to maintain? Was it before a loss of a person or persons one once had at their disposal but are no longer around due to a relocation, a death, or perhaps going through a different direction in life due to various reasons only know to the now separated people? Or was it before the COVID-19 epic threw a monkey wrench in the machinery?


When one recalls those “good old days, you have to ask yourself, or anyone else for that matter, on why didn’t you take advantage to what was going on to enjoy those moments further? How come you didn’t realize how great you had it then? Why are the good old days only in the past, but never in the present?


Of course, those thrilling days of yesteryear had its flaws and errors just like the present moments have its own idiosyncrasies! So what makes them so “good?” Perhaps the answer to that $64 dollar question is that we recall being with a someone, having a something, or doing a something that was engaging enough to swamp out the not-so-good things going on at the same time. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered how lousy anything was back in those days just because we had something that was “good” enough!


It’s a well established fact that a lot of things, events, and parts of culture from those days past are not as great as they once were, let alone being part of something that was indeed “good”!


F’instance, when it comes to popular music, there are a lot of songs people can recall as being the best as they were. However, many of those same tunes that were great then didn’t survive through the same tastes of now as they did back then. I can give examples, but I know that I am gonna get a lot of flack from fans of that type of music that will claim that I don’t have any “good taste”! I know of some folks that were fans of 1980’s-era heavy metal music and the bands that went with them. You can wear out those now out-of-print albums recorded from Iron Maiden to the Scorpions and say “Man, they sure don’t create ‘em as they used to!” While at the same time, another person that was tuned to popular music back then preferred the recordings played on any top-40 radio station that was “hip” and “in the know”! From hearing old radio station air checks listed on some online sites such as ReelRadio (http://www.ReelRadio.com), one can hear those songs from that back in the day and even say to one’s self “What were they thinking when they put out that stuff?”


In other words, one person’s nostalgia in another person’s bad vibes!
But for the most part, nostalgia is good, but only to a point. When I was starting out in the media archive biz, one person who served as a distant mentor, a fellow by the name of Chuck Schaden based out of Chicago created a weekly radio program called Those Were The Days where he programmed recordings of radio shows that aired from the 1930’s through the 1950‘s that aired long before the advent of television. He once said, “Live with the past, but not in it!” It also goes to an idea the program always followed, starting out each weekly episode noting that the show’s purpose was to bridge the sound gap between yesterday and today. What this all means that it’s great to remember the things from days past. Just remember to live in the present since that is where you are now!


For those that want to relive those days when radio was king, one can hear back episodes of TWTD through the website called Speaking of Radio
(http://www.SpeakingOfRadio.com) that offers many back episodes of this series to hear or hear again. And the program, now taken over and hosted by Steve Darnell, is still heard every Saturday afternoon from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM (CST) over station WDCB-FM in Glen Ellen, Illinois. Hear it live streamed at http://www.WDCB.org or through TWTD’s quarterly publication, The Nostalgia Digest (http://www.NostalgiaDigest.com).


So are the “good old days” only limited to existing in the past? Not necessarily! Those good old days can be right now! Granted, everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket for the moment. However, I can bet a paper face mask that twenty years from now, people are going to look back at the start of the 2020’s and say “Remember when everyone wore face masks, were forced to work from home, and had to hoard toilet paper?? Man, those were the days!!”


And just to keep the nostalgia alive, yours truly has set aside a stack of paper face masks for my archive, as well as a few lawn signs that state out message that range from “(Name of school) class of 2020 graduate lives here” (fun nostalgia), to “Black Lives Matter”. (Not nostalgia per se, but does relate toward issues of importance!)


So as Dick Clark used to sign off his 1980‘s weekly radio program called Rock, Roll, and Remember, he would say “Go make some memories of your own!”.

After all, we can all use as much of the “good old days” that we can get!!

——————————————————————————————————————–

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) 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!

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MOVIES

Since the early part of this calendar year, a lot of things have been changing. Some changes are for the good or better. A few for the worst. And the rest are through current circumstances, just because it can.

Take movies for instance. It’s been some six months since this writer has been inside of a traditional movie house to view a feature. And it’s been since last year when yours truly took a gander of a so-called “traditional” summertime movie that’s full of action, (with loads of special effect generated gunfire and explosions), obnoxious and rather snarky comedies, comic book superheros (the love children of the summer movie going experience), and family friendly animation titles mostly geared and aimed for kids that has enough of the for noted snarky humor that adults with take hard while the same kids may find such humor funny enough to laugh at or to scratch their heads over.

Now that it’s the fall season–in case anybody’s been paying attention to the calendar, newly released feature titles released around this time tend to tone down the overblown special effects and cocky comical antics, and turn towards drama that could be heavy at times. These are the kind of movies that play better on a small video screen than a traditional theater. And thanks to the limited opening of movie houses across the country, many of these same movies are given a chance to be viewed in a setting where the viewer would be safe from catching viruses that could become series. Besides, one can snack on anything far beyond popcorn and soda pop! After all, it’s viewed in one’s home, and they can feast on anything they like! (Netflix and caviar anyone??)

Of course, the movie industry currently has an (almost) anything goes stance when it comes to what can be included and depicted in a feature release. Since the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) first started to use the movie rating system in late 1968, the every lovin’ letters of “G”, “PG”, “PG-13”, “R”, and “X”, has fallen into the American english language lexicon.

For the record, the term “PG”–short of “Parental Guidance” was once known as “M” short for “Mature Audiences”. “M” was later changed to “GP”-”General Audience-Parental”, then later was changed to “PG”. “PG-13”, Parental Guidance for age 13 and up” was later added describing a movie that is too harsh for “PG” but not as bad as an “R” title. “X” later became “NC-17”-Nobody under the age of 17 admitted! The term “X” was later abandon by the MPAA and is the adapted shorthand term for porno movies. (Yeah! We’re just as confused as you are!)

Well, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the group best known for fobbing Oscars each year for the best in movies as voted by their membership groups, recently released new guidelines in what movie can qualify to be eligible as a “Best Picture” entry.

The following is their statement for film titles eligible for the 96th Oscars (2024)
a film must meet two out of four of the following standards to be deemed eligible.
(Note: Any paragraph presented in italics are taken directly from the AMPAS press release.)



STANDARD A:  ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION, THEMES AND NARRATIVES

To achieve Standard A, the film must meet ONE of the following criteria:
A1. Lead or significant supporting actors

At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.

• Asian
• Hispanic/Latinx
• Black/African American
• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
• Middle Eastern/North African
• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity


A2. General ensemble cast

At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups:

• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

A3. Main storyline/subject matter

The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).

• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing


STANDARD B: CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT TEAM


To achieve Standard B, the film must meet ONE of the criteria below:
B1. Creative leadership and department heads 

At least two of the following creative leadership positions and department heads—Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer—are from the following underrepresented groups:

Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

At least one of those positions must belong to the following underrepresented racial or ethnic group:

• Asian
• Hispanic/Latinx
• Black/African American
• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
• Middle Eastern/North African
• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

B2. Other key roles

At least six other crew/team and technical positions (excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. These positions include but are not limited to First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc. 

B3. Overall crew composition

At least 30% of the film’s crew is from the following underrepresented groups:

• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing


STANDARD C:  INDUSTRY ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITIES


To achieve Standard C, the film must meet BOTH criteria below:

C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities
The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups and satisfy the criteria below:

Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+


• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

The major studios/distributors are required to have substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships/internships inclusive of underrepresented groups (must also include racial or ethnic groups) in most of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity. 

The mini-major or independent studios/distributors must have a minimum of two apprentices/interns from the above underrepresented groups (at least one from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group) in at least one of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew) 

The film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups:

• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing


STANDARD D: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
To achieve Standard D, the film must meet the criterion below:

D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution
The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among the following underrepresented groups (must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.

• Women
• Racial or ethnic group:

Asian
Hispanic/Latinx
Black/African American
Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
Middle Eastern/North African
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
Other underrepresented race or ethnicity
LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

All categories other than Best Picture will be held to their current eligibility requirements. Films in the specialty feature categories (Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, International Feature Film) submitted for Best Picture/General Entry consideration will be addressed separately.

OK! So what does this all mean? Does this mean that any movie, or at least ones that are American made, but can include titles were its country or origin is outside of the USA, has to include the peoples in question, no matter how or where they stand in their expertise? Will these guidelines force film producers to make their working environments more of an “equal opportunity employer” setting? Will white men a.k.a. causation males show lessor importance? And what about another entry that’s been getting some flack in terms of discrimination–hiring those people over the age of fifty regardless of race, gender, lifestyle preference, etc?

To clarify the above paragraph. Let’s say a producer desire to use a picture editor, and there are two people up for the gig. Both have a year’s worth of experience in picture editing, using the same software program. Both are of the same gender, race, and lifestyle. Person A is in their middle 20’s while the other (Person B) is in their middle 50’s. Who’s really gonna get the gig?

This writer won’t necessarily linger upon further commentary on this proposal. However, it’s indeed important to have some diversity in a work place. Just as long as those eligible to keep an assessment or task are used based upon what they know and how well they can pull off the job verses to what their gender, race, and other factors are that’s outside of their skills and knowledge. In order words, just let the best (wo)man win!

The other notion to keep in mind. Let’s also hope those Academy voting members remember what can be labled as a “best picture”. This is a movie that is entertaining to see, and what people would be willing to pay $10.00 and up for the privilege in seeing the thing in compared to a feature that may be well crafted for what it is where its entertainment worth is only good for a single view, and the opportunity to see the film will not cost the viewer any monetary amount for the privilege! (No “free movies” are allowed!!)

Right now, let’s just attempt to bring things back to normalcy–whatever “normalcy” means!!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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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!

BLACK CYBER FRIDAY

Although it’s still September (in case anyone is still keeping track of the days and months), it’s always a good idea to look ahead. Granted, planning ahead may be of a good idea or not. Nevertheless, even through the schedule is way out of whack, time still marches on as they used to say in those newsreels from back in the day!
According to a report filed by the marketing analysis firm Emarsys, some 62% of potential shoppers state that “no amount” of safety precautions will persuade them to shop in stores this Black Friday, November 27th.

Thanks to the ever present COVIG-19 antics that’s been burned into the hearts and minds of folks around the nation for its better or for its worst, people are very leery into being in places where others are in close range to one another, no matter if these same people are donning face masks or not. And since the economy is in a topsy-turvy mode (if not having its virtual head up its virtual ass), people won’t and don’t know how they are going to spend for the holiday season, if they will be shopping at all!

For those that do plan to shop, 4% plan to shop in physical stores, while 28% stated that they will do their seasonal shopping entirely online.

14% noted that social distancing will persuade them to visit physical retail stores, and only 10% would be convinced to visit by contactless purchase. And if these shoppers could receive a premium or discount to shop in store verses online, they would visit an outlet in person, according to the 19% that replied as tallied in the Emarsys research report.

The holiday season is going to arrive no matter what may or may not happen thanks to the virus of the year (or decade?) However, as of this writing, it’s going to be a tough call now that late fall and early winter is going to keep folks clustered indoors and thus, harder to spread six feet away from one another.

Also, nobody is going to predict how the domestic economy is going to change things. When the start of the so-called “Great Recession” was taking hold in the latter months of 2009, people decided to scale back on their seasonal shopping matters. Many of them did this ploy for the longer run. That is, keeping an eye on their budget that year, and the many years that followed. Even when the economy got back to a more normal stance (as recently as one year ago this time), shoppers were still being careful on how they shopped, as well as who they were shopping for i.e. family, friends, or even for themselves.

But with economics, predictions were a bit easier to make thanks to various forms to facts and figures that tend to come of from this vogue. But if one has a virus to bring into its center stage, it’s always going to become a tough call. Various reports note that a cure to this form of organic matter may not be found until next year. Other reports note that it may be found in ’22. Maybe in ’23. Maybe by 2030(!) Again, it all depends on who one refers to!

And there is the big-deal election to take in mind! Already, there are a lot of tempers that are on high mode. And with social justice adding to the mix, it’s going to add a lot of anxiety into play. And there is the weather to keep in step. Granted, there weather related elements are limited in place into a regional area, such as hurricanes in the southwest portion of the US, and wildfires in northern California. Nevertheless, with all of these factors into play, the notion of shopping freely for the “festive” season is going to change things rather drastically. If may be for the moment, or it may be for good!

Don’t be too surprised that retailers will start off their holiday season as early as this week! With nearly everyone that has a cell phone owns one of the smart variety, there are lots of apps out their to make that shopping a whole lot easier without stepping into a retail store. Free delivery will make it happen, as well as pick up in store without actually entering the store. (i.e. Curbside!) It’s going to be an interesting holiday season this year, no matter if it’s dreaming of a white Christmas, or an online version of the same song!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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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!

HOLIDAY ON STRINGS

Now that the Labor Day holiday has been swept out of the way for the year (or to be precise, now long forgotten), it’s time to concentrate on the holidays both real or imagined that will fall within the fourth and final quarter of the calendar year. These are the days, or period of days, that are marked to commemorate or to celebrate an event or occurrence that has been part of the domestic landscape for generations.

The holidays in question range from Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving (both of ‘em), and of course, the collective block of holidays that hold the generic terms known as (what else?), “The Holidays” that fall within the month of December. That collective ends with New Years Day. However, that’s for 2021. This article will place its emphasis on the 2020 calendar year. (New Year’s Eve falls on December 31st. However, that day isn’t a holiday per se, but it’s connected to January 1st. But this is all besides the point!)

Anyway, let’s give a rundown on those holidays in question, and how those days are going to play out for this year.

As you are aware, this year has been drastically changed ranging from being slightly altered to being totally f*ucked up! Whatever happened in 2019 is staying in 2019, because in 2020. It’s a whole new ballgame right now assuming that ballgames are being played, if not bring played out!

October will bring Columbus Day, falling on its traditional day of October 12th. Over the past few years, the notion of a legal holiday that commemorates Christopher Columbus has lost its luster. This is especially true for this year, where anyone, regardless of when the person lived and/or when the notion was executed, has been shunned because the person or persons placed a group of people belonging to another linage under some form of distress that for many years were never discussed in detail and/or were brought to the attention to the public at large. These historical figures range from some of the founding people behind the missions of California to those active in the states that were once part of the Confederacy.

There’s been talk (maybe some action) of the government doing something with Columbus Day, or at least changing the notion of such. This article won’t get into the backstory to these modifications since that’s more of a political issue. However, Columbus Day as a whole is one of those “forgotten” holidays. People of Italian heritage commemorate the day as it’s part of their ancestry. And there are other celebrations such as hosting parades. Outside of that, the day is mostly used for businesses wanting to throw Columbus Day sales! It’s also another day not to have mail delivery or to do business through any federal agency. It’s reduced to a ‘floating holiday” for those working in a business that uses said holidays that float. (Yours truly once worked for a community and public access TV channel set within a regional cable company, and employees voted on what holiday they can take off: Columbus Day or the day after Thanksgiving. Nobody voted for the former day, let along remembered that the second Monday in October was an actual holiday!)

In Canada, the second Monday of October is Thanksgiving Day where folks north of the border feast on traditional Thanksgiving Day goodies. (All of Canadian origin of course!) However, let’s concentrate of American holidays for now, shall we..?

Next up is Halloween, falling on October 31st–a Saturday no doubt! This day for many folks is the only holiday that really matters, with people dressing their homes into haunted houses, throwing Halloween parties, and taking advantage of celebrating a day that pays tribute to the supernatural. Of course, the kids (and many adults too) will be going from door to door in their neighborhood dressed up in various costuming yelling “trick or treat” to grab goodies that may last well into Thanksgiving! It’s the fall party that beats all fall parties.

For this year? Well, the nation, as well as the rest of the world, already received their scary times. And Halloween has been part of that scare, but not in a good way. Granted, people want to celebrate the holiday, but really don’t know how to pull it off. The retail outlet Party City recently conducted an informal poll for that day that asked mothers (or their equivalents) on how the future of Halloween during a pandemic will be played out as according to these mom types.

The results of the poll? “Moms” don’t want to disappoint their kids by not going trick or treating. There will be costumes donned and houses decorated, and much of the trick or treating will be via “drive through” rather than door-to-door. So gas up the ol’ SUV and take the kids out to grab their goodies as dispensed through an open window! It’s not the same as before, but it’s better than missing out on the fun completely.

As to actual Halloween parties? Let’s hope that Indian Summer will still be around in most of the nation since one can host an outdoor party may call for a bit of chill in the air. The more chilly the air, the more ghostly spirits will be hanging around! So that idea will still work out!

Next up–Election Day, November 3rd. This one is going to be rather interesting. The two leads of red and blue colors are competing for the role of King of the USA. Although they both come from different backdrops and stand up toward totally different issues, they are both older that all of the videotapes (audiotapes too) this writer currently owns! They are even older that the era when regular TV broadcasts started to take hold, even before Uncle Miltie became the Tuesday night sensation! Election Day is not a celebration per se, but granted, there will be a lot of whooping it up! And not necessarily done in a good way either!

Next there’s Veteran’s Day, November 9th. This day is at times confused with Memorial Day. The former commemorates those that served in the armed forces that came back. The latter are for those that also served, but didn’t live to tell their tales. Even though Veteran’s Day holds importance, it’s mostly a holiday that’s semi forgotten.

Now we are entering the “big three”, those days that fall within the last six weeks of the calendar year. Those are the days that will show the most anxiety since they are part of celebrations that involve lots of people meeting indoors! American Thanksgiving falls on November 26th. That’s the day folks meet with others that consists of family, friends, or their equivalents for the annual meal. Right now, that day is up in the air since it involves a lot of traveling. One can drive in a private vehicle from one place to another, or one can take another transit source, assuming that people are rather comfortable to taking a plane, train, or even an automobile. Then there’s the traditional parade that Macy’s hosts each year. However, the department store, somewhat struggling as it is, will be “reimagining” the parade for this year. As of press time, it’s not know what this “reimagining” is all about, but it may not involve camping out along Broadway from the upper West side to 34th Street to see the passing parade!

Next up are all of the days such as Black Friday (November 27th), Cyber Monday (November 30th), Chanukah (December 10th through the 18th) and Christmas–December 25th. As of this writing again, nobody’s gonna know what those days are going to be like! Shopping can be done online (assuming people will have funds to shop), and so will the card sending. (The USPS will be working overtime since they were handling the Electron Day balloting!) Rounding out the season is Boxing Day (December 26th) and New Year’s Eve on the 31st. And don’t bother camping out along Colorado Blvd. In Pasadena because there won’t be any Rose Parade come January 1st, real or “imagined”!

Of course, we may have skipped a few days here and there. (High Holy Days, Winter Solstice, etc.). However, this rundown give one an idea of what’s going to take place, what’s going to be changed, and what’s going to be left on the table for those to decide! It just gets as confusing at the current times will allow!

So that’s the basic lowdown for the year. Of course, everything mentioned within this article is subject to change. Yours truly isn’t going to make any solid facts here, and everything that may occur may even be here say. Only time, tide, and a cure to the virus of the decade is going to be the final choice! Ballots, protests, and thoughts and prayers may help or they may not! It’s all catch as catch can! Right now, your humble writer is working in the same place where I hang my hat hacking away on using the ol’ Mac Pro while seated in the same room where I take part in on too many Zoom meetings! It’s just another day of a life while living in a pandemic!

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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!

GOING TO THE “MOVIES” or MOVIES TO ITS “GOING”

Since middle March, the movie going experience has all but disappeared. Thanks to shutdowns, stay at home orders, and overall fear and anxiety, people are now somewhat cautious of heading over to their friendly neighborhood multiplex to plunk down somewhere between $8.00 and $20.00 to see a feature film for roughly an eighty minute to a two hour plus timeframe–not counting watching trailers as well as ads and “daters”–those announcements that inform you everything from the theater chain’s rewards program that you can join for free or not, to friendly reminders not to talk, text, and overall become obnoxious to those around you that paid as much as you did to experience what’s being seen on the big screen. Of course, we are not counting the cost of concessions that have as much as a 100% markup for the theater to what’s being sold at the counter. (After all, how much would six dollars worth of popcorn cost if one did pay for an unpopped version? About a three pound sack’s worth–not counting the “butter” flavoring one can goo on it–or to lubricate that sticky desk drawer–take your pick!)

Drive-in theaters have made themselves a rip-roarin’ comeback to see movies with the assumption that one can find an operating drive-in, unless one can count a “pop-up” version consisting of a hugh white sheet hastily propped up for a screen, a sound system that can generate the audio through powerful speakers that can throw the sound to the area folks are to be watching the film or through a low power FM signal that radios placed within a two hundred foot radius can pick up, as well as a shack/tent/open table where the concessions can be sold for as much as a 100% markup to the cost of goods for the drive-in management.

Drive-ins are great because not only it promotes social distancing, it holds a nostalgic flavor to it all. This works in two ways. One, nostalgia is one of the best remedies to relieve anxiety, and two, since there isn’t a whole lot of new content presently available, many drive-ins and outdoor places are offering “retro” titles into their mix, many using theme screenings from showcasing classic sci-fi, horror, comedy, and action-adventure titles where most, if not all of its special effects were created through antilog methods! Recently, a real (not “pop-up”) drive-in was placing on their bill, 1950‘s-era sci-fi features such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and The War of the Worlds with special effects by Ray Harryhausen and George Pal where you can see the strings attached to the beasts and aliens! (They could have fixed it in post, but this writer digresses!)

Then what about sit-down theaters? What will be their status? As of this writing, many of the movie theater chains from AMC, Cinemark, Regal, and the many others, will plan to stay around. They may have to limit the capacity of their seating space, as well as to re-modify their concession stands with no self serve concessions areas, but the theaters won’t take this form of lack of crowds sitting down! After all, movie theaters have been around since the 19th century, and it’s going to take a long time for what’s been known as an entertainment based lifestyle to totally go away! It’s going to change of course, but it won’t disappear!

What made movie theaters (as well as movies themselves) change was through that device called “television” that could bring video content to one’s home for no additional charge. So movie ramped up their pictures, and the movie theaters followed. Then there was “cable TV” that offered more content–for a fee! Then there was the “premium TV channels” a.k.a “pay TV” where one can pay additional for the privilege to watch recently released movies uncut and unedited. If there were nude scenes depicted in the feature as well as cussing on the soundtrack, you will see the nude scenes and hear the cussing. No “edited for television” disclaimers throughout! And of course, there was no annoying and obnoxious TV commercials to interrupted your viewing.

Then there was the rise of home video. With a handy-dandy video cassette recorder (VCR) machine, one can record programming off the air to view it later that day or that decade! And one can get prerecorded movies on videotape where one can watch a title for as many times as possible–uncut and unedited! If one didn’t want to shell as as much as $100.00 per videotape, one can rent it at a local video rental outlet where a staff of clerks can recommend what to see based upon personal tastes. A few of these tape rental stores may know more than you would want on the subject of movies, as some outlets would hire clerks on duty that are only there to remind you to return the tape on time or pay a penalty. And if you don’t rewind the tape, there’s another service fee attached! So better be kind and rewind!

Then there was the digital video disk-DVD for short. These little plastic disks around 5” in diameter offer the same content found on videotape in better quality picture and sound, and you don’t rewind ‘em! DVDs were much better than their cousins, the laser disks that offered almost the same picture quality, but were 12” in size. Although there was also no rewinding involved, sometimes one had to take the disk to flip them over to its other side to play the second half of the feature. They same way one would play a record!

Best all of, DVDs were more affordable to own. New releases on titles would cost anywhere from $30.00 and less! If one wanted to rent them from the nearby Blockbuster Video (usually staffed by those that know and love the movies) or to a Redbox vending machine where one can rent a disk for $1.00 per 48 hour period, it was just as accessible. (Movie recommendations through a vending machine were not included in its rental price!)

Now there is streaming! Depending on what source one desires to subscribe to, one can pay anywhere from $15.00 per month or less to see whatever the channel is offering! If one desires HBO-type content, one can subscribe to HBO Go/Plus/Now to see TV programs that made the former “Home Box Office” famous ranging from The Sopranos to Game of Thrones. If one is a fan of Disney, there’s Disney+ that has Star Wars, Marvel Comics super heroes, thirty years worth of The Simpsons, and of course, all of the Disney features one can stand for $7.00 per month! (Sorry folks! No Song of the South!) And there is Netflix that is a streaming island in to itself!

Since TV devices and the sound systems that go along with them are now bigger, thinner, sharper, and louder than ever before, one can actually have a home theater system that would rival a home theater setup only movie moguls could once grab. One can keep a movie theater going experience right in own’s personal dwelling, and could view almost anything one desires to watch! (You can even view porn if that was one’s personal schtick!) And you can chow down on all of the popcorn you want, guzzle all of the soda you could drink, and wolf down all of the Jujubes you can cram in your pie hole–for a fraction of the cost!

And if you want to talk through the feature, play with your phone, or even get up from your chair/sofa/bed/floor to “see a man about a dog”, nobody’s gonna call the manager to tell you to shut the phone off, be quiet, or to stop annoying those around you when you keep getting up to relieve yourself just because you drank five cups of fizzy sugar water!

And these notions fall into place where the movie theater managers would see another beginning of their end. Since content is available, the methods of content is accessible, and the cost of all of this experiencing is next to nothing (not totally “free”, but pretty close to it!), the question remains! Why does one need to go to a movie house to view visual content when one can do it at home for less money and effort? Unless one desires the emotional appeal of seeing content with a group of strangers that will laugh, cry, or gasp in horror with the action depicted on the screen and/or one needs to get out of the house for a few hours (or days?), then nothing beats going to the movies without going to the movies!

As the summer “tentpole” season featuring film releases with special effects and loud noises bleeds into the fall and winter period where movies become more realistic, softer in volume, and only exist to cop multiple awards (but are not necessarily entertaining as a whole), only time, tide, and a cure to the virus of the year will only determine if those would be willing to go back to their movie going habits as before. Granted, there’s the notion that old habits die hard, or that if one does picks up a new habit, one won’t go back to their former methods of doing things as previous. (“You can’t go home again”!) But all elements are to be taken within consideration, if not taken with a gain of (popcorn) salt. If movies are to be made and the price is right, they will come. If not, then at least one can spend their moment to binge watch The Mandalorian for the first time of for the 17th! Or as The Child would say, “Thirsty I am for more fizzy sugar water!!”
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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“CALL 988! CALL 988!”

There has been a line spoken in a number of comical feature films where a character becomes involved in some form of emergency situation. This character would run around in a frantic within his surroundings (as a character of this type tends to be of the male species) saying in a semi-panic yet comical mode, “Call 911! Call 911”! For some reason, this seems to be a plot point depicted in 1990’s-era film releases, perhaps in a rom-com of some sort(?)

Well, add “988” to the phone numbers to call for emergency assistance–not for fire prevention, law enforcement, an ambulance, or any other service that’s used for emergency status. This number is for the prevention of suicide!

On July 16th, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the federal branch that regulates radio, television, and telephone systems and services, has announced that all phone services operating in the USA would allow callers for a direct link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline no later than two years of the announcement date-July 16th, 2022.

Previously, if one wanted to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, one had to call their toll-free number at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and going through a various series of prompts. But this easy to remember three-digit number would be a fastest and most direct way to call for this form of assistance.

More details on this measure can be obtained through an official press release made available through the FCC at https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-designates-988-national-suicide-prevention-lifeline.

It isn’t a real surprise that this form of emergency assistance would become easier to obtain to those that have an immediate desire to use it. Although this writer doesn’t necessarily know if this new system has been in the works for some time, it is in response to the results of the increase of levels of anxiety many have are facing for the past six months thanks to the rise, fall, and rise (so far) of the crisis with the shorthanded name of COGIV-19.

Since that time, many people has had their jobs and sources of income altered. Some are in a work-from-home phase. Many have been furloughed. Others were laid off for their places of employment with the notion that they may never return. Companies both big and small have filed for bankruptcy protection, although many are still functioning as normal due to the virus. (As of this writing, the parent company behind Lord & Taylor has been one of the more recent causalities!)

Around this time, school would be back in session from pre-kindergarden through college level. Many schools and institutions hold limited in-person classes, while others are exclusively online. The portal “Zoom” became the app of the year (perhaps of the decade?) where anyone and everyone has been meeting online for events ranging from bible studies groups to live sex shows(!!) Yours truly have been part of Zoom meetings with others for some time, sometimes as many as five meetings in a row! (No kidding!!)

Although meeting online is fine for what it is, one of the most common caveats people have been expressing from on-line meetings is the lack of opportunity to meeting others in person for real, rather that through blurry images and seeing others in unimpressive poses. (i.e. A view looking upward of their faces with a great view of their inner nostrils!)

But getting back to the anxiety for the moment. The notion of people feeling isolated and lonely has been brewing for many years before. Social media has taken the rap for the cause of this dilemma for some time. People going through their Facebook accounts would see their “friends” taking part in activities and events that the viewer were not aware of, let alone invited to, giving the phrase “fear of missing out” a.k.a FOMO into the modern American language lexicon. In the U.K., there is a Ministry of Loneliness whose assessment is to encourage others in some kind of social activity, even administrating suggestions on how one can keep in touch other others through current social distancing measures.

And speaking of sorts, social distancing should not become confused with social isolation. One can be with others in person in person and as for real. Just as long as one take simple measures, such as using the standard six feet rule and donning masks. (Awkward yet important!) One can be creative in this method. Recently, yours truly viewed at a nearby park a softball game where the players were on one team donning blue masks with the L.A. Dodgers logo, while the opposite team were with red masks with the L.A. (California) Angles logo in its center. (Crosstown rivalries at play perhaps?)

In spite of everything, it appears that those that are feeling where there is no hope for themselves will have an option at their disposal. So in the meantime, keep these options at bay as they will indeed be available to serve its purposes.
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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!

IT’S A ON, ON, ON, ON, ONLINE WORLD!

As COVIG-19 (one part of the many words and phrases that can describe the first year of the post-modern “roran’ 20s”) becomes increasingly connected to the domestic landscape, many more events are taking it outside, if not taking to the world of cyberspace.

While the summer season slowly yet surely become blended into the fall/autumn landscape, many events that was scheduled to take place are doing one of two options. One, they aren’t happening as a physical activity, or two, they have been moved into the next calendar year. Many conventions and events that were suppose to take place in the fourth quarter of ’20 announced that they have moved their program online. Even a few events scheduled into early 2021 are going to become an on-line happening. The CES (formally the Consumer Electronic Show), the biggest trade convention that plays in Las Vegas, will become a totally online event. This makes it rather interesting since the CES normally takes place in the first half of January, was one of the few 2020 events that had “survived” the year as that event occurred some two months before the “beginning of the end” started to make the rounds–usually marked as the second weekend of March.

As for the rest of the season, many sources has made efforts to write off the remainder of this year, pushing their events, activities, and introductions of new products into the next period if not making it exclusively online, with the assumption that things will be for the better. Then again, many folks aren’t necessarily taking any strides that the next year will be for the better. It may be just the same, or it may be for worse! Take your pick!

There’s also the standing of sports. For many, football is the be-all-to-end-all sport to watch and perhaps even to play. It could be as one of the teams grounded toward a specific academic school league. There are the Friday night lights found on the high school gridirons and the Saturday afternoon and Saturday night games played upon many a college campus. Then there are the Sunday games when the pros battle it out.

Although many would have head over to a stadium (or grandstand) to watch the game in person, many others would flock over to their friendly neighborhood sports bar to view the game(s) over a dozen of big screen TV sets, while the rest could watch on any electronic internet connected device that has a screen attached! Then again, it’s always more fun to view a game with others nearby, no matter how the teams are good (or bad) playing at their sport or otherwise!

And there are the holidays that will stand upon the calendar landscape. There’s Halloween on October 31st. This year, that day falls on a Saturday, meaning that All Hallow’s Eve falls on a “party night”, where trick-or-treating would be fully engaged, and those ever lovin’ parties would occur, rocking to the spooky beat.

Granted, trick-or-treating would be somewhat easy to do using the social disdaining methods–assuming that people even want to give goodies to those knocking on their doors. As for the party thing? Well, one can host a party online. But it’s not within the same realm as to a real live event. (Halloween party via Zoom? It can be done, but would anyone attend??)

Halloween bleeds into November. November in the USA holds upon two holidays; Veteran’s Day on November 9th that pays tribute to vets that served in the armed forces, and Thanksgiving, scheduled for November 26th. You can host a Thanksgiving Day celebration via Zoom, but it will be BYOT! (Bring You Own Turkey!) The day after was suppose to be “Black Friday”, the day where major retailers start off the Christmas shopping season offering “door busting” sales and bargains throughout their stores. Although Black Friday has been watered down over the recent years thanks to retailers offering these same deals since the Columbus Day weekend, this year is going to be rather different. Both Walmart and Target recently announced that their stores will be totally closed on Thanksgiving Day. (Normally, they would be open in the early evening a few hours before the “start” of Black Friday!) And since shopping online has been part of the so-called “new normal”, getting what one desires is a lot easier to grab since one doesn’t have to be inside of a store loaded with people that may be wearing face masks–or not!

That leads toward the season recently noted as “The Holidays”, that pays tribute to any festive event taking place in the month of December where gifts are normally exchanged. That also means Holiday parties would also take place. One can and will assume that office or company parties won’t be taking place for the reasons that parties do not encourage safe distancing, and the fact that the companies that once offered their festive events may be cutting down on their business practices, or may not even be in business any longer!

Can all of these sad yet true facts take note that 2020 is already a wash? Maybe! After all, there was the hope last spring that all of the shutdowns and lockouts would become a thing of the past once the summer season arrived. Alas, summer arrived, but the lockdowns didn’t go away. Only time and tide will foresee if anything will return to the point where it will be embraced like an old friend, or maybe hang around like an annoying pest! It’s going to be events found through circumstance or cyberspace–for the better or for the worse!
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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!

SCREAMING FOR STREAMING

It isn’t any surprise that steaming media is now part of the so-called “new normal” that’s been floating around over the past few weeks and months. Since the lockdowns have been coming in and going out (and coming back again), people have been more interested, if not totally desperate, to bind their time by taking advantage of obtaining media through their TV-type devices that a good part of domestic society has access to.

And what better way is through streaming media. Streaming content is very much like how one used to get a TV signal through an antenna or through a coax cable. Unlike an antenna where the signal comes from over-the-air means, and cable, where the signal comes from a…well…cable, streaming media is sent through a LAN cable connected to an electronic box known by its many brand names (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Firestick, etc.) that’s connected to a TV monitor or through any device that connects to the ‘net that sports a video screen where one can obtain content whenever the user desire to view the media. No appointment is necessary! It’s available 24/7/365–depending on availability, of course!

And the media and its public has spoken! Recently, Hulu, one of the dozens of streaming portals that are out there, released a survey the company conducted called Unpacking the Streaming Experience, that broke down the groups that stream media (not necessarily Hulu per se, but it’s assumed that their portal was part of their research) based on age, financial status, and the reasons behind why these groups stream their content.

According to the survey that was taken in April of this year, around the time when lockdowns were at their most fierce, polling some 2500 individuals between the ages of 13 through 54 years and conducted through the association with Culture Co-op, their reports states that some 90% of those polled subscribe to at least one streaming portal and use said portal(s) for various reasons and purposes.

Broken down from the smallest collection to its majorities, the groups that the report found where people stream programming for their reasons start at “Curated Streaming”. These are folks that want to catch up with a feature and/or series title that’s current “hot” at the moment (such as Nexflix’s documentary series Tiger King) that would make ideal conversation from virtual “water cooler” places i.e. social media. People that are known as the “Gen Z”ers (from 25 years and younger), would likely fall into this tract.

Next up are the “Indulgent Streamers” (Around 21 percent) that will spend a day, week, or even the weekend burning through an entire season or collection of a series from its beginning to end. This group are also known as “binge watchers”. They tend to be somewhat older (how old…?) and tend to live alone.

Then there’s the “Classic Streamers”. (Shy of 25%) These are people that tune in at set times with family and/or friends as part of a regular routine. They don’t necessarily follow a standard fixed schedule such as Tuesday nights at 9:25 PM, but do so based on some formula time period. These folks are more likely to be involved in a domestic relationship (Married, etc) and are more well off financially.

At the 2/3rd rate comes the “lean back” viewers. They look at content to just relax or unwind, rather that viewing in full attention mode that could be seen to watching a sporting event (especially when their is a crucial point in a game or match), or when there is “breaking news” in progress.

And the leader of the pack are the “Therapeutic Streamers.” These are the TV fans who stream content as a method to decompress and possible lightly reflect, with a sense of nostalgia connected to it all. To give an example, let’s say somebody decided to watch and/or binge on the TV series Friends. Chances are that these viewers tuned in to this program when NBC ran it in the second half of the 1990’s through the middle part of the 2000s. It also caters to those that face what’s called a syndrome for nostalgia where one desires for a past they never experienced! Those currently in their 20’s (born in the 1990’s) that find Friends as one of their favorite TV series don’t necessarily recall the program when it was at its peak or popularity. They just watch the program because it features characters of their age (20’s), and the fact that these same characters are not tied down to hand held electronics, social media platforms, and other distractions of young adult modern life. (Demographically, Therapeutic Streamers are also the closest to the domestic population as a whole!)

So what does all of these facts and figures mean? Well, it means that people no longer have to rely upon the so-called legacy sources to watch media through TV sets and related devices. It also means that movie theaters, those places of business that’s been around since the turn of the 20th century, finally have met their match. Thanks to the closing of multiplexes and the fact that the movie “Summer Tentpole” season is already half over (over before it actually began), people might just want to be willing to view some kind of blockbuster hit by paying $20.00 or so for the privilege or seeing the title at home–far away from fellow obnoxious movie goers that disrupt the feature by talking and/or texting through the picture, as well as being gouged by paying $6.00 or more for a bucket of a $1.50’s worth of popcorn slopped with a greasy substance that looks and almost tastes like butter! (At least one can get unlimited refills of soda pop. But how many cups one can guzzle at a time just to get one’s money’s worth?) As to “independent” or “art house” features? They even play better as seen on a home screening device that at a traditional movie house!

So streaming, for its better or worse, is here to stay! Will streaming become the death knoll for traditional TV and/or for the movie theater industry as we know it? Maybe. Then again, these sources of communication has been placed on the chopping block before hand. When television came around in the second half of the 1940’s, it was the call to the end of movie houses. The theaters changed, but never went away. The same happened when cable TV was making the rounds in the latter part of the 1970‘s to the early 1980‘s. Did traditional over the air TV go away? It only changed when the TV signals went from analog to digital in the late 00‘s, and that had nothing to do with program content. The content itself of movies and/or TV shows may have changed, but that was only based on audience demand and personal viewing habits and tastes. These ideals just serve as another part of progress.

So as summer fades into autumn, we’ll keep notice on the programming that’s been missed. As for me, I’ll dip into my TV archive to view ABC’s coverage of the 1972 Summer Olympics from Munich. Jim McKay will serve as your host for multi-hour coverage (some live, other on tape delay) where the network would use to introduce the new 1972-73 TV season. And good news folks! The Brady Bunch will return for another season! Ditto for The Partridge Family! This is the place to be indeed!
———————————————————————————————————————
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
#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

(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!