Originally, this article was going to discuss the topic of youth and technology, two elements that go hand hand in the same fashion that coffee goes with cream, chicken goes with soup, and corn flakes goes with milk! (It’s nearly breakfast time as this writer pounds out these words, so that’s why food is being used to compare items that complement one another!)
It seems that those that are not of voting age cannot fantom a domestic world where once upon a time, phones were not portable, one can only watch TV programming on a television set, and there was no such thing as the “internet”.
In today’s world, most of those living in the same domestic society are wired in some way or another. Of course, the younger ones are the more connected of ‘em all! Kids as young as barley two years old have some kind of access to either a smart phone, an electronic pad, or some related device that have the same inner components. It’s not so much the kids ask for these kind of gadgets, it’s the mom types (some dad figures as well, but it’s mostly a mother’s world here) that pass on these gadgets to their kids in order to introduce them to what’s available in the world and thus, make them a bit “smarter”–in theory anyway!
Many sources have backed up these facts, from media articles and essay–not necessarily just from “blogs”, though there are many “mom” blogs out there that comment upon how their little Madison or Hunter has embraced their new iPhone/iPad/iMac/ iFill-In-The-Blank, to opinion polls that report how much folks are totally reliant upon their electronic hoozits in order to function through their so-called “crazy busy” schedules!
Those of the Millennium generation–born between 1980 to 1995, as well as those teen and “tweeners”, coming to life from 1996 onward, have been the group that marketers woo to for newfangled devices and the apps that go with ‘em. F’instance, a poll recently conducted by Piper Jaffray & Company states that 62% of teens plan to buy an Apple brand iPhone, with 91% noting that a generic smart phone will become their next (or new) high tech gadget. Since the for noted moms (and a few dads) will be the one to provide the same for noted devices, it reflects upon the overall usage that the caretakers within the family have upon their kids or those that are under the age of 18 living in the same household.
And when it comes to adults, the reliance of electronic whatchamacallits dregs on. In yet another marketing survey, this time conducted by Accenture’s in their third annual “Video Over Internet Consumer Survey” report, 90% of those polled stated they watched some kind of video content over the ‘net, while a little over three fourths (77%) admitted using their laptop, phone, or pad while watching TV–from a traditional TV set perhaps! And there’s the ever present “multitasking” activities that everybody seems to be doing at every given moment. (That element is for another article as that stands!)
In spite of all of these never ending ways to live through life, as long as the devices used (and in some ways, misused and abused) are smaller, faster, and perhaps cheaper, such reports as what’s described above will contain more that one can take hold upon. These actualities remain as a positive notion since those that use such productions can maintain their domestic lifestyle. On the other hand, this is not-so-good notion since those that rely upon such productions can’t maintain their domestic lifestyle. It’s just another example of damned if you do damned if you don’t!
Nobody can predict what the near future holds, but within a few short years (months?) the reliance of gadgets and the apps that go with ‘em will just increase. Things will be added on while other notions will just fall upon the wayside. This is how time and tide calls the shots. So as time and tide does their work, everybody will march to their own drummer and progress upward. After all, there is an app for that!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME, Frank McGuinness’ drama of three individuals imprisoned inside a jail cell for a crime they did or didn’t commit, performs at The Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.
It’s 1986, and the nation of Lebanon is facing a civil war. Beirut, its capitol, is under high alert, taking on hostages for its own reasoning. Inside a jail cell located somewhere in this war torn nation, three individuals consisting of Edward (Bert Emmett) an Irish journalist covering the war, Adam (Evan L. Smith) an American physician, and Michael (Lloyd Pedersen), a college instructor of British origin, have been taken in by the local freedom fighters. Their only crime is being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The sentence brings on imprisonment that will last until their captors feel they are good and ready to release their prisoners. Enclosed in what appears to be a 12’ x 12’ cell while being shackled, Adam and Edward (later joined by Michael) face the time by keeping their sanity in check. They are aware that they are hostages and their captors use this imprisonment as mental torture. In order to keep one step ahead of this invisible force, they must become emotionally fit to survive, from making up stories, to accepting one another, to breaking out in song, choosing from one of many tunes a well known Gershwin number, using that piece at their official theme. This is what keeps them at bay, edging up toward the moment when (or if) they will become free once again among a time where uncivil unrest and uprising is part of a domestic everyday life.
This hard hitting and very powerful play is based upon an actual episode where Irish journalist Brian Keenan was imprisoned for over four years as a hostage in Lebanon for an act he committed or not. In this fictional account, the three players performing in this production show off their skills as a trio (sometimes as a duo) of souls that do their best to keep their own lives afloat. Evan L. Smith as Adam shows his mental skills are just as keen as his physical abilities. Bret Emmett as Edward is the cocky one, proving that he is one tough Irish lad that will take on what’s given to him. And Lloyd Pedersen as Michael is the most child like. He doesn’t have the same banter as Edward or the same high wit as Adam, but he still maintain his own abilities of basic survival. Gregg T. Daniel directs this play that is well suited to an intimate stage setting as each scene takes place in one theater set: a barren isolated prison cell. Gary Lee Reed designed the set in question that is just that: a barren and bland appearing cell with just a few props inlaid that shows that this banter takes place inside of a land where hostilities are the rule rather than the exception.
SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME is an exercise of survival where every hour and day brings the bare fate of these men into a freedom that is mental at first, and physical second–if at all! Theater goers will indeed receive what they pay for in each performance where the drama–an well as a few lighter moments–are captivated in terms of words and spiritual emotions. This play is highly recommended!
SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME, presented by The Group Rep and performs at the Lonnie Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, until June 2nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Special talk back sessions featuring the cast speaking about their roles, take place after the Sunday afternoon performances on April 28th and May 19th. For reservations and for more information, call (818) 763-5990, or on line at http://www.TheGroupRep.com
Currently playing at The Eclectic Company Theatre is the world premier of Jeff Folschinshy’s LOW TECH, a tragic comedy of one person’s journey of progressing from a high tech and high connected universe to a lower level method of existence, in spite of how others reflect to this reality of choice.
Amanda Smith plays Allegra Marcos, a spokesperson for High Tech International, a mega corporation that creates technology that self requires its clientele to have, use, and rely upon. Introducing a new operating system call Zeus, this OS takes on a new meaning of providing information at each hour of the day when and wherever one desires it or not. Allegra is required by High Tech Int’l to know what she is doing at each moment, as well as where she is doing and how she is doing her doings! One day while informing the world about the wonders of Zeus at a formal public presentation, she collapse from physical and mental exhaustion. While recuperating in a hospital, she feels the need to take on some quiet seclusion in the form of old fashioned “me” time. This would mean to unplug herself and thus, no longer becoming connected to a virtual world, even going as far as dropping her smart gadget loaded with this OS either by accident or intentional. This little act brings the bosses of High Tech into a tizzy, even taking this human breakdown as either a form of her being pregnant or going insane! She now must face the hard wired facts that she essentially complies with High Tech into being high tech and the notion that quiet time is just too quiet!
This comedy is a quirky satire on how technology is indeed taking over anybody and everybody’s lives. Playwright Jeff Folschinshy creates a piece where its humor is delivered in a very cocky fashion. The pleasantry expressed isn’t wacky/crazy, but troll enough where the banter is just as biting for a post modern environment; serving within the same method as a physical pratfall would serve in another generation without the physical violence that would be implied otherwise!
As to the human side of things, notably its cast members, Amanda Smith as Allegra turns from a know-it-all to somebody that desires a real truth only to be punished for it; A crime in the new tech sense. Michelle Danyn plays Margaret, Allegro’s “girlfriend” who feels for her friend without taking on too much pity upon her. Fuz Edwards plays Zeus, a human form of the self named OS that High Tech created and dominates that sticks with Allegra in the form of a “guardian angel” of sorts through her emotional journey. And the rest of the cast, consisting of (in alphabetical order), Mark Bate, Jason Britt, Megan Crockett, Paul Duffy, Dan Mandel, and Tyler Tanner, perform in multiple roles, ranging to those in Allegro’s high strung and high wired world, to members of a “greek chorus” that performs as consumers (worshipers) of Zeus and what it stands for.
And there is the technical direction of this play, most notably Drew Dalzell’s sound design of his series of “beeping” and “buzzings” of phone type devices chirping every time Zeus the OS sends and/or delivers a message or command for all to hear.
Directed by Chelsea Sutton, LOW TECH is the funniest whim looking at a world of high tech getting the best of everyone and everything! Although this piece doesn’t necessarily take place is a specific time frame or physical space, this stage work may be a warning of what’s going to happen within the next few years (months?) when smart phones devices will become so smart, anyone without one will be too stupid to exist in its world–either in a real cosmos (1.0 edition) or of a virtual version. (2.0–or is it 2.1.0??)
LOW TECH, presented by and performs at The Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (between Chandler and Magnolia), Valley Village, until May 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 508-3003, or online at http://www.EclecticCompanyTheatre.org
PAIN & GAIN (Paramount) stars Mark Wahlberg as Daniel Lugo, an amateur bodybuilder based in Miami who after taking a few nowhere jobs (including one as a shady financial planner that eventually gave him some time in prison), takes on a position as a personal trainer at a local high power gym. Dwayne Johnson is Paul Doyle, a fellow body builder that is a regular patron at the work out facility. Anthony Mackie is Adrian Doorbal, another body builder (and a former con) who befriends Daniel and Paul. It’s the middle 1990’s, and not only body building is the current rage, so are the applications associated with the taking of high protein mixes with an occasional shot of steroids! One of Daniel’s regular customers is Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), a man who built an empire, as well as a hefty financial portfolio, of owning a popular deli in town among other investments that made his personal fortune fall into the millions. Daniel, along with Paul and Adrian, take this opportunity to plan a kidnapping of Victor who’s age is somewhere between “retirement” and “death”, while attempting to extort his fortunes for the trio’s own personal gain. The job isn’t easy, but through their ways of conducing their “business”; mostly though some motivational training by a self made man called Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong) who sells fame and fortunes through seminars conducted in hotel ballrooms as well as through TV informercials, they seek their own version of “success”, but not the way they first intended!
This action adventure comedy (yes, comedy!) is a fast paced feature about three guys that perform a heist where anything that can go wrong dose and them some! This film is loaded with quirky characters that make this feature very amusing, almost comic book like without the standard cartoon clichés that one may find in a super hero-type flick. Michael Bay, famous in moviedom for his “shoot-em-up” style of direction, takes the helm of this picture and creates a rapid fire thrill ride that doesn’t stop for anything until the final end credits roll. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely’s screenplay (based on magazine articles written by Pete Collins) grab upon what is grounded upon a true story (and the film will remind you of this fact) and loads it full of one-liner dialogue as well as one comedy error after another. This kind of humor becomes fresh and new for a film of this nature; An action/adventure pic that is more of a laugh (not necessary a “laff riot”) that isn’t another standard and almost boring explosion and gunfire orgy where the serious factor is more of a ruling than an exception.
There are way too many character performers that appear in this feature to note here, but perhaps the most gentile one of them all is Ed Harris as Ed Du Bois, a retired police officer turned semi retired private eye that actually cracks the case of this heist conducted by a trio of beefy guys that are great when it comes to flexing their pecs, but not too hot when it comes to staging a big time theft!
This feature calls in the start of the 2013 summer movie season where louder is better (so it appears) that falls short when it comes to intelligence, so no real Oscar winners here! However, these movie titles are the type of flicks that people will pay to see, making money for the studio’s coffers! After all, folks go to movies in order to be entertained, and movie studios make features to earn big time profits! PAIN & GAIN will satisfy movie watchers, and perhaps Paramount will see their bank accounts a little beefier–just like the leading men seen on the big screen! And for what it’s worth, this feature is in 2-D (no special glasses needed), and its “flat” appearance is just as well!
This picture is rated “R” for violence, drug usage, foul language, and suggestive sexual references. Opens on April 26th at multiplexes nationwide.
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——————————————————————————————————————————————– TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
I don’t believe this. My “new” Apple MacBook Pro won’t turn on. The model had been returned to Best Buy!!! Was told there was nothing wrong with it. Now it won’t turn on and I am being told I have to bring it back to the store and who knows what happens then. And I started writing a short story yesterday that I will have to rewrite and an article that is due today. ACK Super ACK!!!
For the first time in 14yrs, I slept for SIX HOURS UNINTERRUPTED and EIGHT hours total! I was actually able to just get out of bed and I was actually alert! Can’t imagine what it must feel like to do this every night, but I’m praying my dr will get me there before too long and I can say, “So this is what it feels like to be normal!” WOW!
Baby Galen keeps telling me Knock Knock jokes. Here’s one for you.
BG: Knock, knock.
… BG: Boo hoo hoo. (laughs hysterically)
Sometimes my infusions are like, “It’s all good,” and then there are nights like tonight:”You talkin’ to me?” I must of looked at it wrong, because it’s kicking my tush.
I am so tired of these stupid allergies. I actually coughed too much yesterday I pulled a muscle.
POWER FLUSH SUCCESSFUL!!! LOL–nothing to do with our bathrooms! The Geek Squad gal said I could UNPLUG the MAC, HOLD DOWN the POWER button 60 seconds and then Plug it back in and TURN the MacBook Pro back on. YAY!!! It is working again. Now to order Carbonite for this computer too!!!
As of April 22nd, Tiffi has 1,739 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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