WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED DOROTHY?

That was a line uttered (give or take) by Ray Bolger as the scarecrow in the forever classic feature film The Wizard of Oz. The scarecrow was speaking to Dorothy as played by Judy Garland near the end of the film after they has met the Wiz (played by Frank Morgan) shortly after the gang received their “gifts” from the man behind the curtain.

Dorothy learned a lot from her journey down that yellow brick road. And in these recent passing times, a lot of other folks learned a lot from what they have experienced and what they are experiencing right this moment. Some of these lessons were for its well being, while others gave them a sense of reality that needed to be addressed for quite some time, only to get buried from other hubbub that just got in the way.

And the results through various opinion polls taken online speak that truth. The Harris Poll, one of the nation’s leaders in gathering details on the public’s opinion of things at large, has been asking those on how this crisis known as COVID 19 has affected the lives of the domestic population for the good and for the not-so-good.

The results state that nearly everyone has been affected is some way or another. These being affected range from encountering a form of loss of employment, opportunity, and missing out of many life milestones from celebrating births, birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, confirmations, graduations, weddings, and even the passage of commemorating deaths. Many of these same folks experienced “wake up calls” over what has gone on and what’s going to occur next. Some of these “wake ups” reflected self awareness. Others discovered that it arrived as a swift kick in the a$$! As Charlie Dickens would write, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.

And those lessons were obtained from the school o’ hard knocks, if not from forced homeschooling for those that were enrolled in college, high school, and even down to middle and elementary level schooling. Some of these lessons from life showed that there were some issues that had to be addressed only to become lost within a virtual fog. Now that the fog proved itself worthy, it’s time to review a handful of the facts that manifested itself as honorable enough.

For instance, many people learned how to cook meals at home. Granted, most folks that have access to kitchen facilities limited themselves to just preparing token things as to warming something in the microwave. Now those same folks actually whipped out dusty cookbooks (or at least getting access to those cookbooks found online somewhere) to create dishes that were actually decent for the user. In one recent Harris Poll report, 77% of people polled stated they’ve stocked up of foodstuffs since the start of COVID-19, yet 55% said they were concerned their stock would eventually run out. 50% noted that they wanted to have enough to last through the pandemic. However, 89% admitted that once the physical stores were open up more, they would be concerned to return as previous. (11% were unconcerned.) The top worry for shopping in stores is being too close to other people (63% noted this fact) while 21% feared their store(s) would close for good.

And shopping online nearly went through the roof. Amazon, perhaps the be-all-to-end-all place to go to purchase everyone from soup to nuts as well as everything including the kitchen sink (no kidding!), had the online retailer become busier than ever. Amazon also became part of the high demand of employment opportunities that were around since this whole sheltering thing began. The same goes for using take out deliveries as provided by local pizza joints and through third party delivery services on behalf of a eatery or three that could not physically open as normal.

And for those that discovered the joys of cooking, stocking up on foodstuffs were on its rise. The Harris Poll continued to note that 43% of those stocked up on meat products, 37% on pasta, 32% on rice, while 28% grabbed baking supplies such as flour and yeast. Those kitchen appliances from slow cookers, rice makers, and bread machines were busy working away to create dishes that haven’t seen the light of day for generations!

However, in spite of all of the lessons learned, we are all still traveling down that yellow brick road as we have yet to arrive to the Land of Oz. There is still a load of uncertainty that has yet to be discovered. Only time, tide, and perhaps the grace of God (and its equivalent) will be able to sort things out.

However, it’s not all that bad! When was the last time somebody baked a depression cake? When did anyone create hasenpfeffer using a genuine Crock Pot device? What about baking beer bread using a stand alone bread machine? Yours truly did the last two, while a friend of ALO-L whipped up the depression cake (also known as a crazy cake) from a recipe passed on from her late father!

If Julie Child and Graham Kerr could only see this now! Bon Appétit!!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

SCOOB! (Warner Bros.) is a retelling of a saga of the four teenagers who are part of Mystery, Inc., and the dog that made is all happen.

The story opens at Venice Beach, California, where a young boy “Shaggy” Rogers (Will Forte) finds a stray pup that’s on the lam for stealing a slab of gyros from a food stand. This is where Shaggy meets the pup he names Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker). Before long, Shabby and Scooby (or “Scoob” for short) meets up with three other kids: Fred Jones (Zac Efron), the good looking blond haired guy wearing an ascot, Daphne Blake (Amanda Seyfried) who has the grace and is a ‘people person’, and Velma Dinkley (Gina Rodriguez), the brains of the outfit. After solving a case of a local haunted house that turned out to be phony, they form “Mystery, Inc”, a group that solves mysteries using Shaggy and Scoob as the comedy relief. Now grown up as “teenagers”, Scooob and the gang meets a new challenge-a mysterious secret plan to let loose the ghost dog Cerberus upon to the universe, a dog from the time of Alexander The Great of ancient Greece, where its later discovered that Scoob is a decent. Using the aid of Shaggy’s super hero idol The Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and his robot dog sidekick Dynomutt (Ken Jeong), they are off to get behind this scheme that is lead by evil bad guy Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) who in turn had his own dog sidekick, Muttley (Billy West), that is best known for biting D.D. In the rear end with its trademark “chomp”!

This CGI animated feature film, based upon one of the longest running and perhaps the most successful franchise creations that ever came out of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon studies behind The Flintstones, is a rather amusing and somewhat snarky reboot update of the cartoon that first made its appearance at the start of the 1969-70 TV season, changing through its many decades afterwards. The screenplay by Matt Leiberman, Adam Sztykiel, Jack Donandson, and Derek Elliot, with story by Eyal Podell, Jonathon E. Stewart and Leiberman, is a piece that is very fast moving yet somewhat loud and complex that takes blends of super hero and sci-fi, making the original series look rather tame! (This feature has a much bigger animation budget it‘s working with). This feature piece is ideal for those of the (mostly male) Gen-Z demographic that likes their toons with lots of action with enough comedy to make it appealing that grew up on such other TV toons as Family Guy, The Simpsons, and anything running on Cartoon Network’s recent off-shoot, Adult Swim. Tony Crevone direct this title matching up with its story line where the moral (yes…moral) to this whole thing is that friendship will bond any two people for the longest time no matter what! Even if that friendship is between a boy/teen and his pup named Scooby Doo!

This is the second feature film of late that was moved from its original theatrical release to a release made available on streaming based video-on-demand, or VOD for short. This change of course, was based upon the circumstance that most traditional movie houses were closed due to a pesky virus that’s going around! That change of venue may have been the saving grace for this film as it appears to play a lot better viewing it on one’s home video device rather than a bigger (and perhaps louder) movie screen in a theatrical setting loaded with other people that may possess a fever–or not!

In addition, it’s not only those post millennium aged boys that will find this flick appealing. It will also cater to those much older (as well as fans of H-B animation) where there are a lot of references to other H-B toons mostly from the 1960’s and 1970’s scattered through this feature. Since one have the device to place this film on “pause” while viewing, it will be a lot easier to spot them all–if one so desires to to that!

SCOOB! is generally an animated title that will tide one over until Pixar Animation will release its next entry Soul, later this season. Disney is shooting for a theatrical release. But as they used to say on TV–stay tuned for further updates!

PS…would it be a spoiler alert to note that the line “I would have gotten away with this if it wasn’t for you mending kids!” is barley mentioned? At least Scrappy Doo is no where to be found!

This film is rated “PG” for cartoon action/violence, and mild suggestive humor. Now available for streaming video-on-demand nationwide for all electronic portals and devices.
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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!

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