ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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THANKFUL FOR…

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

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

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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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!

FOUR QUARTERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the highlights of Snap’s findings..

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

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

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

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

Other stats to ponder upon…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WHAT’S GOING ON?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After all, what else one can do while working at home or creating their umpteenth batch of sourdough starter–if not repainting the bedroom walls!!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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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 NOVEMBER

It’s now the coming toward the end or the year, and the start of the seasonal events that take place during those last eight or so weeks left on the 2020 calendar. It’s the period where anything could happen, yet nobody appears to agree just how that “anything” is going to work out!

First and foremost, we are giving our headline “Black November” as the period where many businesses, both big(er) and small(er), starts showing a profit of some form. This terms comes from “being in the black”–reviled through their bookkeeping that their income has extended beyond their expenses, usually noted from writing their figures on to their paper spreadsheets in black ink. If there was some form of loss, it would be noted in red ink, thus the meaning of “bring in the red” verses “being in the black’! (Obviously, these terms were created when bookkeeping was done by hand and not through some kind of electronic spreadsheet app.)

But the term “black” also means other things. It’s a term describing a race of people–something that’s been in the media spotlight for the past few months. It also describes a term that may be of a tragic or uncertain nature. Halloween has just past where events were scary in a fun and amusing way. The week of this same issue also features Election Day where things can also be just as frightening, not necessarily in a fun and amusing way. And then there are the upcoming times of the season for the month of November at least.

In last week’s issue (Vol. 25-No. 43 to be precise), this writer went through those times of the year giving our analysis on how they are going to pan out. Granted, we were just presenting our opinions as playing armchair quarterback. We don’t necessarily know how those events will play out. Yes, they will exist. No, they won’t exist as they have done so in the past. However, there has been a lot of forms of what’s known as rising to the occasion. This is the notion (or perhaps an “art”) of adapting through the circumstances of a physical or emotional surrounding where one can rise to the surface, go with the flow, or some other descriptive methods of getting on to how things are, perhaps with that element that this is how it’s going to be right now, even if that “right now” will wind up as a “forever”.

But let’s get into the “black” for the moment. The seasonal shopping period has already begun. Many stores and retailers have began to kick off the deals that shoppers love to know about, starting around middle October. In was on October 13th and 14th that Amazon, the be-all-to-end-all portal to obtain almost anything including the kitchen sink, had their Prime Days, where subscribers to their premium service called Amazon Prime can take advantage of deals over selected goods. Physical retailers such as Target and Walmart, who for many years was known as the main be-all-to-end-all place to shop, also had their own version of Prime Day. Because this writer isn’t a subscriber to Amazon Prime, I can’t say what items were being sold at discounted prices. All that I do know that many of these items were available with free shipping. Also, if one wanted to take advantage of electronic devices created by and sold through Amazon, they would be available as well.

But Amazon isn’t the only game in town. There’s been a lot of notion of taking advantage of the smaller and independent retailers who had been struggling to be in the black while facing these black-esque times. Recently, a group of independent bookstores has their own campaign of sorts advising possible shoppers to shop in their stores loaded with real people offing their suggestions on what books to read and cherish through personal choice rather than by way of a “creepy algorithm” where a robot picks the choices for you! And there is Small Business Day, usually held around Thanksgiving weekend where the campaign totes to remember (and to shop) the friendly neighborhood retailer that exists in..well..your friendly neighborhood! This day was established a number of years ago when those Black Friday days would have those physical big-box retailers open in the early morning hours (some as early as 5:00 AM) to offer deals on goods that people may want to purchase, even if the purchase wasn’t meant to be as a “holiday gift”. It was made for the buyer. And the goods offered weren’t anything of a practical nature. There was nothing offered such as toothpaste, masking tape, or standard groceries. It was goods that one would make for a single time such as electronic devices (big screen TV sets, etc.) or other goods that just may not really be needed or desired. It was just purchased because it was such a great deal. After all as the notion could suggest, when will you get such a deal as the ones offered ever again? Surprisingly, it would be a lot sooner than one would realize!

But as of right now, everything won’t be as black as it could mean. (Black here refers to being as described as a of state of misery.) There is a lot of positivity in the works. Things will get back to where they were. It may not be for a while, and may not even be in the state as they once were. But they will happen! How do we know? Actually, this writer doesn’t know. He (the person’s proper pronoun by the way) is just stating this fact because that is the method of journalism that Accessibly Live Off-Line subscribes to. We’ve been at it for almost a quarter of a century, so we must be doing something right!

Right…?

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

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

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 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!

HAPPY HOLIDAZE?

We don’t have to remind you folks out there that the times we are living in are anything but “normal”. Schedules are being changed and re-changed. Employment has been originating from home, through virtual means, or even not at all! From things being different, altered, or just plain f#cked up, this year doesn’t have a lot to celebrate or to celebrate in ways not experienced before!

Using this week (Monday, October 26th onward) as our stating point, the days that mean a lot to folks are getting a once over change. And we’ll run down through a few of the holidays that fall between this week and the end of the year to provide some kind of recap. And to make it rather simple, we’ll just limit ourselves to days normally celebrated by at least 50% of the U.S. population. So if we don’t mention St. Swizen’s Day, then we apologize, assuming that St. Swizen’s Day hasn’t already passed!!

For starters, The Center for Decease Control, as well as the Los Angeles Country (California) Department of Health had given pointers on how to handle this year’s Halloween festivities. This news service already gave our own two cents over that issue. (See Vol. 25-No. 42 for details). So we’ll move on from there!

After All Saint’s Day (November 1st) and Day of the Dead (November 2nd), is Election Day, (November 3rd). the day where one should vote for many ballot-based entries as well as for the candidates listed on the said ballot, from entry for local dog catcher to who’s going to become King of the USA! That “day” has tuned into a “season” where voting by mail through the weeks has been suggested, encouraged, or in a few cases, placed as mandatory! That voting period has already started and will be counted, just as long as the ballots arrives to where it should be accepted and counted by the local deadlines.

Afterwards, there’s Veteran’s Day-November 9th. That’s a day that is often confused with Memorial Day-the last Monday in May. Veterans Day is the day to thank all of those that served in the Armed Forces that has since come back to tell their tales. When one has the chance, thank a vet for their service. They would appreciate such!

Now we are coming to “the big three”-Thanksgiving-November 26th, “The Holidays”; Christmas, Hanukah, and other days that fall through the month of December. And there is New Year’s Eve/Day. Those moments that occur during the final six weeks of the year are the ones that really matter to a lot of folks, from the acts of buying goods to the standard merry making antics! Those days has also been the subject of many a TV program and feature film, and hold the worth of telling the stories again and again, for comic relief or otherwise.

However, how are the 2020 editions of these times of the season going to hold out? According to a recent study by Reach3 Insights, a consumer research platform that uses chat-based technology and applications, it was noted that nearly two thirds (64%) of those participating in the survey said that they will be celebrating “The Holidays” this year, although it wasn’t noted how those days will be committed compared to how they they were celebrated in the recent past. (i.e. 2019 and beforehand!)

But before “The Holidays” officially kick in, there’s Thanksgiving. That’s the day where family, friends, and in many cases, perfect strangers meet to take part in that big meal of Turkey and all of the trimmings! However, thanks to fears of people gathering in one place, the notions of travel, and many other factors too long to list, gatherings may wind up as a whole lot smaller in size and scope. People that live nearby may get together, but it will be more of a lower key affair. Restaurants that would normally cater to those that would rather eat out than to cook for hours or even days, may be open or not, depending on how local standards hold out. If one is in a warmer climate such as Arizona, Florida, or maybe Texas, one can have an outdoor Thanksgiving! For the rest of the nation, not so much!

And Macy’s won’t be hosting a parade this year, either! This means no camping along the streets from Central Park West down along Broadway. No balloons to view! No marching bands to see! No nothing! NBC, the network that’s been televising the parade since the 1950’s, will have a TV event on that day, but it’s going to be more of a “variety show” than a parade! It’s a far cry to when Loren Green and Betty White used to present the program on Thanksgiving morning back in the day! (Good news sports fans! There will be Football to view that day! So all is not lost!!)

The day that’s going to get the short end of the stick is New Year’s Eve/Day. The Reach3 Insights report notes that 40% will be doing no celebrating for that day. This means that the popping of champaign corks will be on the quiet side this year. Then again, a lot of people will say “2020–Good bye and good riddance”! So much for the start of the Roarin’ 20s!! (P.S.–No Rose Parade that year as well! So don’t bother to camp along Colorado Blvd. on December 31st!)

But in these days, things will all be subject to change. Let’s hope that change will be for the better! Just don’t make definite plans! And don’t forget to wear that mask! (Stay safe, gang!!)

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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!

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

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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 (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!!

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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!

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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