OUT OF WARRANTY ALREADY…?

The other day, I received a transcribed (i.e. recorded message) on my phone where a woman’s voice informed me that my car’s warranty was about to expire. This company, who was not mentioned in this message, was trying to contact me without success. Now that they finally did attempt to reach out to me (so to speak), that I was eligible to extend my auto’s warranty for future repairs that may come around or not. All I had to do was to press the “one” key on my phone where I would have been connected to a customer service rep that would give me the lowdown on how I can protect my car no matter how old it was.

One would think that I would be very lucky to receive such a call out of the blue. “Just think..”, or so I was supposed to declare.. “This company was making an attempt to contact me stating that my car was ready to have a warranty extended!” So how did I react to this bit of good news?

I did what millions (yes..millions) of others that received such a phone call did. I hung up on the call.

This type of phone call is part of the ever growing number of calls people receive on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Thanks to modern technology, there are companies, and in some cases, individuals, that make such calls to these millions of phone numbers at the same time! These systems do not know who is behind the numbers dialed. Some may be for real people compared to other robots. Some call numbers that have been long disconnected, while the rest call phone numbers not connected to anybody or anything. And these type of phone calls are not necessarily limited to selling auto warranty programs. Some are impersonating a government agency such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or the Social Security Administration (SSA), the FBI, or even the CIA informing the caller that they own some kind of bill that they must pay up, or to inform the not-so-lucky individual that their social security number will be “cancelled” due to suspicious activity. And maybe the FBI is looking for somebody for whatever reason. And yes, the Central Intelligence Agency wants to spy for you, or for you to spy on somebody else!! (Don’t laugh folks! This writer once received such a message as that one some time back!)

Let’s face it. Thanks to technology and the fact that nearly everyone over the age of twelve has a cell phone within reach, people have been getting these types of calls more than every before. Some are humorous for what they are, while others are attempting to give you a moment to them to plot a scam with whatever method they could muster up. Many folks just get annoyed over these calls, while others fall for this trap, and thus, release themselves into their clutches.

These types of phone calls are a far cry to the occasional phone solicitation call one may have received back in the day when hard line telephone systems were part of the domestic communications landscape. Usually these kinds of phone calls were made and received between the hours of five to eight in the evening during the weekdays. There was always a live person on the other end of the phone line informing the person on the other end that they may be eligible to win some prize of some kind, or to maybe sell the called person some kind of item and/or service. The services pushed were connected to a home improvement jobs such as new door replacements or window treatments. These calls were usually when people were having their dinner, or after they came home from their remote jobs. But whatever the nature of the call was all about, it always involved a payment of some sort or anything that had to do with money.

Because a robot is a lot easier (and cheaper) than the use of a human being to pitch a product or service via phone, these companies use these ‘bots to make calls on a massive scale. And they don’t wait around the dinner hours to do this anymore. These calls come as early at 7:00 AM local time, to as late as 10:00 PM. And it’s no longer limited to a Monday through Friday window. These calls are made and received seven days a week. Same hours, too!

Of course, there is the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) with their “Do Not Call” listing. This is where one lists their phone number through the FCC where they pass off (or should pass off) to these telemarketing companies not to call a phone number as submitted. Many of these companies or groups that create such mass calling reside outside of the USA, where the FCC holds no jurisdiction to anyplace beyond the US borders. These companies tend to be located in some foreign nation, not necessarily limited to North America. So placing one’s self on a “Do Not Call” list winds up receiving more of these phone messages.

So what can one do to stop these calls from coming in? Perhaps the best way to avoid such calls is to not answer them. Many of the phone carriers out there that’s totally aware of these calls have phone ID messages labeled as “Possible Scam” or some kind of verbiage to that effect. That just means to not answer them. Of course, a few calls may go be ID-ed as a local number. However, most (again, not all) of these calls would be noted as a scam call.

So as more folks become wired up with phones in hand, the robot call will keep coming in. However, if one feels like it, one can “scam the scammer” by taking a phone solicit call and ordering up the product or service they are attempting to sell you. Just give them a phony phone name, address, and even credit card number. It doesn’t matter if the info provided is fake. One can label such type of call as a “reverse crank call” where the caller calls you! All you have to do is to provide them with the fake messages. And while you are on that, ask them if their refrigerator is running, if there any walls there, or if they have Prince Albert in a can. They may not get the joke at first, but what difference dose this all make anyway???


Shanit Keter Schwartz’s solo show DAUGHTER OF THE WICKED, a performance memoir of her life within the country of Israel and her quest to find her missing sibling, appears as a guest production of The Odyssey Theater in West Los Angeles.

In this presentation, Shanit emotes about her upbringing in this region of the middle east around the time that Israel became an independent nation a few years after the end of World War II. Saanit’s father was a rabbi that practiced in a method of Kabbalah, known within a structure of Jewish based theosophy, mysticism, and thaumaturgy marked by a trust in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting scripture as told and retold throughout many generations.

As she progresses upon her journey through her motherland, she is out to find the whereabouts of a sister that became a target of the what was called the Yemenite Children Affair, where the young children of immigrants that migrated to Israel from Yemen were abducted from their families, informing these same families that their children had died, only to be kidnapped and later adapted by outside families living in Europe and North America seeking those of a Jewish persuasion. This shifting a population of young children was a common occurrence within this setting during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Using the methods of the Kabbalah, Shanit expresses her exposure of what occurred within her family as they were seeking refuge to their ideal “land of milk and honey”, only to experience turbulence through these political and spiritual beliefs and faiths.

This performance by Shanit Keter Schwartz tells this tale that provides a collection of emotions that she, along with the millions that went through this passage has gone through. These emotions range in terms of hope, fear, strife, deep hearted loyalty, and the mystical spirit of the notions of what Kabbalah practices speaks of and for.

Shanit shows her theatrical senses toward an upbeat life, never to plan any elements downward as well as expressing that the Kabbalah may seem mystical, perhaps too mystical from those that are not as structured in these strategies these beliefs convey, but through the perceptions that her family and tribal orders have really discovered for themselves.

The stage setting where the show is presented consists of three screens arranged in a trifold setting where both still and moving imagery are back projected during the various monologues voiced by Shanit as created by Fritz Davis. A selection of what is projected as text are extracted from the Kabbalistic writings from the book The Bronze Serpent, in addition to the stock footage photographing the population of Israel setting into their new country via kibitz and tribal camps. (These scriptural texts are also embedded upon the flooring of the stage itself.) These multimedia visuals assist as a guide that Shanit faced through those trying times. James Newton Howard provides the musical score that play as the audible soundtrack enhancing these tales of hope and wonder.

Directed by Zeke Rettman, DAUGHTER OF THE WICKED isn’t anything “wicked” in the traditional sense as the title may suggest. Its methods as emoted just serves as a unique passage through a physical, emotional, and spiritual state of being. And the talents that Shanit Keter Schwartz holds toward serves as your expert guide that caters to those that are now aware of these conditions more than ever beforehand.

DAUGHTER OF THE WICKED, presented by Lions Bay Productions, performs at the Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles through April 10th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM; and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM.

For tickets and for further information, call 310-477- 2055 or via online at http://www.OdysseyTheatre.com

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

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2022 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

HOLIDAY CRUNCH TIME AND THE NEW YEAR AHEAD

It’s the ol’ time again where folks are starting to make their mad scramble on getting their seasonal tasks in gear.

And why not? Even though prices are a bit steep compared to last year, folks are still trolling in the stores or online grabbing the goods they feel they should pass on to somebody else on their list, or not!

Yes, a lot of comments have been floating around about how shopping for goods may be a bit challenging, but let’s face it! If folks really didn’t want to go through the hassles of shopping for goods that may or may not be available for those that they have a concern over, they wouldn’t bother venturing to a retail outlet, or to turn on their device that’s connected to the ‘net! Call these acts a “labor of love”, or something toward that effect!

So what about the year ahead? Well, 2022 will arrive on January 1st on schedule. And it looks like the electric ball is going to drop in Times Square with people around, although it won’t be as many people as it’s been in the past, but they will be there!

As we received word from some source that New Year’s Eve parties will resume, although it’s going to be different as well. These bashes will be a bit subdued. These parties will be more in the range of intimate get togethers that folks would normally pull throughout the year. But whatever the case be be, at least the ideal and spirit of the end of the year seems to be in check.

What will we do here at Accessibly Live Off-Line central for 2022? Well, that story will be told in the next issue of this same titled source the week of January 3rd of 22!

So keep your eyes on this space for that news!

And yes, it will be our birthday as we turn twenty six years old! Granted, it’s not really a milestone number or any kind. Nevertheless, we will be a year older and perhaps a year wiser! Let’s wait and see!!

This report will be a bit shorter as we would normally churn out, bet we gotta get our shopping done! After all, time and tide wait for no (wo)man–whatever that means!!

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

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

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

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

Films Selected for the 2021 National Film Registry

(Listed in its chronological order of creation and/or release)

(#) Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
Jubilo (1919)
The Flying Ace (1926)
(D) Hellbound Train (1930)
(#) Flowers and Trees (1932)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
(#) Evergreen (1965)
(#) Requiem-29 (1970)
(D) The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
Sounder (1972)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Cooley High (1975)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
(#) Chicana (1979)
(D) The Wobblies (1979)
Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
(D) Stop Making Sense (1984)
(D) Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Selena (1997)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
WALL•E (2008)

For more details on the above titles including titles of other films on the registry as well as how to vote for the 2022 selection, visit the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board web site at http://www.loc.gov/film

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SING 2 (Universal) is the continuation tale of a one time rag-tag theater company who attempts to make it big performing in a show playing within a Las Vegas-type empire, and the process that goes along with it all.

Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) the koala bear theater producer, places himself and the rest of his theater team consisting of pig mother Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), porcupine rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson), piano player gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), the shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), and the German pig Gunter (Nick Kroll) into pitching their show idea to a ruthless mogul/mobster wolf character, Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale) who runs Crystal Entertainment, a mega company set in glamorous Redshore city, a Las Vegas inspired mega town. While auditioning for wolf Jimmy, they discover that Jimmy is a big fan of the rock legend Clay Calloway (Bono). Buster makes a deal that if he can convince Clay to perform in their show, Jimmy would host the production in one of his stage theaters in town, and if Jimmy’s daughter Porsha (Halsey) is cast as one of the leads. However, Clay has been holding himself as a recluse for the past ten years. It is up to Buster and his crew to get Clay to perform, or there won’t be a show, and it will be curtains for Buster and his crew!

This feature, a sequel to the original 2016 release Sing, written and directed by Garth Jennings, is a very fast paced as well as a good looking feature presented by Illumination Entertainment, the animation house that brought the Despicable Me and the Minions franchises to where they stand in today’s animation world. SING 2 is fun for what it is, but lacks the charm that its original entry contains. And unlike many sequels, especially for animated features of this ilk, many of the original characters that appeared in Sing do not show up in SING 2. This could be the case for a number of reasons. Perhaps the original voice cast wasn’t available, or maybe those missing characters would not fit within the premise in this story line. Whatever the situation, the new and returning characters are very amusing for how it all stands.

And some of those new characters that appear in SING 2 consist of Chelsea Peretti as Suki, a dog talent scout that works with Jimmy, Pharrell Williams as Alfonso, an eccentric baboon choreographer, Letitia Wright as Nooshy, and Eric Andre as Darius.

Of course, there are a lot of musical selections that are used within the soundtrack as performed by Buster’s theater company, ranging from K-pop, classic rock, jazz, hip-hop, and of course, a few numbers from the U2 music library as Bono (real name Paul David Hewson) voices the recluse Clay Calloway.

This movie will please all ages alike. The kids will enjoy this film as it’s family friendly (no suggestive images or dialogue depicted), and the adults will enjoy it as well since the music is geared toward a blend of “adult contemporary”, “classic rock”, as well as some new pieces as well. So all the songs cover all the bases.

Over the past few years, many other animation houses have stepped up to the place to offer titles that can be seen in theaters, as well as having a very long afterlife thanks to home video (yep, DVDs still exist!) as well as streaming. Some of these features range from very good to very bad. SING 2 falls within the “very good” side. It’s nothing special, but it will serve as a crowd pleaser, especially for those that have embraced the first title of this series. Only time and its general appeal will show if a Sing 3 will be worth the time, money, and effort.

SING 2 is rated “PG” for “rude material” and “mild peril/violence”. Now playing in movie theaters nationwide.

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BEING THE RICARDOS (Amazon Studios) is a tale that focuses upon America’s (and later the world’s), most famous comedic redhead and her husband, a Cuban American bandleader that were seen on 12” screens set upon on those newfangled electronic devices called the television set!

The Ricardos in this case is the fictional Lucy Ricardo and Ricky Ricardo, appearing as the lead characters in the hit situation comedy I Love Lucy, starring Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnez (Javier Bardem) playing a married couple where Ricky leads a Cuban orchestra performing at a local nightclub around New York City, and Lucy as a wacky housewife that desires to upstage her husband in whatever ways she can.

The movie opens at the start of the show’s second season. (Fall of 1952) I Love Lucy is the hottest TV show around, pleasing their network, CBS, as well as their sponsor, Phillip Morris cigarettes. Lucy and Ricky, who own the program through their production company Deslu, deal with a number of things while the two are on top of their game. There’s the co-stars of the program, William Frawley (J.K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda), and the behind the scenes folks that consist of their writers of the program: Jess Oppenheimer (Tony Hale) who is also the showrunner and executive producer, Madelyn Pugh (Alia Shawkat) and Bob Carrol, Jr. (Jake Lacy). Outside of dealing with a load of situations that are far from the comical antics seen by as many as 60 million viewers every Monday night, Lucy and Desi face other circumstances, including on how to deal with Lucy’s upcoming pregnancy and how the CBS and Phillip Morris executives insist she should hide the fact that she is indeed expecting, to the stress of keeping their marriage intact and if Desi is wooing other women, to fighting a speculation as reported by Walter Winchell that Lucy may be going “red”–not as a “redhead”, but possibly being a Communist! In spite of all of this, Lucy was indeed loved by her fans. She and Desi just had to face their own personal demons in the process.

This feature film, written and directed by playwright and screenwriter Arron Sorkin, is far from being another telling (retelling?) about this first couple of television, but an inside look to what people who tuned in didn’t necessarily know about. The story itself isn’t linear from having a specific start and conclusion time wise, but jumps to and fro showing off what Lucy and Desi had to face in their lives. It shows how Lucy wanted to be a series actress in the likes of becoming another Joan Crawford or Bette Davis, to Desi’s working late nights playing at Ciro’s nightclub off the Sunset strip while Lucy worked all day at RKO, to the fact of Lucy and Desi argues over their issues in one moment while “making out” in another!

As bio films tend to go, there are a lot of points addressed within this feature. Also, it’s very talky! But with a playwright at the helm of this feature, it’s understandable why the characters talk more and walk less. Arron Sorkin has been known to create stories based upon actual people and/or events that made some kind of a difference, from Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, the “Chicago 7”, among others. And this title can be added to his bunch.

Outside of the talkiness this feature contains, there is a lot of eye candy to view in terms of the period sets and costuming as provided by Andress Cubillan’s art direction, Ellen Brill’s set decorations, along with Susan Lyall’s costuming. And there’s the cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth that does a rather decent job of recreating selected scenes of a few actual I Love Lucy episodes, although those recreations are rather brief for what they are.

This feature is presented by Amazon Studios that also offers their streaming service Prime Video. This means that this title will have a limited theatrical run in order to become eligible to be nominated for film awards, and will be part of Amazon Prime’s programming lineup. With this being stated, is this reviewer suggesting to readers of this review to experience this title on the big screen or on a small(er) viewing platform? Since this feature is about a TV show, why not view it as a TV program? Considering that it does contain some slower spots within its pacing. Those lulls in the story line makes as an ideal time to get up to some snacks, play with one’s phone, answer the call of nature, etc. without missing a beat and rhythm to this feature! So we did have some ‘splaining to do in this matter!

BEING THE RICARDOS is rated “R” for cussing. Now playing in selected theaters, and available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 21st.

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This will be the final edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line for the calendar year. We’ll be taking the next two weeks off to return on the week of January 3rd, 2022.

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

See you in ’22!

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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) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

THE GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING AGAIN!

It’s really no surprise that people are rather frugal in shopping for gifts this holiday season, especially in this year’s climate.

Thanks to the current rate of inflation, the ways and methods to snag bargains that wasn’t obtained last fall, as well as other factors from the shortage of goods, the delivery personnel to get the goods from points A to B, the physical retail outlets and the workers to maintain those outlets (or not), as well as the whole pandemic thing, folks are really getting keen in what they shop for, who they shop for, as well as where they shop for, if shopping (and the spending of money) is still part of this game.

One item folks are getting are those gift cards. These simple yet effective plastic cards can be used in most cases to purchase anything this outlet that issued the cards sells. And this tradition of getting cards as gifts has been around for generations.

These “ghost gifts” started out as paper gift certificates that somewhat resembled dollar bills, complete with a picture of some likeness of a person connected with the company. If these certificates were issued during the Christmas season, they might have had a likeness of Santa Clause, or a seasonal character connected to the retailer issuing the said certificate. For instance, if Marshal Fields offered the certificates, they would have had a likeness of Aunt Holly or Uncle Mistletoe plastered in the center of the certificates. This retail Uncle and Aunt were two long standing Christmas images that were part of the store’s holiday affairs.

Back in 2007, ALO-L composed an editorial that spoke upon the giving of gift cards and the impact they represented during the month of December. This is what we wrote about ‘em…

As the holiday season (all of ‘em) winds down, folks are there are still cramming in and out of the malls to do the usual retail antics. In spite of a looming recession over everyone’s heads, people are whipping out their charge cards to buy stuff for somebody that they know or know of! The only question remains; what to buy for these folks?

Within the last ten years, gift cards–these credit-card looking pieces of plastic that are usually decked out in bright and “gay” (read: happy) colors with the name of the store in question, of course, have been in vogue! A card could be good from anywhere from $5.00 worth of goods or services, right up to $1000! These kinds or cards make the (almost) perfect gift to somebody who would desire what the store in question would offer without the wonder if the receiver would even like the gift.

And it seems, based upon a recent opinion poll conducted by the BIGresearch American Pulse Survey asking some 4069 individuals about gift cards and gift giving/receiving, that these little pieces of plastic are the way to go! In the poll, some 52.1% of consumers say they would rather receive a gift card for the season. (Cash would do too, but most givers would rather deal with gift cards.) In fact, some 5.4% of those who received clothing as a gift in the past didn’t like or didn’t wear it. Yeah, one can return the item, but 46.3% say they hate to return gifts because it’s too much of a burden or hassle.

And what about shopping and gift giving/receiving? The poll continues! 69.4% say they would rather give a gift than receive one! When shopping, some 70.9% like it when employees wish them a “Merry Christmas” while shopping. (Note: no information was obtained if the shopper would want to hear “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays”, though the two are rather interchangeable!) And in spite of the religious theme that this season ponders upon, some 92.6% feel malls, stores and parks should be allowed to display the Christian nativity scene.

Now getting back to the shopping. Bargains is what drives the spending currently going on. 56% stated that they will be looking for more sales as they shop. However, some 59.1% will be spending less this year than in seasons past. Their reasoning? 47.7% feel that compared to one year before, it is becoming harder to pay monthly bills and/or are living paycheck to paycheck.

And in spite of how easy it is to gift a gift card that the receiver could use at their favorite store, there are some drawbacks! Based upon the survey, 82.4% noted that gift cards are a smart gift alternative for people they don’t know what the receiver would really want, 10.5% have “re-gifted” gift cards received (assuming that they are given with its full value), 13.5% have received gift cards that they’ve never redeemed, and 16.1% have received gift cards that they’ve only partially redeemed.

So there you have it. A totally incomplete tally of what to expect between now and the 25th. Of course, there will be a few folks out there that will still continue to shop well past the 25th and even to January 1st! If these shoppers are looking for bargains, then that’s the time to find ‘em! After all, unless one is getting a gift for Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 17th), then there will be plenty of January white sales going down! Watch your newspaper ads (or your various web sites in cyberspace land) for all of the details!

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Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents David Lindsay-Abaire’s GOOD PEOPLE, a drama about a blue collar woman trying to make ends within her surroundings, and the man she seeks that may make things change for her for better or for worse.

Allison Blanchard is Margie Walsh. She lives in a working class neighborhood in south  Boston, an area known by the locals as “Southie”. She is a single mother of a daughter who is physically handicapped, and supports herself working as a cashier at a dollar-type general store. Things start to unravel when she is fired from her job due to her showing up late for work too often. Now out of a job and perhaps one step closer to being on the street, she finds out that an old boyfriend of hers, Mike (Scott Facher), is a successful doctor with his practice and residence located in a better part of town, far from the borough he and Margie grew up in. Using the advice of her two fellow bingo playing partners, Dottie (Mariko Van Kampen, alternating with Milda Dacys) a senior lady who also makes craft rabbit figurines on the side, and Jean (Suzan Solomon, alternating with Sherrie Scott), another blue collar woman of means, Margie visits her old beau at his office, hoping to snag a job from him. Even though he can’t offer her employment, she still seeks his assistance while attempting to tie a few loose ends together before her emotional and financial ends become unraveled.

This stage piece by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is set in his old stomping grounds of south Boston, where many of its residents are born, live out their lives, and where they eventually die. This is one of the issues that makes this play just what it is; A story that starts out miserable and ends in the sable level. As to this specific production, Allison Blanchard as tough-as-nails Margie takes her lead in stride that shows a realistic side of a race toward a bottom. Suzan Solomon and Mariko Van Kampen as Dottie and Jean are just as “Southie”, presenting themselves as the comedy relief minus the buffoonery that comic relief characters tend to hold on to. Scott Facher as the doctor Mike is more normal than the other Southies, meaning that he is living way beyond his roots. Director Ann Hearn Tobolowsky showcases a collection of characters that are as even when together, and slightly uneven as solo. Among these leads (Margie, Mike, et al) are two other characters of note: Stevie (Michael Kerr), a former coworker of Margie’s and fellow bingo player, and Kate (Charlotte Williams Roberts), Mike’s spouse who happens to be black/African American, meaning that the doctor is part of a mixed marriage. This would be a domesticated state of being that would otherwise ruffle a few feathers in Margie’s neck of the woods!

A special note goes to Jeff Rack’s set design consisting of (among other settings), Margie’s living space, the bingo hall supposedly located in a church basement, and Mike’s living room positioned in the well-to-do suburb of Chestnut Hill. The latter location is the only set that utilizes the play’s hard action within the entire width of the theater stage. All other sets center the action in the middle of the stage, giving those same sets a limited and rather simplified ratio.

GOOD PEOPLE means that bad things happen to such good people. Then again, good things also happen to good people, or good-in-heart people. This play has heart and shows this notion in Beantown, or wherever the American dream may consist of a pleasant daydream, an afterthought, or a standard nightmare. It just all depends on what part of town one dwells in!

GOOD PEOPLE, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until January 9th, 2022. Showtimes are Wednesdays, December 15th and January 5th, Thursday, December 16th and January 6th, Fridays, December 17th and January 7th, Saturdays, December 18th and January 8th, Monday, December 20th, and Sundays, December 12th, and 19th at 2:00 and 7:00 PM, and Sunday, January 9th at 7:00 PM. All other shows perform at 8:00 PM.

At the present time, all attending patrons are required to wear face masks.

For ticket reservations, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org

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WEST SIDE STORY (20th Century Pictures) is the story of two rival street gangs faced with seeking turf within their neighborhood, and a story of two people from the rival gang sects that fall in love, in spite of the challenges they must face.

The setting is New York City-1957. The area known as the Lincoln Square neighborhood on Manhattan’s upper west side is going through a change where the old tenement buildings are being torn down making way for newer soon to be built structures as part of the city’s urban renewal program. In this section, there is also a conflict between the long-time residents that have yet to be pushed out and those from Puerto Rico who are just moving in. Among these folks are two teenage street gangs consisting of the Jets who are white, and the Sharks who are Puerto Rican. Riff (Mike Faist) is the leader of the Jets while Bernardo (David Alvarez), an amateur prizefighter, leads his Sharks. Bernardo lives with his live-in girlfriend Anita (Ariana DeBois) and his younger sister Maria (Rachel Zegler) in a cold water flat in the neighborhood. One member of the Jets, Tony (Ansel Elgort), lives in the basement of Doc’s drug store where he works shortly after his release from prison. The store is run by Doc’s widow Valentina (Rita Moreno) who she hired to work at the store in order to give him a second chance in life. Meanwhile, the Jets and the Sharks plan to have a rumble (i.e. a fight) for gaining turf in their soon to be broken neighborhood. A community dance is being planned at the gym at the local high school. Here, both gangs plan to attend that dance to set forth in their soon to be rumble. Tony and Marie also plan to attend as separate people. While at the dance, these two catch each other’s eyes. They know that they are for one another, knowing that they come from the opposite sides of the gangs. From there, tensions flare up between the Sharks and the Jets, leading toward conflicts that become tragic, while Tony and Marie experience their love for one another.

This feature film is based upon the stage musical of the same name first presented in full in 1957 with book by Arthur Laurents, a music score by Leonard Bernstein (later to be the lead conductor of the New York Philharmonic) with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a 20-something musical prodigy that was first trained to write scores through family friend Oscar Hammerstein II. And its concept, direction, and choreography was created by Jerome Robbins. The stage musical became a major hit performing on the Great White Way and later across the nation and the world.

In 1961, United Artists released the feature film version of that musical, keeping its contemporary settings as well as the original choreography by Jerome Robbins with a new screen adaptation by Ernest Lehman. That film is how many know of this musical, outside of seeing it performed in an occasional revival at a regional or community playhouse within a live theater setting. This movie version released in 2021 (from a planned 2020 release but delayed thanks to the pandemic) retains its 1957-era visuals, and is deemed more as a “reimagine” rather than another remake. This new edition with a screenplay by playwright Tony Kushner expands the story and its characters, adding a bit more depth that tells more of a backstory for the same lead characters as well as the neighborhood where all these conflicts take place. These revisions do enhance the said characters while changing much of the concept the original stage and film versions leaves out. Such revisions reveal that anyone from Puerto Rico is technically an American citizen and the reasons for the rumble is for turf only, and not because of racism(!) The latter may have been added because not to conflict with the racism that had been going on in the USA when this movie was released or was supposed to be released in 2020-2021.

And perhaps the noted change of view; the love story as enchanted by Marie and Tony seems to take a back seat, meaning that their love is more deemed as a “strong like”. The love story part was the entire point of the stage musical and the original movie! (Remember, its premise was Willie Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet!!) This new film places the rivalry between Jets and Sharks as more front and center. But one doesn’t receive as much drama in love stories outside of turning such trauma as another soap opera.

As to how this new version stands out is through its visuals. It does have the look of a film musical that could have been released in the late 1950s-early 1960’s. Its colors are rather muted down a bit, not as bright and shiny as a Technicolor print would present itself, and much of the camera moments have its scenes looking upward toward the players as well as the panning and trucking upward/downward/sideways (left and right) with objects passing by. Steven Spielberg, a man who is part of modern movie makingdom, directs this film as a homage to the original production without forgetting the notion that this movie is indeed a remake, or reimagine to be precise!

There are lots to comment about the physical production itself as well, such as Justin Peck’s choreography that uses his own works while being inspired by the piece Jerome Robins placed on stage and screen, as well as Gustavo Dudamel conducting both the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics with new arrangements by David Newman and Jeanine Tesori’s vocal direction. But the real element is how this feature presents itself to a movie audience living in the postmodern era. That is, today’s audience living in the time of now.

That result would be this. If one has never seen the original film release, this movie musical is quite enjoyable for what it is, in spite of the fact that is has a very long running time of two hours and thirty six minutes–four minutes longer than the original film. But that first movie included a built-in intermission as roadshow versions did back in the day. This new one doesn’t have an intermission for those seeing it in a theater. So bring an extra large bladder along if you do view this title in an actual movie house! (This doesn’t apply if one views it on an electronic device with a video screen attached!)

Movie musicals are very rare nowadays as those kinds of titles tend to attract those of a certain age. (Those over the age of 50!) That is ideal since people of that age tend to be members of groups that nominate movies for awards. And this feature will appeal to that demographic. There aren’t any explosions seen, and gunfire is used only once. (This isn’t a spoiler alert!) And traditional cussing is kept to a minimum. Only its appeal to the masses as well as how this title will be able to nab an award or two will serve as its fate. But in the meantime, enjoy it for its period look as well as the music and dancing, both on the big movie theater screen and the smaller video screen at home/away from home. (Extra large badder optional in that kind of environment!)

WEST SIDE STORY is rated PG-13 for “some strong violence, strong language, thematic content, suggestive material and brief smoking”, as quoted by the Motion Picture Association (of America). Now playing exclusively in movie theaters nationwide.

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

SEASONAL BLUES, WHITES, REDS, AND GREENS

We don’t have to tell you about this seasonal influx of what’s called “The Holidays”, because it’s been known for quite some time.

Recently, results have been coming in over the sales figures from the so-called “Black Friday” weekend, a period that extended from Thanksgiving Day (or the day after) well into “Giving Tuesday”, a day set aside where one is supposed to give a fair amount of currency to one’s chosen charity or related non-profit group for the good this group dose for their own causes. This form of spending and giving would add up over these amounts.

So what are the results? Well, according to various sources, shopping sales were up, while traffic in physical stores were down. In fact, many retailers reported that the once expected of crowds rushing in to grab the latest and greatest toy, kitchen appliance, or whatever was indeed a “hot” item didn’t materialize. There were no massive gangs of folks nearly breaking down the doors just to grab something or another was reduced as much as half off.

So what was the reason for all of this? It was a mixed bag. It ranged from people shopping for bargains retailers offered as early as the Labor Day weekend. Many sales were done online, meaning that there was no reason to enter a retail outlet to grab the goods. The exception to this rule was based on getting an online item, and to pick up the item in a retail store, saving for any shipping costs that may have occurred. And all this is taken account for assuming that the desire goods to grab were even in stock!!

And perhaps another reason may loom. As much as others are stating, the pandemic is far from over. Granted, it’s not as bad as it once was from a year before, but it still exists. Many people are still rather skittish of going into a crowd just for the sake of shopping, masked up or otherwise. And since there is a new variant of the virus lingering, there will be no telling if this variant will make any effect on seasonal shopping. So it’s all based upon a catch-as-catch-can episode of thoughts.

Other reasons range from the rate of inflation made folks give second thoughts of spending for this year. Gas prices have also increased, meaning folks are a bit more hesitant in traveling to a retailer for shopping. And the other reasons can be based upon exchanging physical gift giving with those on their list by offering a personal service to the person on the list, such as offering them to do their yard work, or offering transportation services for the person, or even giving them a baked good or a dinner entry. Those forms of personal gifts are more of that–personal gifts. After all, if one has a friend that would need a ride to the airport, they can call upon that person to give them that needed ride. That ride would serve as the gift.

However, it’s still early December, and this holiday shopping is going to last for a while. So until the accounting is done for the month of December, one will discover who will be the real results. Only time and tide will give those issues front and center. It’s just another notion of “hurry up and wait”!

And you can still wait until the last minute to get one’s shopping done. Just remember that the malls are opening later for one’s personal choice. And contrary to what the rumor dictate, shopping malls are still alive and living. They just ain’t what they used to be, just like everything else!

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December 7th of 2021 will mark the 80th anniversary of the “day of infinity”, the day where the USA was attacked by the Japanese empire, starting the county’s involvement in the battle known as World War

Too many notations had been documented over those last decades about this battle as well as the American involvement in the fighting. However, there was indeed a human side to the conflicts that occurred. Many of the fighting men taking part (yes..it was a male dominated war, although there were many females involved as well), who were rather young, mostly in their 20s, with some that were as young as seventeen years. A few were married, while the rest were single. Perhaps the biggest element they had to face was the fact that they missed their home, their family, their sweethearts, and those others they all left behind.

During the war, the United Service Organizations (USO) that was founded in early 1941, provided entertainment to those serving in the Armed Forces in order to boost morale to those serving, and to let those who were stationed in distant remote locations throughout the globe that they were not forgotten stateside. And out of those entertainers that “did their bit” throughout the conflicts was comedian Bob Hope.

Throughout the war and far beyond the battlegrounds, Hope and his entourage would entertain the troops no matter what conflicts they had to face. And those service folks would deeply appreciate Hope’s presence with his comedy troupe, giving them all of the laughter they really needed. And one way they expressed their gratitude was to send Hope letters giving their thanks as well as a few “shout outs” from where they were, where they were going, along with the notion that they may not ever come back! Hope received as many as 38,000 pieces of mail from the service men and women a week written on any form of surface they could get access to, from clean sheets of typing paper to fragment scraps (including toilet paper) all addressed to “Bob Hope, Hollywood USA” or some variation with many of these letters as addressed did get to him! And Hope himself would even take the time to write back, even while he was working stateside from shooting a feature on the Paramount lot to doing his weekly radio program at NBC.

Hope actually kept all of the correspondence received, as well as the replies he created as saved through carbon copy generated notes. All of these letters were never made accessible to the public. They were just saved in a massive amount of boxes and folders Hope stored away in his home in North Hollywood.

DEAR BOB..Bob Hope’s Wartime Correspondence with the G.I. ‘s of World War II (University of Mississippi Press) is a detailed review of the letters and notes exchanged by Hope of those service men from 1942 through 1945. Martha Bolton, a longtime writer for Bob Hope, and Linda Hope, Hope’s eldest daughter, compiled through the massive amount of correspondence saved through all of the decades. The book details how Hope began entertaining the troops by performing a remote broadcast of his Tuesday night NBC show from March Field, a military base located in Riverside, California located some 60 or so miles east of Hollywood. Hope’s producer Al Capstaff had a brother stationed out there, and the idea was to bring a bit of novelty in the radio show by presenting a program by entertaining the service men at the base. At first, Hope was a bit hesitant of trekking out to a military base just to do a radio show where NBC at Sunset and Vine was a more proper and rather close-by location. But nevertheless, the program was done at the base and became a hit with the troops present and with the radio listeners. This remote broadcast was presented with the thought that this would be a one time event taking place in mid-1941. Then of course, Pearl Harbor was hit, and Hope’s team sprang in action!

Throughout this book, the authors expressed much of the situations Hope and his comedy team went through to get out to where the troops were for their blend of humor, music, as well as an appearance with few showgirls that were part of this entourage. There are many examples of these letters as addressed to Hope, as well as many replies that Hope jotted to those writing in. Most of these letters were very informal. The service men saw Hope not just another big time comic appearing in movies and on radio, but they addressed him as a brother, a family member, and as a good friend. Hope also addressed these men as the same. It was a war where everyone did their part, no matter how small their part would be. The letters Hope received and later sent really mattered on both sides of the battlegrounds.

The book is also loaded with photos taken by some of the service men as well as from other sources that showcase Hope on stage, mingling with the G.I.s, and displaying that he was part of those serving for the cause. This book itself is for those fans of the human side of World War II, for those that were actually there, as well as those that appreciated what Hope did for his nation and for the world at large!

Of course, Hope continued his shows for those in the service through peacetime and through other conflicts up until the Gulf War of 1990-91. Perhaps their may be another book sequel compiled soon consisting of letters and correspondence that Hope sent and received from those in service at Korea, Vietnam, and beyond. Hope was eventually awarded as an honorary veteran by an act of Congress in 1997 that placed him as a person that fought and served not with military might, but a stream of jokes and gags as created by the team of writers that fed him the lines, and those other entertainers that bounced their bit of mirth and merriment to and from Hope that made his shows a must see by the troops, no matter where they may be and even how and where the shows were performed. Those minute yet important episodes were the memories to be thankful for!

DEAR BOB..Bob Hope’s Wartime Correspondence with the G.I. ‘s of World War II is available where books are sold and exchanged, both in-store and online.

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LET THE SHOPPING BEGIN AGAIN!

Now that Thanksgiving has been cleared from the table (so to speak), it’s now time to concentrate on that festive(?) activity called the “Holiday” shopping season. (It used to be called the “Christmas” shopping season, but this writer has explained in detail for this name change, and won’t elaborate on that change any further!)

Anyway, from now (or sooner) until January, folks are expected to go out there to buy gifts for others or for themselves. Although everything seems to be more pricey as they were from the previous year, the urge of spending has changed its priorities. No longer that people had to camp out in front of their favorite (or not so favorite) retail market(s) to grab something reduced in price, since so-called “black Friday” sales were going on as early as the Labor Day weekend!

But we here at ALO-L central have been reporting on this stuff for years. To give you an idea on what we are referring to, we once again dug rather deeply into our archive to bring out an essay that speaks upon this very topic.

The article below first appeared in Vol. 11-No. 48 during the week of November 28th of 2006, some fifteen years ago. It shows that the more things change….

Well folks! Whatever one wants to call this season (“Christmas”, “Holiday” “Winter Solstice”, etc. etc.) the official “Shopping” season has begun in full force! Since Thanksgiving Day when some retailers, sneaky enough to offer so-called “Black Friday” offers one day before Black Friday, got to the attention of Christmas, etc. shopper telling ‘em to spend like the Dickens, and not be stingy as a Scrooge! And since the American economy is somewhat in a funk with gas prices higher than one would like, the housing market is soft, and job security isn’t too secure, it’s spend, spend, spend, making the retail market books go in the ‘black’ (that is, profitable), and the consumers go into the red. Some folks are still paying off debts from the last Christmas shopping season, or perhaps the year before! Whatever the case, it’s the time to grab the goods for somebody to find under their tree come whatever holiday mornin’!

Retailers are hopeful that people will whip out their wallets in order to feed their coffers between now and the end of the calendar year. With Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year, retailers will once again have a final full weekend to deal with–the time where people can do most of their shopping! So planning by happenstance worked out in everyone’s favor. (Beside that, Christmas this year is a “real” three day weekend, rather than the holiday falling smack dab in the middle of the week!)

And this season is more than just shopping. It’s party time where such get-togethers will commence. Some will be cute tea time-type events, while a few will be big-deal blow outs! According to a recent survey of some 1000 mid-sized and big companies, 80% reported that they will offer their employees some sort of bash by the end of the calendar year. That’s up a few points from previous years when said companies, trying to keep the bottom line in order, stated that their end of the year hooplas would either be cut back, or not take place!

Since New Year’s Eve is within this mix, there are the annual New Year’s events to deal with. It’s all the same year after year. A club, bar, restaurant, or a place where folks gather to eat, drink, or both, will offer a party-like setting where one will get party favors, perhaps some “happy-hour” food, champagne at midnight, and just a lot of hoop-de-dooing. All of this nonsense is there for some inflated price. There’s also the private parties where folks will be doing pretty much the same thing–at a cheaper cost!

Getting back to Christmas, etc., there are other things to do. Sending cards will still be as big. In spite of the fact that one can send a card via-e-mail, it’s not just the same experience as getting a card from somebody through regular mail! This would be a card to place on a mantel, a Christmas tree, or perhaps over a fireplace or affixed upon a doorway. And with such cards, one may receive a bonus. Perhaps a photo or two of the sender and/or their family and friends will be enclosed. One may even be “lucky” enough to get one of those generic “What-I-Did-The-Previous-Year” letters, where one will write a page or two detailing all of the antics one did since January 1st. Since these letters will go to a vast audience, many of these notes will report on people and/or events that the receiver may not necessarily know just what the person is writing about. Some folks will really care about Uncle Looie’s gall bladder operation, while others will wonder just who the hey Uncle Looie is!

We can also talk about baking cookies, stringing up lights, and perhaps playing tired recordings of The Muppet’s Christmas Album on their turntables, CD players, or their iPods! But those are tired cliches, so we’ll move onward!

In short, there will be too much going down for the next six or so weeks, so one better get used to it! But come January when things begin to settle down, one can wipe their brows with a loud WHEW, and ask themselves the musical question, “Wha’ happened?”

Happy Holidays, whatever holiday one chooses to be happy about!

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LICORICE PIZZA (MGM) features Alana Haim as Alana Kane and Cooper Hoffman as Gary Valentine. Both of them are living in the region of the Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley c.1973. Gary is a fifteen year old boy who is an actor as well as entrepreneur or sorts. Alana is a older woman by a few years who becomes involved with many of Gary’s episodes. They become tangled with everything from creating public relations press releases for a Japanese restaurant, Gary’s involvement in selling water beds, a brief encounter with fading film star Jack Holden (Sean Penn) attempting some kind of comeback, Gary’s switching businesses by operating a pinball arcade in the former waterbed storefront, their connections with a hopeful candidate who’s running for mayor of L. A., and even facing with the gasoline shortage that ushered in the “energy crisis” that later added a nationwide recession and a spike of inflation! (The latter two would be experienced in the next few years!) And taking everything into consideration, Alana and Cooper form a relationship that would blossom to something romantically based. It’s just another part of life for the young baby boomer-types living in the valleys of Encino and Sherman Oaks!

This movie is another entry written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, a filmmaker whose roots come from this part of L.A. whose zip codes start with 913– and with an area code of 818. (In 1973, the area code for the SF Valley was still 213, but never mind this fact!) Many of the plot points that the two leads face within this feature film are very amusing, full of life and liveliness, as well as sporting the usual twists and turns that PTA is known for. However, unlike the movie’s log line that reads in part …the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973…The film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love…, one would expect to view a traditional coming of age film with a pair of young “kids” that stumble upon what their lives are all about while discovering that through their little antics they drift through, they indeed fall in love.

Well, some of those thoughts are depicted. However, there isn’t a lot of seamless continuity within its storyline to constitute a standard coming of age tale. One can compare these ploys by taking let’s say, a TV series that is written and plotted well, but one winds up viewing the episodes out of sequence. (It’s well crafted, but doesn’t make as much sense as it could!) Or maybe that this film was composed out of linear fashion, with sequences crafted to be eventually placed somewhere. Instead, they were later stitched together making this as a kind of “frankin-film”. This may mean that perhaps PTA has a few elements in mind that were again, well written with the dialogue to go along with it all, and then slapped it together just because those scenes, etc., were just too good to throw out or to be cast aside! Thus, one has a movie that is well flared holding a running time of some 133 minutes. But at times, it doesn’t make as much sense as it should.

But those same exploits are still interesting to see as depicted. Both of the two leads perform their roles very well. Alana Haim as her character of the same first name, holds a resemblance that is a cross between Sissy Spacek and Sandy Dennis. (She resembles a “girl-next-door” type!) Her “partner in crime”, Gary as played by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, is a free spirited guy that could be an everyman’s (or everyboy’s) hero. He’s upbeat, has a bit of mischief inside of him, and always has a hold on things, even through he declares his love for Alana by the time the end credits are about to roll–or actually, flash as static titles as period music plays along in sync in its soundtrack.

One excellent note to point out. The art direction by Samantha Englender, set decoration by Ryan Watson, and costume design by Mark Bridges are all dead ringers for the era this movie speaks for! (The early 1970’s) One will see lots of earth tones within its sets, and plenty of paisley and beige color patterns within much of the costuming. Back then, the hippy generation was beginning to fade away where the elements that were once “weird” were entering into the mainstream. If one lived through that period (this writer included), one would recognize these bits of eye candy. However, a good looking movie doesn’t make it as an entertaining movie in its accustomed sense. This feature as with many other movies of this kind that have more talk (dialog, etc.) that walk (action, etc.), are great to view on a video device rather than in a movie house. After all with a film running over two hours, watching this title via video (streaming or otherwise) gives plenty of moments for the viewer(s) to grab a snack, play with their phone(s), answer the call of nature, etc., even through one may feel that they might have missed something in the story thanks to the for noted continuity.

A few of PTA’s rep players make an appearance here, including John C. Reilly playing Fred Gwynne. Yes, that Fred Gwynne, although he is on screen for only a few seconds, and he doesn’t do a great impression of Fred Gwynne to begin with!

For those that are fans of Paul Thomas Anderson’s other movies, this title is amusing for what it is and that’s about it. But this reviewer will give credit to this man who sends another loving tribute to where he grew up as seen the way that he only could!

PS…The name of this movie is called “Licorice Pizza” that has nothing to do with food. It got its name from a long-gone franchise of record (12” vinyl) stores that one dotted the L.A. basin. Sadly, no Licorice Pizza outlets are depicted in this movie or even referenced. Now you know!

This film is rated “R” for cussing, drug references, and some “barley there” nudity. Now playing in selected theaters.

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THE HOLIDAY RUSH

Although there have been a number of false starts within the festivities, the holiday season starts off this week and is the unofficial “end” of the 2021 calendar year.

To explain, during the final six week of the calendar year, those weeks place the so-called holidays that are celebrated in the USA in gear, listed in its order of appearance.

The season kicks off with Thanksgiving Day, this year falling on November 25th. This is the holiday where those gather together for the meal that would end all meals. Of course, unlike other times where last year, nobody traveled much to get from one place to another. That was due to restrictions related to The Pandemic. Some were scared to travel, while others couldn’t, although they might have if they had the opportunity. So there were get-togethers that were arranged through virtual means, or just didn’t happen!

Today, although restrictions are more relaxed than the previous year, folks are still concerned. And thanks to a runaway inflation rate, everything that would normally be placed on the table for a traditional Thanksgiving meal is going to cost a lot more than before. And for traveling, gas prices are at an all time high! Here in this writer’s neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, gas is going for $4.50 and up a gallon. Some stations are charging $5.00 a gallon. So perhaps that electric vehicle that people may have been putting off to get seems to become a better idea, assuming one can find such a vehicle either new or used!

Although up in Canada, Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 11th. However, there were similar trails and tribulations that were occurring there as they are on this side of the border! So we covered all of those bases in that aspect.

Then there used to be an invisible holiday called “Black Friday”. That was the day (or days) where retailers would open as early as 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving evening to kick off the “Holiday” shopping season. Of course, thanks to online shopping, many retailers started to offer Black Friday sales as early as the Labor Day weekend! So camping outside of one’s favorite (or not-so-favorite) retail store won’t make as much since as it once did. Besides, what would be offered at a reduced price that somebody would actually want to purchase? After all, getting a big sized TV device may be offered as a reduced price, but that is an item one would purchase once, and perhaps never again! This writer has yet to find any retailer that would be offering items of a practical nature for a reduced price, anything from laundry detergent to curtain rods!

Then there is Black Friday’s cousin, Cyber Monday. Those same (or other) retailers would be offering goods at a reduced rate, but only online. However, that day became rather blurred as for many outlets since every day became Cyber Monday. So there goes one’s proof!

Then there are the days in December that have been grouped as “The Holidays” that range from Christmas, Hanukkah (this year starting off on November 29th), Kwanzaa, as well as other holidays where gifts are exchanged, specialty foods are created, and celebration rituals take place. Those holidays make December what it’s known for.

Lastly, there is New Year’s, taking place on either/or December 31st or January 1st. As of last year, some celebrations may take place while others may be different, if at all! Again, The Pandemic is far from being “over”, so precautions must be in consideration.

So that’s what is going on folks. As we always state, stay happy and well, keep aware of what’s going on, and for the most part, remain safe and sane! It’s all you’ve got!

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KING RICHARD (Warner Bros.) stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, a working class father living in the city of Compton, California. It’s the early 1990’s, and Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles, is a crime ridden black community. Richard lives with his family that consists of his wife Brandi (Aunjanue Ellis) and their five young girls. Two of them are Venus (Saniyya Sifdney) and Serena (Demi Singleton). Richard, or “King Richard” as part of his nickname, has the hot desire to train his two daughters into the world of playing professional tennis. He uses a lot to influence with these girls stating that they can succeed in what they do no matter what! If Richard isn’t on a tennis court coaching his kids in playing their best, he spends a lot of his time going to the local tennis clubs that dot L.A. (mostly in Beverly Hills) trying to find a quality (and name) coach in getting his girls into real shape to play pro one day soon. Although his personality wins out, getting somebody to take time out of their busy lives to get Venus and Serena in gear is a lot harder, especially the fact that Richard can’t pay much for their services, if anything at all! However, after a long and vast search, he does find one tennis pro that can fit the bill, Rick Macci. (Jon Bernthalk) Rick has an upbeat and outgoing personality, as to Richard’s, and holds the same confidence toward Venus and Serena. But Richard, with his stern yet upbeat persona, will not take a “no” from anyone, including some agents and others from the tennis industry that keep coming into the picture with their interest in these girls. But the deciding fate comes when Serena is faced to challenge a player in a crustal match that can launch her from the junior league into being a pro. All it will take is a lot of skill, hope, and the personal coaching that only a loving, if not doting, father can ever create.

This titled film is another attempt (out of others?) that features Will Smith as a father figure that holds a good heart and the ability to look after his kid(s) no matter what odds are against him. (The other film this reviewer refers to is the 2006 release The Pursuit of Happyness.) In this feature, Will plays his role as the doting father figure as one that is stern yet kind with a lot of humor and good will added in. It appears that he takes much of his energy (too much?) in getting his girls ready for playing tennis, although it’s really never explained why his character chooses tennis as a sport in comparison to picking basketball, gymnastics, or even golf. However, it appears that tennis is the winner here.

Zach Baylin wrote this screenplay that mixes fact with a good dose of creative license thrown in for entertainment’s sake. That focuses the story not too much on sisters Serena and Venus, but on how Richard uses his parental skills in getting these two girls to perform the way he plans it. The other three sisters portrayed only fit in as background players, meaning that they are referred to occasionally.

And with a movie that holds a sports theme, there are a few lulls in the film, giving it a bit of a dull edge. This sluggishness, along with a good number of close ups of the characters, make this movie an ideal feature to see through a video screen rather than in a traditional movie house. Granted, movies in this post-modern age hold their longest shelf life through video applications. Not only that, Warner Bros. has been releasing their titles both in movie houses as well as on HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s subscription streaming service. And with these two outlets to choose from, one will receive their entertainment and amusement quota from using a video device to see Will et. al. in action. Adding a running time of some two hours and twenty four minutes, one can pause the movie to get a snack or two, or to answer the call of nature, whatever comes first.

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, KING RICHARD is another attempt to provide a “feel good” movie to its intended audience. It’s also a title where voting members of movie related groups or organizations can place a vote for the best of a category or categories that this title could conger up. After all, the move industry, as well as the movie theaters that show these vehicles off, are just getting themselves together after a disastrous year and a half. So why not release a feature that will hit those hot buttons (so to speak) so those can witness a story of champions being made, not born! If this is something the movie goer desires, then take a swing at this title. It won’t disappoint!

KING RICHARD is rated “PG-13” for mild cussing and TV-type violence. Now playing in theaters and on HBO Max.

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

-See you next week!

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

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

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

SPEARS KNOCKED UP!


The above headline was the one we used when we published an article back in 2005 (Vol. 10-No. 16-Week of April 18th of that year) when we commented on what the media was reporting upon what was going on with the media, especially celebrity news.

Back in the middle 00’s (or “aughts” as they are now known as), there were ways how said news was circulated: Television/cable TV, magazines, as well as the internet. On the ‘net, said news was limited to static websites that had some pictures, text of course, and that was about it! Streaming media as it’s received in this day and age, was very limited if it existed at all. YouTube started that year as well as Twitter. Facebook, or “The Facebook” as it was then known, was only limited to those with an “.edu” email address, while MySpace was the poster child for social media. So the entertainment news, if one wanted to call that, was limited to those outlets.

Of course, we are not counting the “trades” such as The Hollywood Reporter and the weekly Variety (from New York) and Daily Variety, out of Los Angeles, as those catered to those working, or at least those that was interested in knowing what was going on in the industry, such as who was promoted to Junior Vice President at some media company, or what company closed some deal to create a new TV series of some sort, and if the series or anything for that matter, would ever get the project off the ground. (This writer read about dozens of movie and TV projects that were reported yet were never heard from again!)

So with this in mind, and as part of Accessibly Live Off-Line’s silver anniversary, we are republishing that article we released some sixteen or so years ago. Granted, it’s not that far away in terms of time space, but in these high-tech moments, sixteen years might as well be seen as ancient history….

OK…perhaps we were just a bit harsh over this headline. It’s just our way of stating how absurd the public tends to react when it comes to celebrity “news’”. (We have placed quotes over the word ‘news’, since much of this information isn’t necessarily ‘news’ per se. It rather consists of details created and reported by press agents and other sources that cater to ‘kissing ass’ to show biz folks!)

Since the days of such magazines as Photoplay, Modern Screen, and other monthlies that were all about the movie stars (but rarely about the behind the scene folks), news about what the Hollywood stars are up to has taken hold to the so-called general public. From the early days of movies, stars were the bigger-than-life kind of people. Audiences would head over their local moving picture houses to take part in seeing some person engage in some sort of story. These folks would see their reactions within the plot lines, and when the sound era kicked in, were able to hear their voices. Everyday folks were getting to know these faces and names, although the chances of meeting these people for real was low to nil. So the press took hold in fulfilling the fans’ desires to see and read about what the stars were doing, both on and off screen. The on-screen stuff consisted of material, mostly provided by the studio publicity departments themselves, that would ‘tell’ all about the movie and how great the picture was! The behind the scenes stuff was also a bit fabricated as well. Sure, one could see photos of Rita Hayworth dining at the Brown Derby, or reading about the dirt of who attended a Hollywood party thrown by film director David Butler. Of course, the press agents made sure that whatever event took place, it would show their clients within a good light. The public, as the old saying goes, just ate this stuff all up!

Radio too had its part in reporting celebrity news. Folks like former actress Hedda Hopper would appear on weekly broadcasts reporting on this actor going out with that actress, or who will appear in what feature with whom. Again, it was all publicity stuff, what it catered to the public’s need to know.

As the television era kicked in, most of the “News from Tinseltown” was limited to the aforementioned movie fan mags. Beginning in the 1970’s when local TV news began to expand their newscasts airing in the later afternoon/early evenings (called “fringe” time), news directors were bringing in a person who came from a ‘show biz’ beat. They would perhaps report on some amusing bit of news from the entertainment world or perhaps report on a film review. These bits were considered filler material that was news (not traditional news, but information nevertheless), and padded out the hour for the newscast.

The real explosion of celeb info began around the fall of 1981, when Paramount Television created a syndicated series called “Entertainment Tonight”. This was a series that stations around the country would air locally between 6:00-8:00 PM (called a “prime access” time slot) that resembled a news program, complete with an team of anchor men (Tom Hallick-a former soap opera star, and Ron Henderen, former TV critic of the San Francisco Examiner and occasional contributor to NBC’s Today show) and a co-anchor woman (Marjorie Wallace–among others). The show was distributed to TV stations via satellite, so each episode was ‘fresh’. Now only one could see and hear all about what star in appearing in what picture or what film will be made by whom, but one would also get such news that up until that time was only reported in the trade publications as The Hollywood Reporter or Variety–daily out of L.A. and weekly out of New York. This is how reports of box office receipts became mainstream news! “E.T.” was a hit. Since that time other entertainment news shows have popped up. They came and stayed, while others went. In 1990, a new cable channel calling itself “Movie Time”that was going to consist of airing movie trailers 24 hours a day, revamped itself with more celeb news and shows and gave itself a new name–E! Entertainment Television. (Owned and operated by Viacom, the same folks that brought you Entertainment Tonight!) “E!” would report on all of the info one can stand about Hollywood, show biz, and other related stuff that is amusing, but serves little purpose to the public at large except to entertain.

So there you have it! Dear ol’ Brittany has a bun in the oven! Good for her! Not to cause any conflict with her fans who admire her over her talents or for those who just lust for her, but we also have news to report over this ‘breaking story’. It appears that she actually “did it”! (Gasp!).

After all folks, that’s show biz!

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Angel City Chorale is back! After being “in the clouds” for the past two season, this group consisting of 160 unique voices of multiple ranges backed up by a 30+ piece orchestra will be present through its first concert for the season–all live and in person!

This year’s selection is entitled Light Up The World, a concert that will consist of songs for the season, both as new selections as well as the tunes that those that have embraced to what this time of year is all about, will be very familiar with.

With Sue Fink leading the chorale and orchestra, this musical recital will present selections that include A Merry Olde Christmas by acclaimed choral composer Gary Fry, the radiant O Magnum Mysterium by Los Angeles based Morten Lauridsen, the upbeat gospel song You Oughta KnowBohemian Chanukah, paying homage to the tune that made the group Queen renown, along with the “choralography” that ACC has been known for!

In addition, the ACC, youth division, appropriately entitled the Angel City Youth Chorale, will be performing with their own special selection of seasonal favorites.

ACC’s Light Up The World concert will perform for two shows, Saturday, December 4th at 7:00 PM and Sunday afternoon, December 5th at 3:00 PM at their new location, Royce Hall, located on the main campus of UCLA in Westwood. Royce Hall is known for its grandiose location and setting that is acoustically and visuals perfect in terms of seating and sound–the ideal spot for this chorale to make its triumphant return back to enlighten its audience as it has presented to its fans and followers for its many years of existence.

For those that desire to “attend” this concert from afar, the Saturday December 4th presentation will be live streamed beginning at 7:00 PM (PST) available to anyone with internet access and a device that connects to the ‘net that can play back audio and video. No matter where one may be from around the block to across the globe, the ACC’s reach is bigger and better than ever before! How’s that for a triumphant return?

For more information about ACC’s Light Up The World concert, as well as for ordering tickets and related details, visit the Angel City Chorale’s website at https://angelcitychorale.org/

Note: For the safety and concern of those attending this event in person, current standards for COVIG checking as mandated through current county, city, and community standards will be under effect. Log on to the link https://angelcitychorale.org/light/#royce for specific details.

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

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

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

NOT SO THANKSGIVING

It’s isn’t a real surprise that this year’s Thanksgiving meal is going to cost more than it did the previous year.

Back a year ago, the Pandemic was at its height. Those that were going to travel for Thanksgiving postponed their trips. Those that did brave it out had to take precautions in order to avoid the virus that was going round. Zoom offered its services to allow anyone to be logged on for an unlimited time on Thanksgiving day. And those that celebrated a Thanksgiving meal did so with one one person in attendance–the person that prepared the meal!

One year later, the virus has been placed more in check. Those that still have the desire to travel can do so freely. However, the cost of everything from gas to the pumpkin in the pie is going to cost more dough.

According to readable sources, from major newspapers, the Associated Press, and the network media outlets report similar stories, everything is asking a larger price. This rise in prices have been blamed from everything from bottlenecks in getting goods from its source to retail outlets, to the fact those those working in places such as supermarkets, retail outlets, warehouses that store all the goods, and many other so-called “blue collar” jobs have been fed up in taking working conditions as they received them, quitting on the spot. It’s been called what county music artist Johnny Paycheck sang some forty years before–Take This Job and Shove It!

But that paycheck is going to be a whole lot smaller this time around. And the supermarkets are still in a hiring frenzy, even offering as much as a $500 bonus to those that are willing and able to take a job being a cashier, stock person, delivery driver, and whatever supermarkets can do to obtain (and possibly keep) staff around.

It’s rather hard to speculate when and how long this inflation is going to last. Of course, this isn’t the first time when prices started to go through the roof. Back in the 1970’s (some forty to fifty years ago), the rate of inflation was a hot topic to discuss around the ol’ water cooler, the place in many office spaces where employees were able to chat about topics that didn’t involve the work they did. It was a subject in late night TV talk show monologues. And it was discussed with others wherever they gathered in public, private, or otherwise. There was no such thing as “social media” back then, so word about things took more time to get to its recipients. If one wanted to complain that the cost of a cup of coffee was now 35 cents, by the time that this gossip can be around to everyone on the gossip link, the cost had risen to 50 cents. Such a life!

When Jerry Ford was president, his administration suggested wearing these pin back buttons that had a red background with WIN in back block letters. That stood for “Whip Inflation Now”. It was some motivational plan to keep the cost of everything down to a minimum. There were naysayers, of course. Those that didn’t believe this whole rigamarole wore their buttons upside down where it read “NIM”, meaning “No Immediate Miracles”. So much for donning pin back buttons!

So with everything else in this world, it’s going to be just another “wait and see” method of coping with things. Again, one year ago, the nation, and the world that went along with it, was in a doomed and darker state. Now that doom isn’t that “doomy” as it used to be, and it’s a bit brighter as well. Of course, one can get away from everything and take a trip to somewhere else, such as Disneyland. Just keep in mind that Mickey and the gang require you to bring more of that cash with you ‘cuz their admission prices have risen as much as eight percent from last year, and the cost of parking your car has risen as much as 20%. It may be the “happiest place on earth”, but only for the folks at The Walt Disney Company. And for the record, Disney+, their ever lovin’ streaming service, will turn two year old this month. So light that candle on the cake right now before the price of candles and the way to light the thing will rise in price! Don’t wait until the last minute!!

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

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

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

META LATE THAN NEVER!

It appears that the big news of the week is the fact that Facebook has changed its name. Now that company that invented the “like” icon, as well as changing social media as we know it, is under a new brand with the same content.

The name itself is now known as “Meta”, short for “meta universe”. (One word or two? Whatever the case, it’s the same idea!) Facebook, and all it’s connected with, from Instagram, WhatsApp, and other entries both known and those under wraps, will take upon the cyberworld and the platforms that go along with it into a direction that it’s been traveling in for the less than twenty years the company has been in existence.

In addition to a new name, it even sports a new logo, replacing the lower case “f” symbol over a blue square, with an image that resembles the “alpha” icon–a figure eight on its side. The “eight” is slightly disformed. It’s just an outline colored in its familiar blue tone. That is the only resemblance left from the Facebook of old to the Meta of new.

It’s rather appropriate that this figure eight on its side would be shaped that way, since that logo resembles a handheld video game control device. And many of those gamers do use various applications connected with Facebook, or shall we say “The Company Formerly Known as Facebook ” can come along for the ride. This “Company Formerly Known as Facebook ‘ may sound like a moniker once used by the late Roger Nelson of Shakopee, Minnesota, but this is getting besides the point.

Although the company once called Facebook is under a different label, the company itself will remain the same. This time, it’s expanding its reach. With millions (billions?) of its users out there, Meta wants to extend itself out and cover whatever it can, and with all of the traits that go along with it! (It’s a very powerful company, y’know!) And to explain that notion, one can use the old joke, “Where does a five hundred pound gorilla sleep? Anywhere he wants!” So meet the 500 pound gorilla, folks!

And Facebook.com will still be called “Facebook”. There, you can still read all of the stuff that was placed beforehand, and post all of your details about your family trip to the Poconos to your “friends” and say to them that those pix are posted on Facebook, rather than on “Meta”. And for your pictures on Instagram? You can also state that those Poconos pix are on Instagram. Or to use a term that is shorter and cuter, “Insta”! Such a life in the social media meta universe!

There has been a lot of speculation on the name change. Perhaps the most obvious one is the fact that Facebook when it was still Facebook has been in a lot of hot water over the last few weeks, months, and even years! It had a lot of secrets that were recently uncovered that didn’t bode too well with the public and the government(s) at large, although much of the speculation was known for quite a while. It was just hiding in the closet.

One of these traits known was the fact that the social media outlet caused a lot of stress and anxiety for those that were on the site for an extended amount of time. Yours truly was starting to feel the same way as well. At first, I thought it was something about me. I didn’t know that others were going along the same route. Well, it turned out that I was not alone, as other folks were going through the same process for better or worse! Even though I never had much of an opportunity to take advantage of Instagram, others were noticing that “Insta” was taking advantage of them! That led to the investigation that those, especially adolescents aged females, were looking at great images of those similar to themselves that were better than what they had. Many of these images consisted of people they didn’t know in person, but were better looking than they were and were involved in more and better events and social aspects. So its stress levels were much higher than ever reported!

We can go on with what Facebook was ever accused of. However, the company wants to eliminate its past and move on. This time around, donning a new name and new image. Then again, one can change its name and symbol to its world, but one can’t change the past. Facebook/Meta will still have those skeletons inside their closets, and the only way to get rid of those ghosts is to face up with what was done, state that those things that were done will be undone, and keep it that way! It may take years from those things that were done to undo itself. Then again, those skeletons may remain in place for a long time, maybe for good! But the only thing that can be done is to move forward into the present and future.

Only time and tide will make the call for Meta’s new place in life. But with all of the power and glory the company holds, Meta can do whatever it damn well pleases! And even with the company calling itself something else, one can still post their “likes” to whatever is worth linking for. 

So as Tiffi Purewite’s “friends” would say.,…(fill in the blank!)

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

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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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) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

FACEBOOK AND THE NEWS

Too much has been stated about the rise, fall, rise, fall, and rise of Facebook. And we here at ALOL had our share of what was being stated over this portal over time and tide.

We were going through much or our archives to see what points we made on how Facebook changed the rules on the spread of communication, be it for the good or otherwise. And one column we came across spoke upon how Facebook was a source for obtaining news and information. So what we have posted (or reposted) is a piece that we wrote about how Facebook was the “go-to” source for news.

Granted, some of its news is for real, while other points can be “for real” for only that moment. Even though this article was published in Vol. 19-No. 43 (Week of October 27th, 2014), much of what was stated seems to still ring true. So after seven years, have things changed or have they stated the same? It’s your call….

As the ‘net continues to take over the tasks that folks used to do on an individual and somewhat manual basis, obtaining information on topics and subject matter that is deemed worthy enough to grab becomes diluted, depending on what information one is looking for in the first place.

When it comes to getting that news and information, it would depend on the person keeping stock on what one is looking for. If somebody is seeking the latest sports scores, there are dozens of sports related sites to gawk over, from games both in the real and fantasy leagues, to obtaining point spreads from various gaming (and gambling) apps. If somebody is looking for the latest scoop from the entertainment side of things, there are those places to visit and view to know who was parading down the red carpet.

However, when it comes to general news, there is (and was) a place to find such–the newspaper! Although newspapers are still around and made available through its traditional source (i.e. print), their web sites are getting their dose of traffic. Newspapers that still exist on the web, but not necessarily in print anymore, are just as active than ever.

But there is a place that people use and visit that gives them the information they want and need–or at least it appears to become that way! That source of all the news that appears to matter is none other than good ol’ Facebook!

Pew Research recently released a report that Facebook, the two ton ape of the social media world, is a prime source for those that are wanting to know what’s going up (or down!) According to the findings as reported through Pew Research, some 30% of domestic adults 18 and up use Facebook to get their news. (64% of those 18 and over use Facebook for some reason or another.)

When it comes to the subject matter of news found via Facebook, most of what’s obtained isn’t “hard news”. According to the Pew report, nearly three fourths (73%) of those Facebook uses stated they seek entertainment news and 57% get sports news. 65% use it to get local community news, 55% use the site to get national and government news, 51% use it to find news about crime, and 46% use it for news about health and medicine.

In spite of this information found, 78% note that they generally see news when they are on Facebook for other reasons. Much of this news is posted (and reposted) by others with the notion that you the visitor might be interested in knowing about this, that, and the other thing. This notation of sharing the news is rather common, as half of social network users say they share news stories, images, and/or moving imagery online. 46% have used this sharing to discuss something in the news. A more limited number of social media users are actually participating in reporting news and information, with 14% posting their own photos or accounts of news events to the Facebook network, and 12% of those posting video.

For those that are active Facebook fans (that is, those with 500+ “friends”), one can get the idea of the news people share. If one “liked” a group that holds a purpose or cause, that group can bombard one with information that is related to the group’s general needs. For instance, our friend Tiffi had “liked” a number of nonprofit organizations that serve a purpose that range from the ASPCA to a number of Christian based ministries and organizations. Each one will provide a bit of news that are in relation to the group’s needs and causes. Major media outlets, such as the four traditional TV networks, will provide a link to a story provided by their news divisions.

What makes this news gathering interesting (if not annoying) is the fact that individuals will post items that are geared to the “human interest” side of things, from so-called comical photos and videos (the most common of this type), to stories that can be deemed as cute and charming, but could be just as annoying, depending on what mood one is in when encountering the news in question

It’s no real surprise that social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other places where anyone can be anyone in cyberspace land, is the place to read, report, and repost news–real or otherwise. In spite of this form of journalism, it’s not as cracked up to be. After all, the line that’s been around for years, “It must be true! I read it on the internet” is just as alive and living than ever before. And it’s all available for free too! After all, one gets what they pay for!

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When one congers up a movie made by “Hollywood” that involved a massive war known as “World War !!”, one images a movie that was created long after the said war that occurred between 1939-1945 that features depictions of battles that took place (or not), or the fighting men (yes, it was a mostly male-operated strategy) that exchanged combat in the war (or not), or those that were affected by the war itself (or not). However, when the war actually took place, the movie industry got themselves involved with and within the war for many reasons, from boosting moral to those within the action as well as those serving on “the home front”-civilians residing in the friendly nations of origin that are “doing their bit” in getting themselves however they could as ready and eager toward domestic victory.

When the film industry a.k.a. Hollywood, did get themselves involved with the war effort, they were also creating films made for the military for training and informational purposes, releasing movies that reflected upon the nature of what impact the war had created, as well as offering good will through its features for entertainment and stating an overall friendless since the USA and its allies were “the good guys”, while the axis were indeed part of the “evil empire”.

HOLLYWOOD VICTORY: The Movies, Stars, and Stories of World War II (Running Press) is Christian Blauvelt’s extensive book on how a major media source used what was in respect a tragic and deadly aspect in world humanity, and changed it as an aid toward victory in direction to itself and the world it spoke to through positive terms and intentions as inscribed for the good of what was then called “mankind” (a.k.a. “the human race”) as a priority first with profits to eventually follow as second.

Throughout this book, the author places in detail how the nation’s source of visual media became upfront on configuring how those on both sides of the battle line viewed how this war was shaped. It was expressed in both dramatic efforts and through comedy–Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, The Three Stooges in I’ll Never Heil Again, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Air Raid Wardens, among many other features of this ilk.

Also discussed in the book is the government’s stand of hosting a good will diplomatic policy effort with the South American nations as set through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration with a department called the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs that was to make use of being friendly with those South American nations so they would not take sides with “the enemy” as the threat lingered. That brought stars like Carmen Maranda to appear in splashy Technicolor musicals at 20th Century Fox, as well as Walt Disney taking a small entourage down South American way to create film vehicles with a latin beat.

Then there were a number of Hollywood types that actually fought in real battles, not ones that were created on studio backlots. James Stewart, Clark Gable, and Robert Montgomery were actually enlisted to serve the nation, and John Ford directed the Why We Fight documentary series that informed moviegoers the reasons for the involvement of war. And there was The Hollywood Canteen where many stars and starlets would take time to offer servicemen some R ‘n R for dining and dancing with those glamour gals of the big screen. Of course, nobody got paid, and everyone in the industry was fine with that as they were just doing their part.

Loaded with great information, antidotes, and illustrated with photos, this book title shows that the movie industry was indeed out for the cause. It would be the first time that the folks that made the movies would ever become involved in such an epic stand for world freedom and victory. Sadly, it would be their last. There have been many other wars their nations (USA primarily) were engaged in since. Many wars were won, a few were lost, and others were placed in between. But Hollywood and its later equivalents would only depict those said wars through scripted movies, and later, through TV shows. (Combat, The Gallant Men, The Rat Patrol, among many other titles.)

WWII still reaps the biggest chunk of war movies as themes through this very day as that battle is still referred to as “the good war”. Nevertheless, Hollywood did do their bit as Hollywood would. And perhaps in the future, whatever medium of choice that dominates the nation and the connected world will become engaged in some form of political strife that involves armed battle, they too will boost their points towards victory. But for now, it’s just business as usual to sell off a few movie tickets or a subscription or two (or more) for access to a streaming media service. As the song states, war is hell on the home front, too!   

HOLLYWOOD VICTORY: The Movies, Stars, and Stories of World War II is available wherever books are sold, both in store and online.

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