WHIP INFLATION NOW??

It ain’t no surprise that the cost of anything and everything is more expensive that it was a year ago. According to government statistics, the cost of goods and services rose around 7.9% and it’s been the biggest increase in domestic prices in some forty years.

I lot of reasons were given on why everything is more than it was once. The reasons state range from shortages for goods and services were backlogged due to pandemic related restrictions from the overboard of demand of said goods and services thanks to folks attempting to spend more just to get back toward a sense of “normalcy” to the war going on in the Ukraine, and because big companies can raise prices just because they could get away with it. It all depends on what you hear, what you read, and what you pass on through social media, as well as other reasons both real or otherwise and lingering around in the meta universe.

Of course, we here at AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com don’t write much about the economy or anything connected to finance. (It’s not our speciality!) But it’s one of those things that you can’t turn from. Call this the hippo in the room that you can ignore. (Yeah, the previous line reads as something one would see as a panel cartoon found in The New Yorker. But we digress!)

If anyone is old enough to recall life in these United States (akin to a regular article from the pages of Reader’s Digest) in the 1970’s, inflation was indeed the hot topic of its day. Yours truly was living as a kid (or “tweener” in today’s demographic market speak) when I had my taste of inflation. I first heard about Richard Nixon’s price freeze proposal that had something to do with holding off the cost of goods sold and exchanged, but didn’t understand much of it. (It was later explained to me through a segment of In The News, a three minute feature of news and topics of the day that CBS aired between programs aired on its Saturday morning TV schedule as narrated by Christopher Glenn.) I did recall when I went to get my weekly stock of candy from the neighborhood Rexall drug store, it would cost me an extra nickel or dime to get a Butterfinger candy bar or a slab of Turkish Taffy.

When I renewed my subscription to TV Guide magazine (Yep! As I kid, I was a paying subscriber to the pocket size magazine where I would be able to read all the latest news about what was on TV), I had to pay more since stand alone issues were going for twenty cents rather than fifteen, and the increased cost was passed to its subscribers! And although I was not driving, the cost of fuel was rising! Yeah, there were lines at the gas stations for a while, as well as the price of regular leaded gas was creeping to as much as forty cents and 9/10th a gallon! And when President Jerry Ford did his “Whip Inflation Now” campaign, there were those red colored pin back buttons with WIN written in write lettering, folks were either wearing those with WIN, or as protest, donning those buttons upside down where it would read NIM that stood for “No Immediate Miracles”. And as part of a typical and topical opening monologue by Bob Hope, his comment (as written by one of his many writers) about whip inflation now was “Do you know that the price of whips went up forty present?” It was kinda funny when I first heard it anyway!!

The inflation rate reached its peak at the end of 1981, when a recession was plaguing the nation. At the time, I was enrolled in college, so I really didn’t notice how prices were higher than they once were. Maybe I didn’t notice because I was away from home for the first time. Besides, I was taking my effort on something else while I was in school. What that “something” was is for another article as that stands.

But over time and tide, the cost of living was leveling itself off. Before long, those old glory days of price freezes kind of melted away (pun intended!), and my WIN button from not too long ago wound up being stashed away inside of a long forgotten junk drawer where the old forgotten junk made its home, perhaps never to see the light of day again.

So that brings us to the day of now. Although the pandemic as it was once known has leveled itself but didn’t officially finish, the cost of everything that’s going up, up, and (guess where?) has yet to cool down. Again, I am no economic expert (and I won’t play one), so I can’t say when this skyrocketing cost of doing business is going to settle down. I can state that it will, but how is anyone’s guess—including mine.

But social media the way social media behaves won’t let this notion down. With other factors to deal with, it’s just another cog in the wheel that will be here for the moment until the next big thing draws attention to itself.

PS…When the price of candy started to rise, I got into a heavy bubble gum habit since bubble gum kept its price level. I don’t know why this was the case, but at least I was able to save enough paper wrappers of Bazooka gum featuring Bazooka Joe And His Gang that consisted of tiny comic strips with BJ and company telling jokes that were so old, the joke book they came from was written with primitive pictures! (Insert rim shot sound effect here!) I did save enough of these wrappers to get a cheap plastic telescope by mailing 500 of these wrappers to a PO box located in Reading, PA. I did get the telescope about a month later, only to break the thing within the week! Better luck next year I suppose….

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DEAR MR. BRODY is a documentary written and directed by Keith Maitland that takes a look on how a 21 year old heir to a 25 million dollar fortune made a declaration and promise that his fortune would be made available to anyone just for the asking.

The backstory. In early 1970, Michael Brody Jr., the 21 year old grandson of a multi million fortune of an oleo margarine business, made a public declaration that he would give away his fortune to anyone by sending him a letter to his home in Scarsdale, New York, or to his business address in New York City to make a request–no questions asked!

Before long, the media was on the story with newspaper articles and radio/TV news coverage. He was young, good looking, and played the guitar. His popularity even got him a spot on The Ed Sullivan Show playing his music and making his pitch with his 21 year old wife Renee in tow. He would be the hippy that promised to make good for the cause of the wealth of society, even down to offering his money in aid to President Nixon to end the war in Vietnam.

The letters arrived to his home and office by the thousands. Many of these letters were typed. Others were written by hand in ink, pencil, crayon, or however a person could compose a letter asking for the money. The requests even became creative with photos and drawings enclosed, and even a few that enclosed audio tapes of songs, poetry, spoken messages, and whatever could be recorded with a tape recorder. The letters asked for the money for themselves, a charity that can offer the additional goods, and for starting up a possible business. Whatever reasons people could think of, they did it all. When the letters eventually came to Mr. Brody’s addresses, they were all stored away, never to be opened or read.

This documentary takes a rather forgotten chapter on domestic society from fifty plus years ago and shows just how many people were financially challenged back then, long before the term “financially challenged” would fall into the American English lexicon. Being the fact that folks were stressed out when it came to having the money to live on, or to be just downright poor. The war on poverty that Lyndon Johnson declared just a few years before was far off from being won over.

Through newsreel footage to interviews with those involved with Michael Brody’s offer for peace through money as well as a few of those that actually wrote their request letters some fifty years before, this documentary examines how money could not and did not buy any happiness to those that wanted it. It also shows that even though the domestic economy was in high gear at the time, it wasn’t made available to everyone because there was no way to have those that were middle class or less to create a public voice expressing their concern. And that isolation wasn’t necessarily for the better!

And what became of Michael Brody’s promise of giving away his fortune? Very little of it was even given away. And whatever was given, the financial institutions that handled his estate didn’t back up his checks. Many of them bounced! Michael himself was also into the drug culture of the time with the use of marajunia, LSD, and other hallucinogens that affected his way of thinking. Before long, he suffered various stages of mental illness. In early 1973, just three years after he made his offer of his fortune to the public, he killed himself through a self-inflicted gunshot. He left his wife and a son at age 24. The letters of requests that were eventually collected were filed away in boxes and containers to be never opened, read, or fulfilled.

Of course, the sense or trust of such a declaration had more impact back then. Anyone who would be considered as a fraud had to really go out of their way to target its victims, and those potential marks were more likely to accept such an offer. In today’s social media landscape, such an offer would be deemed as just another scam of the day, one of the millions (billions?) that live out in the metauniverse.

So if you or your heirs did indeed write a letter to Michael Brody Jr. to take part in his offer for money, this documentary will give you the answers you were looking for. Call this documentary a “better late than never” reply. But then again, all you did was the time to compose your letter of request and the six cents postage to mail off the thing! Better luck next time…!

DEAR MR. BRODY will be available for streaming through Discover + beginning on April 28th.

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WORKING AT HOME AT THE OFFICE

There was an article recently posted through Bloomberg Business on people coming back to the office as part of their job so they can participate in meetings with other colleges via online portals i.e. Zoom and all of its clones (Microsoft Teams, Skype, FaceTime, etc.)

It stated that now that COVID cases are rather low (at the time when the article was composed anyway) employers are requesting that their employees show up to the physical office either full or part time. However, meetings still take place with others that are not necessarily there at the office. So how do these meetings take place? Via Zoom, etc.!

That’s right folks! Because people now find Zoom from emerging from being a novelty to becoming a way of life, people are used to using that online portal to meet anyone for various purposes raging from seeing family members and friends when they are afar, viewing and meeting possible clients, or where there is an opportunity where you need to see somebody’s face while you speak to them. And many folks can do this where they may be. In their car, in a bar, at home, or wherever one can get an internet connection.

So if one person was working from home as part of their job, they were able to take meetings at home, just as long as they are appearing in a decent manner, such as being dressed from the waistline and up. (There have been stories where folks attended ZOOM meetings while dressed up, but were totally bottomless! If you search hard enough, you can see examples of such semi-nudity through those video portals located in cyberspace!!)

If one desires to find out more about this work from home at the office scenario, get access to the article at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-01/employees-are-returning-to-office-post-covid-just-to-sit-on-zoom-calls?cmpid=BBD040122_BIZ&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=220401&utm_campaign=bloombergdaily

The reality of working in the office is slowly coming back. Granted, it just may look a bit different than before.

Thanks to technology, getting things done remotely has been more possible than ever before. Just as the above scenario dictates, one does not have to be in a physical pace as it was once required. Actually, this technology was around for a while, perhaps longer than was suspected. Office managers, whose job was to manage the office (duh!!), had a notion to keep their employees under their watch. Many of these managers would be pleased to see their staff work and toil behind their desk among the many cubicles that might exist in a standard office-type setting. As long as their humble staff was working as busy bees at their desks typing endless words and figures with their office supplied computer systems staring at their monitors for their eight hours (or longer) work days. Managers even went ahead with micro-managing their staff’s work output. And by stating “micro manage”, it doesn’t refer to managing small work orders, or even managing short and petite crew members. It refers to keeping sys on anything and everyone one does while on the company clock. That even includes how long one is away behind their desks, or how long one can hang around the water cooler or coffee pot to catch up on what fellow employees did while NOT on duty as the company clock dictates. Time is money as the old line goes, and these office managers made damn well sure that anyone that was on the company payroll would know these rules–or else!

That was then. Today, it would be very difficult in having such a manager get away with that type of stuff. Because of the so-called “Great Resination”, people know they can take action on how they are treated around the work space. These employees want respect in what they do, as well as having a fair and realistic opportunity to “move up the latter” in becoming promoted to some position that they had been stuck in for months, perhaps even years. And they can tell management off that they are not there so the managers can kick them around like a tin can in an alleyway. So remote work means that they can work when they can and how they can without being in a set place at a given hour just so management can see them work. Just as long as the work gets done on time and the way it should be done, then what difference does it make on how the tasks are slapped together the way they should?

Of course, not all jobs can be done at home. There are positions where one has to be present at a certain place at a given time frame in order to provide service. And the term “service” in that line of productivity. Many of your front line workers in the leisure and hospitality industry must be present, such as those in a restaurant, tavern, or hotel. Those that are first responders: law enforcement, public service such as firefighters, or those in the medical field have to be present and ready. And retail, one of the fastest types of jobs that have bounced back from the pandemic, needs to be present at their retail outlet. Yes, folks have been accustomed to shop online due to its ease and convenient methods to get anything and everything including the kitchen sink. But shoppers actually prefer going to a physical retail store to see the goods, feel the goods, and to get the goods right then and there. No waiting around for the delivery person (another job that has to be done live and in person), to come around to deliver the goods, even if that wait is a single day! At a retail outlet, you get it when you get it, and you can see what you get. And somebody has to be at that location to ring up the sale! Get the picture?

But for those that can work from home, we salute you! If you work from nine to five, five to nine, or nine to nine seven days a week, you are in that catbird seat. There are no commutes to fight with. Unless you count one’s commute from where you start (bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, backyard, etc.) to where you have your electronic device connected to the net, then that’s your commute. And if you have a staff meeting via ZOOM, etc., wherever your place is, that’s the office! And if you don’t link what’s going on at the meeting, you can always log off stating that your internet service has been scrapped!

Another day at the office….!

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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!

THE NEW LIFE 2.0

Here’s a tale that was “ripped out from the headlines” from yours truly. No, nothing earth shattering or anything like that. It’s a story taken from the personal life and times of this writer a.k.a. “me”.

A friend of mine who suggested that we do not review its name or its gender as this person will be referred to as an “it”, informed me recently that “they” (also as part of the pronoun “it”) will be finally getting rid of the TV device that they have had for the past few seasons..

The reason? “There are too many TV shows to watch. It’s taking up too much of my time. So the best way to get my time back is to get rid of my TV set” so says our genderless person who desire to break way from its TV habit.

“So what are you going to do once you get rid of your set” I asked our dissatisfied person.

“I’m going to get out more and live my life spending more time outdoors!” says our person soon without the TV set.

“That’s nice!” I replied. “Enjoy your day in the great outdoors!”

This little episode, extracted from the life and times of yours truly, is part of many other tales and fables that people are taking part of to get back with their own lives.

It’s been some two years since the thing called The Pandemic started to take its toll. And many of those that have gone from hunkering down, getting a vaccine made by one of these companies, quitting their low paying job with bosses that are either bitches or the sons of them for greener pastures, and overall seeing that they too can live a life for the better, it’s no surprise that this so-called “new beginning” is taking its mark.

And one of the things that people are doing is to live by their own rules. These living through different strokes are not to be confused with becoming a rebel. It’s just a phase where folks are grating themselves permission to do what’s best for them. They realized that after all of this time they felt they had to bow before some type of higher power, not necessarily a higher power in the form of a person, but a higher power based upon an idea. a protocol or method, or just because they did it so long its reason(s) had been long forgotten. They can just do what they wish because they can!

There are a lot of reasons for this big shift. Perhaps one reason toward this short was based upon how one feels mentally. Folks have been experiencing what’s called “burnout” from what they were going to get a salary. Workers had been working longer hours for their superior with the notion of being respected from their work. Perhaps they can move up the ladder from rising from being a lowly peon to becoming a higher level team member. And going through this, their salary wasn’t meeting their expectations.

These notions were causing havoc in their well being. They were becoming stressed out. This stress was affecting their own personal lives. People became frustrated, angry, or in some cases, having a form of a nervous breakdown where they went through crying jags.

The latter case are at times expressed as a subplot in a sitcom, especial a sitcom that revolved around a place of employment where its characters become so racked up in what they are doing, they go around crying just become their bosses said and/or did something, or another character did something to that effect. (Most sitcoms that are work related consist of an ensemble of players, rather than a lead star whose attention is focused upon.)

This form of episode actually happens to yours truly. I was once working in an office-type setting where my boss at the time named Sarah was going through a meeting in her office. Although the office door was closed, one can hear what was going on outside of the door. From what was heard, there was a lot of shouting between Sarah and another woman whose name is not long forgotten.

To make a long story short, the unnamed woman stormed out of the office in some kind of huff, making a very quick and hasty exit. Sarah then broke down and started to say something to the effect of “Nobody tells me what to do!”

When I experienced, I felt a mix of feeling sorry for Sarah while at the same time, almost holding back a laugh. Although the situation wasn’t funny per se, just the way Sarah reacted to what went on brought some macabre humor to it all!

And for the record, this episode occurred a little over thirty five year ago, so I feel that the statute of limitations to report this episode to the public at large has long passed!

So perhaps out genderless friend who desires to quit TV to live in the great means can be set as a modifier in what one can do for their 2.0 version of their style of life to get rid of what’s passive, fake (for the most part) and perhaps part of the old, and to see to it that the reality of things in general work out then. Moderating mental health is just as important as staying free from and virus that may be coming around or not. It’s not acceptable in this domestic society to bring this out in the open in the same sense where people with alternative lifestyles are doing at the moment that isn’t as “queer” as it was once perceived.

And what because of that TV set that they didn’t want? They gave it to me! So now I have yet another TV set that’s cluttering up my living place. (For the record, its a 60” Samsung “smart TV”). One of these days, I just might use the thing. Then again, with zillions of TV shows to view, not one appeals to me. Call this another version of 57 channels and nothing’s on…

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Theatre West presents Lloyd J. Schwartz’s CLASSIC COUPLE COUNSELING, a comic play about a psychotherapist whose clients are characters extracted from one of the world’s greatest playwrights, and how these said characters had issues of their own.

Constance Melloers is Dr. Patricia Cataldo, a couples counselor who settles the details on how male and female couples, married to one another or otherwise, are facing each other with their emotional differences or lack thereof. However, her clients are not the run of the mill couples that only bicker and fight, but are characters found in William Shakespeare tragedies. Some of the couples Dr. Patrica takes to analyze is Katharine “Kate” and Petruchio (Anne Leyden and Bill Sehres), Macbeth and Lady Macbeth (Joe Nassi and Barbara Mallory), Romeo and Juliet (Cicil Jennings and Amelia Vargas), Othello and Desdemona (Brandon Foxworth and Mary Elisabeth Somers) and Hamlet and Ophelia. (Rick Simone-Friedland and Deanna Gandy). During their sessions, both as a one-on-two as well as group therapy, Dr. Patrica hears about how these couples have their trials and tribulations. Some are in love, some are out of love, and the rest desire to take upon a death to the other or to themselves. Even Dr. Patricia has issues of her own. Not in the same scope as The Bard’s members of the rogues gallery, but they do come close. It’s more than just a hour’s worth of therapy sessions consisting of a set of soliloquies that’s much ado about nothing!

This comedy of errors written by Lloyd J. Schwartz takes upon how tragic these coupled characters as drawn from the pen of Willie Shakespeare, and sets them all with a therapist to discover if these folks can be “cured” from what ills them, even though they are all established within their ways. Much of the humor extracted is not as a series of jokes and one-liners, but how they all go through their motions that are just as dysfunctional as any other couple would be as they are facing with ghosts, floating daggers, or excessive hand washing of damned spots! Each cast member is in their period costumes, while Dr. Patrica is set in contemporary gear, meaning that no one is out of their place physically as it’s all in their minds and all of their world’s a stage!  Mylette Nora designs the costumes that are just as Shakespearian as one can get!

Nick McDow Musleh directs this show that for its ninety minute running time, it proves that one can be just as screwed up as depicted in the early 17th century as it fits for the early 21st! And if one does brush up their Shakespeare, one can also discover how these characters of the stage can relate to one another where their lives deal with love, hate, betrayal, and of course, death! All of these traits are fair game as Willy would place them. This time around, there’s laughs to be held! That is the to be or not to be. (And that’s a question!)

CLASSIC COUPLES COUNSELING, presented by and performs at Theater West, 3333 Caguenga Blvd., West Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent), until May 8th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For more information and for ticket reservations, call (323) 851-7977, or via online at http:www.TheaterWest.org

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The TCM Film Festival is back! After a two year leave of absences, the event will return to Hollywood live and in person in good ol’ Hollywood. (Where else?)

The event, with its subtitle All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen will take place from April 21st through the 24th, at the Chinese Theater complex, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, The El Capitan Theater (all on Hollywood Blvd.) and the The Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43 on Highland Avenue up the street.

A collection of movies will be screened. Kicking off the ceremony will be the 40th anniversary of the release of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Universal-1982) featuring a discussion with stars Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas, Kathleen Turner, and Director Steven Spielberg, The Sting (Universal-1973) with Tony Bill, Michael Phillips, and screenwriter David S. Ward in attendance, Annie (Columbia-1982) with star Aileen Quinn in attendance, Diner (MGM/UA-1982) with a discussion by Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly, Steven Gutenberg, and Paul Reiser, well as special events such as a screening of the 1927 silent feature Seventh Heaven from William Fox Films with a live music score by the The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, as well as appearances by Bruce Dern (along with a screening of his 2013 “comeback” film from Paramount, Nebraska), Piper Laurie with a screening of the 1961 release from 20th Century Fox, The Hustler , Warren Betty with a screening of the 1978 Paramount release Heaven Can Wait, a ceremony handprint on the Chinese Theater’s cement foyer celebrating Lily Tomlin, and lots, lots more!!

For more details on the TCM Film Festival and how to obtain festival passes, visit their website at https://filmfestival.tcm.com

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

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NETFLIX FOR TWO?

The streaming place to end all steaming place found in TV Land (wherever this “TV Land” is) Netflix, realizes that their ever loving subscriber that gives out their e-mail address and passwords to all other to use (or “borrow”) their access to all of the content found in Netflix Land, which is located within TV Land–or as the map says so.

Anyway, the gang at the streaming site says they will test out a new fee allowing current subscribers to share their email address and passwords for a few extra dollars a month.

From what this writer knows about this new system works this way. Say subscriber Jane Q Public holds a subscription to Netflix. Jane’s friend, John Doe, wants to see a few programs but doesn’t want to take a subscription on his own. So John asks Jane if he could borrow her account so he can view a few episodes of a hot new series. If John likes this series, as well as the rest of the offerings found on their portals, that John will pony up for a subscription on his own. Since John and Jane are good friends, Jane obliges to give John entry to the portal.

Netflix themselves isn’t necessarily aware that Jane is sharing her credentials. But once they find out, and with their power and fame they eventually will, will charge Jane let’s say an additional two dollars a month because John is an add-on to Jane’s account. If Jane doesn’t want to pay the extra two bucks per month, then Jane would have to change her account so John will no longer have access to Jane’s account. That is, unless Jane gives John her new password for access, then  John will sponge in on Jane’s account. That can last until Netflix finds out and bills Jane that two buck fee. And the cycle continues! (Something like “wash, rinse, repeat”!)

It was no real surprise that the folks at Netflix finally realized that their subscribers were doing this sharing thing for years. And unlike cable piracy of old, this sharing was more of a legit thing versus stealing TV service. After all, it involves a paying subscriber doing the sharing, fully aware that the passwords were given out willing and freely.

When it came to cable piracy, that was done under uncouth methods. And it took more skill to do this. When cable television was king (1970’s through the 2010’s), some folks would go out of their way to tap into a coax cable line hooking up the line to their dwelling space to get cable TV for free. Many did this ploy and got away with it since the cable cable company would not know of these illegal hookups until they would do an audits on their line, or if somebody played stool pidgin and finked to the cable company that their friend (or perhaps ex-friend) was stealing their service.

When it came to not only getting cable, there were the pay channels that were part of the connection, but not with their regular subscription. Most cable companies offered such pay services as HBO, Showtime, perhaps channels as The Movie Channel, Cinemax, and a host of others ranging from Bravo to The Playboy Channel. But for the most part, it was always HBO and Showtime.

When somebody has a regular cable service and attempted to tune in to the channel that HBO or Showtimes was found, they would see a scrambled picture. Many times, they could hear the audio portion of what was going on, and sometimes it was silent, or there was a recording of somebody saying that if the viewer wanted to see what was going on, then they would have to call the local cable company and other services. This recording was called in the CATV business the “barker audio”, since that voice was playing like a carnival barker telling the audience what they would get to see for their admission price, which was around $15.00 to $25.00 a month additional to their regular service.

When yours truly was working for the (late) Group W Cable system, that company used cable boxes made by Scientific Atlanta. These boxes, which were square in shape around 10” x 8”, consisted of a red LED two digit channel number gauge in its front. They hooked up to a standard TV using coax cable that was attached to the back of the set using an RF input. The boxes themselves were “addressable”, meaning that at the cable company “head end”, they could be turned on or off through a series of switches. So if one was a legit subscriber of let’s say HBO, then that person’s box can be turned on to get HBO through the channel number that HBO was found on their system. Keeping control of everyone’s box through the company headquarters meant that the cable company could remain in charge of who gets what, right?

Not really! There were a number of electronic companies that sold these devices that can unscramble any channel coming in without the cable company knowing that somebody is using one of these boxes. So many of these electronic companies (and there were a few) would place small ads in such magazines as Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and other related titles, stating that they offer these boxes. All one had to do was write for a free catalog to get the list of what devices were available and for what price.

Yours truly wrote to one of these companies, a company calling itself “E&J Electronics” based in Van Nuys, California. They sent me a five page catalog of what boxes were available, based on what type of cable box one used from companies such as Jerrerd, Zenith, Blonder-Tounge, Scientific Atlanta, and so on. One can get a “E&J” box that attaches to the cable TV box that attaches to a TV set. Once that E&J box was attached, then one can get all of the pay channels free and clear as long as the box functioned.

The boxes themselves sold for $100.00 each. But if one can get five pay TV channels through their cable company, and each pay service costs $15.00 a month, then the E&J box would pay itself off after two months, taking into consideration that one is getting $65.00 worth of pay TV for “free”.

So I ordered a box that was compatible with my Scientific Atlanta converter box. After writing a check for $100 payable to E&J Electronics, and mailed it to a street address on Van Nuys Blvd. (The address itself was in reality, a postal mail drop off center.)

About a month later, I received the box, consisting of a black metal plate with two RF connectors on its rear, a power supply plug for the plate, along with a single page instruction sheet. All I had to do was to connect a coax cable connected for the output of my cable box into the input of the E&J box. Then I would take a second coax cable connected from the output of the E&J box into the input on the TV set. Then I would plug in the power supply to an outlet to turn on (so to speak) the E&J box.

After doing that and hoping for the best, I checked the HBO channel to see what it looked like. Sure enough, I saw a clear picture. Then I turned on Showtime. It was just as clear as HBO’s signal. Ditto for The Movie Channel, Cinemax, as well as Bravo who at the time, was a pay service that offered foreign films and related “art house” programming. And the best part of this all, the cable company never found out that it was getting their service without them knowing it!

Of course, this is what was called “stealing” their services. However, these boxes being sold was legal to buy and own. The loophole was something to the effect that these boxes were being sold as test electronic equipment. They never said in any of their ads or catalogs that they count be used for getting pay TV without paying. All it said that these boxes could unscramble a video signal for the purpose of testing the transmission of the scrambled signal and nothing more. And sadly, the cable companies could not stop these companies selling these boxes. It was what it was.

Of course, the whole landscape of premium television has changed. Streaming TV is not the hot button, and the cable companies know that they can’t compete anymore. The one’s that are still around are now toting their offerings with a combo of both traditional cable with 200+ channels, along with a screaming service or two (or three, or even more). And these cable companies no longer offer their signals as analog. Now they are digital, making what’s left of those cable boxes of yore no longer functional.

And many of the flat screen sets no longer have an RF connection to then. Meaning that one can’t even connect them to a flat screen set. And even if one can, those boxes no longer work. Now they just serve as an electronic knickknack, very much as a set of set-up “rabbit ears” antennas would.

WHEW! That little episode of how to get pay TV without paying for it might have been a bit overwhelming, but that is how it was back when cable TV was the be-all-to-end-all to get their television signals. But in the school of if there’s a will there’s a way of getting what one wants, we are such that people are getting these streaming services for naught. We can’t state how that is possible, but it is. Let’s just place a wait and see how Netflix is going to handle this. Until that occurs, we’ll bide our time with Netflix and Chill!

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The Odyssey Theater presents the west coast premier of Lucas Hnath’s A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY, a play that is nearly self explained to what the concept is (almost) all about!

The setting is a room that consists of a rectangular table or to be precise, two rectangular tables edged along each other with four chairs around the two tables. In this room, a “table read” will take place where Walt Disney (Kevin Ashworth) along with his brother Roy (Thomas Piper) will be reading off a screenplay penned by Walt himself that self centers itself to Walt and is about Walt along with some of the legacy notions that make Walt the legion and the story. The scenes as read speaking about various elements from building a self supported city inside a “bubble” where people live, work, and play, keeping the Liberty Tree at liberty forever, controlling the results of a wildcat strike orchestrated by his staff of animators, creating a short subject that can be considered as a “snuff” film, and kicking around an idea of having Walt under deep freeze. Then there are some personal items to deal with between his daughter Diane (Brittney Bertier) and his son-in-law Ron Miller (Cory Washington). As the screenplay rolls on, it pinpoints that Walt is the center of it all, in spite of what is real or is just another fable.

This single act play written by Lucas Hnath is not a bio of the man from Missouri whose success started with a mouse. It’s really a production where a fictional Walt created a screenplay that focuses upon the slices that may have been true or may have been fabricated as Walt was known to have a public life and a private one. The stage production itself is dolled out as a staged radio drama where the cast members recite most of their lines from a printed script placed in front of them, although it’s assumed that all lines and the actions that go along the spoken lines are memorized by the players.

Kevin Ashworth as Walt shows off his character as a secret Walt that consumed his pilled medication to relieve his aches and pains by downing it with vodka, and smoked so heavily, he coughed up blood due to the cancer forming in his lungs. Thomas Piper as his sibling Roy plays his role as a “second banana”, always as the underscore to his brother, even sporting a cartoon-type bandage on his forehead. (That had to do something with Walt throwing one of his many Oscar statuettes at his brother’s head!) Brittney Bertier as daughter Diane pays some respect toward her father, but wasn’t too keen in naming their future son after dear ol’ dad (Walt junior?) under distress. And Cory Washington as Ron Miller is one of the more obscure people around the universe of Walt as only die hard fans of Disney would really know how he fits into the domain of this Mickey Mouse organization!

Peter Richards directs this program with a fictional Walt writing and reading a story about the idea of Walt, rather than his actual death that would come much later. Walt was aware that his vices would get the better of him while Roy would take over the reins of the studio for the next few years after the noted death of his bro until Roy himself would eventually pass on.

David Offner designs the stage set that does consist of the pair of tables set parallel to one another, along with various objects placed on the tables that consist of among other items, two flip-type cell phones c. 2004, a jar of “pills”, and a bottle of vodka complete with “xxx” written on its label. Kiff Scholl creates the graphic design that is projected on a small “home movie” screen to the stage left of the action that represents imagery from a slide projector that shows with crude illustrations the plot points from Walt’s unproduced screenplay.

For those expecting a story that is about the man and his mouse, one won’t find one here. However, it’s amusing to witness a stage production that brings some of these stories and myths about “Unca Walt” to a new(er) life. And was Walt really frozen as he wanted to be? Just wish upon a star and just let it go! (Puns intended!!)

PS..This production’s running time is about seventy minutes. That is only six minutes longer than Disney’s shortest full-length animated feature that isn’t considered as a “short subject”. (That feature is available for viewing on Disney + with a disclaimer attached!!)

PSS..This production was originally scheduled to open in April of 2020. However, a pesky pandemic got in its way. So after nearly two years, it’s finally arrived at the Odyssey Theater for those to experience this production the method it’s meant to be viewed–on stage and in person!

A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY, presented by Working Barn Productions and performs as a visiting production of The Odyssey Theater, 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, until May 1st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations and for more information, call (310) 477-2055 ext. 2, or visit online at http://www.Onstage411.com/Disney

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On Sunday, March 27th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented the 94th Academy Awards presenting the Oscar for the best films of the 2021 calendar year, held at the Dolby Theater within the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood hosted by Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall.

Will Smith won Best Actor for the feature release King Richard Jessica Chastain won Best Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Jane Campion won Best Director for Power of the Dog, and CODA won as Best Picture.

For a list of all nominees and winners, visit the official web site at
http://www.Oscars.com

The day before, March 26th, the Golden Raspberry Foundation presented the 43rd Razzie Awards awarding the Razzies for the worst films released in the 2021 calendar year.

LeBron James won Worst Actor for the feature Space Jam: A New Legacy. Jeanna de Waal won Worst Actress for Diana the Musical. Christopher Ashley won Worst Director for Diana The Musical, and Diana The Musical won as Worst Picture.

Special awards went to Bruce Willis for Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 feature release (That “losing” feature was Cosmic Sin) and Will Smith was awarded the Redeeemer Award, an award given to a performer that used to appear in “bad” movies to later appear in a “good” film, was for his role in King Richard.

For a listing of all nominated films and people as well as its “winners’, visit the official Razzes web site at http://www.Razzies.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!

TV…TOO MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH?

Back in the day not too long ago, there were so many new television programs that were on the air. Starting in the late summer, the three TV networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC respectively) would create a schedule where the “new” shows would make their debut starting in the month of September, usually after the Labor Day weekend. Then, throughout that month and sometimes bleeding into early October, a belly of new shows would be ready to view on the small screen. It was usually the same staple of programs and genres. (Comedy, Drama, Variety, News/Documentary, etc.) that would run through the end of December.

In January, the “big three” would get rid of programs that “nobody” was turning in to. And that “nobody” consisted of a few millions of viewers that were not right about those tuning in, or at least having their sets turned on to the proper TV channels for the program directors to be pleased about!

So the shows that were seen by “nobody” were dumped only to be replaced by mid-season shows. These programs were set aside from the big Fall rush to make its debut in the second phase of the traditional TV season that ran from September of one year to about April or May of the next year. Although some of these programs may have been depicted as “second runs”, many became big hits. Sitcoms such as All In The Family and Happy Days premiered in their mid seasons, and the syndicated run of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, began in early January. There were other programs that got a late start only to bloom later or, but this gives one an idea on how the domestic run of television programming was all about.

Cable TV started to change that pattern in the 1980’s when the big three started to get competition from other sources of viewing and the eyeballs that went along with it. Many of these programs were well done, but didn’t have the same impact as what the big three would offer. Since those channels were not necessarily competing with those three networks, they began their programs and ended them off during the entire season no matter what month it was. They did this just because they could!

Before long, the three networks introduced shows outside of the September/January window. This was due to the notion that they followed the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” method of doing business, as well as pleasing the advertisers that paid for it all!

Cable TV soon received its competition that made its program available to its viewers. It was through the ‘net, and those channels (or in this case, content providers) were streaming their programming. The streamers didn’t follow a season per se, or at least not of one that looked like a traditional TV season. Their content came and went whenever the cause called for. And since there was no racing against a clock, they can have their programs or episodes run far from the tradition 24 minutes for a “half hour” program, or 52 minutes for an “hour” long program. Each installment can run as little as 18 minutes or as long as 75 minutes. And since many of these type of shows had no commercial breaks within their middles, the flow became more fluid.

One streaming service (a channel that didn’t add a “plus” to its name) offered ten different shows all within the same week! Another one, this time using a “plus” to its name, offered more programming in a calendar month than what ABC, CBS, and NBC would once offer in a September!

And this tally is for a series of programs, rather than a single installment of a tile. Those installments usually consist of a “TV movie”, or some other element where its first episode would be its last, or at least last for the moment. Theatrical movies are not counted as part of this mix.

So as of this writing (March of ’22), there are so many programs to take advantage of, there may be too many programs to watch! This writer has an opportunity to take a peek at many of these titles. Sadly, one has so many hours in the day just to watch television. In spite of what one may imagine what a journalist writing for some medium spends their day, these same writers and reporters (yours truly included) have a life to live, as well as taking care of other responsibilities that may be boring to comment about, but are important in their own right!

And what are those dull-yet-crucial tasks? Such things as walking the dog, paying the electric bill, taking out the garbage, cooking dinner to the hungry crew dwelling inside of the home space, and other assignments that wouldn’t make fodder to carry a TV series to its audience. Then again, with so many ideas that are thrown out in the media landscape, perhaps a series (Comedy? Drama? Fantasy?) consisting of bland domestic life may be made available. And if that does occur, this writer demands to be placed as an “Executive Producer” for that series. This way, if the program is nominated for some kind of award, yours truly wants to attend the awards show (available for streaming perhaps), and when it gets its win, I want to climb up on the stage along with the others that are part of the “executive producer” army, thanking those that made it all possible. I’ll scratch a laundry list of names to read aloud that consist of my agent, my management company, the head of programming at the streaming service, my dog walker, the head of collectors for the electric company, the person in charge with the local department of streets and sanitation, and the folks living at my dwelling space that were forced to order take out because I wasn’t cooking dinner at home. I would thank ‘em all for whatever is there to be thankful for.

Hey! That last paragraph sounds like a great pitch for yet another TV series to clog up the video landscape! So I better get busy with my executive producer duties and start slapping something together. Expect to see it soon on “….+” available for streaming on your electronic device that’s connected to the ‘net!

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Theater 40 of Beverly Hills presents Lauren Gunderson’s SILENT SKY, the inspired true story of Henrietta Leavett, a woman whose interest in astrology was able to create a discovering in the pattern of charting stars, in spite of the challenges she had to face in order to become renowned within her feats.

Abigale Steward portrays Henrietta Levitt. At around the turn of the 20th century, she begin to become involved at the observatory at Harvard University as what was called a “computer”, a person that charts the movement of stars through etched graphs photographed upon glass plates. These chartings were part of the research projects as orchestrated by the research scientists lead by Dr. Charles Pickering that would receive the credit for their work but not for the “harem” that underscores this research, including Henrietta and the rest of the female computing staff. But Henrietta becomes profound in her measurable calculations. This was enough to her desire to utilizes the telescope known as the Great Refractor, but she isn’t allowed to operate let alone even look into the Refractor because of her gender. Besides, it’s really part of the work of the important men that make up the body of the science departments based at the university. In spite of what the department restricts her in these studies, Henrietta proceed within the process of transcribing the changes in Cepheid stars. This charting becomes an important process into charting the entire body of stars as seen within the scope of earth’s boundaries within the known universe. Her work ethic is noted by Dr. Pickering’s head apprentice, Peter Shaw. (Dalern Carlson), who later becomes somewhat of a romantic interest with Henrietta. But this doesn’t stop into the progress that Henrietta is finding within what lies far into the skies. Her skills and abilities later become a first in what the other male scientists has yet to discover at Harvard, and through the other astronomical portals outside of the campus halls of ivy.

This play by Lauren Gunderson is an inspiring drama that speaks for a lesser known person that made new and useful discoveries within the story of the stars when it was all drawn up through human nad based “computers” rather than the electronic type that would not be used for a number of years far into the future. Abigale Steward as Henrietta play her role as a strong lead that knows as much as the male staff she works for. Within her character, she is firm in what she can prove, but is not bossy. The other female characters that are part of her story, colleagues Annie Cannon as played by Marie Broderrick and Willamina Fleming (Amy Tolsky) are within that same level, although Willamina is more “fun” and shows that her Scottish roots brings out her engineering abilities that the Scotts are most famous for. And Henrietta’s sister Margaret (Tammy Mora) is more of the traditional type that such females were categorized during the early 20th century.

The stage setting by Theater 40’s residential set decorator Jeff Rack is at its minimum. The sets consists of a few pieces of basic period furnishings are laid out on the stage depicting many of the aspects that Henrietta finds herself in, from the Harvard Observatory spaces to the universe starred skies itself. The latter is projected upon its back stage wall through moving and still imagery as designed by Fritz Davis and imagery directed by Jean Franzblau. Ann Hearn Tobolowsky is the stage director of the characters showing of the feats as lead by the play’s protagonist.

SILENT SKY takes its title to the audio quality of the stars as seen within the heavens itself (physical silence), and the work that the women did that were a challenge into its own right. (Woman’s rights that had to be fought for.) The play hold both drama and inspiring heart into the work that Henrietta mastered in an honest method that still is acknowledged. As to women taking the lead in such fields of astrological studies? It continues today, but with similar consequences that Henrietta faced thought over one hundred years before. It’s rendered as one step forward, and one (or more) steps in the other direction.

SILENT SKY, 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 April 17th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights @ 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

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

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Continuing its run at The Two Roads Theater in Studio City is Sarah Hunter’s ESCAPE FROM THE GARDEN a.k.a TRACY IN THE KITCHEN, a comedy about a fading actress that attempts to find her comeback by writing and starring in a production about the life and times of Marie Antionette.  

Sandra Cruze stars as actress Tracy Greene. When she was at her prime, Tracy held a starring role in a soap opera airing on daytime TV, and became rather successful at that. But that was a few daytimes ago. Now that she’s aged, the roles were too far in between. After her agent screwed her over a few times, she’s been reduced to living within a small flat found in a dingbat apartment complex in Van Nuys. She shares her living space with her daughter Diane (Juls Hoover), who is following her mom’s footsteps as being an actress herself, yet holds a day job. Her husband Karl (Michael Green) is a school teacher living on a school teacher’s wages. Tracy and Karl do live in their own separate states of being. Tracy feels that in order to receive a comeback she’s seeking, she decided to write her own play about the 18th century-era queen of France. Her writing of this play eventually turns into desperation. She calls on anyone that comes to her place to feed lines to her so she can get the feel of her character, such as Ned (Aurelio Miguel Bocanegra), the apartment’s maintenance man, as well as the various delivery men/boys (Victor Bill) that come around. As time progresses, her household begins to fall apart. But before long, the play is completed. When it’s time to become a star once again, Tracy learns the real truth in being the one time queen famous for her powdered wigs and the dimple on her cheek.

This play, making its world premier at The Two Roads Theater shows how hard it is to not only be an actress in an industry town, but to be an aging actress in an industry town along with a family that could support her but only to a point. The comedy that is depicted is a bit subtle. The laughs are there, but it’s nothing that’s labeled as wacky or goofy. It’s far from becoming a farce where people are running in and out of doors. Then again, it’s a comedy with hints of dramatic moodiness. This is depicted in its second act where Tracy is finally allowed to “eat her cake”-so to speak!

Sandra Cruze as Tracy is very appealing. She’s an actress that would do almost anything to perform once again and be respected in the process. Juls Hoover as Diana is more of an “real” actress that still has a day job that does pay the rent. Michael Green as Karl is a man busting his rear as a teacher yet has plans on his own holding on to an idea to live in Washington State to get away from it all. Aurelio Miguel Bocanegra as Ned is the guy that comes around to Tracy’s joint but is not there to unclog the drains. (Are they having an affair?) And Victor Bill plays a variety of characters that all give their amount of spark to Tracy’s life.

Marianne Davis directs this production that could be just a tad tighter. But with a historical caricature as Marie Antionette as its center of attention, then this method of comic pacing can be looked the other way. But we’ll raise a glass of champagne and say “Viva la France” to this show.

ESCAPE FROM THE GARDEN a.k.a TRACY IN THE KITCHEN is presented by Two Heads are Better Productions and performs at The Two Roads Theater, 4348 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, until March 27th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, with Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM.

Tickets can be ordered online via EventBrite.com https://www.eventbrite.com/e/escape-from-the-garden-tickets-243218161067?ref=eiosor

Visit the Two Heads are Better Productions website at http://www.TwoHeadsAreBetterProductions.com

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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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!

TWO YEARS LATER, ANY GOOD NEWS?

This coming week will mark the second anniversary when the pandemic started to take effect. It was the time when when looking back in this present time, that all hell broke loose! (Our italics). Then was the moment that things started to shut down. There was a load of emotions going around, from panic, uncertainty, fear, confusion, and even a sense of a time of thought. It was indeed the best of times as well as the worst of time.
 
Of course, a lot of things did change. Some for the better, as well as some of the worst. When it comes to the good times/bad time scenario, it seems that the bigger concentration falls on the latter when things are so bad, they ain’t good. And the things that are good don’t seem to be as good as first received.

Well, there is a load of bad stuff, from rising inflation to the war in the Ukraine. Granted, there are a lot of other things that could be better but are not. Many of these tales or woe can’t be controlled by many of the public at large as there isn’t any source that can control these things. One just has to cope with what’s going on. But then again, there are a lot of “not-so-good” things that occur to folks all of the time. About 99% are not reported. The reason? They have no concern of interest to anyone outside of the realm of the person(s) that are experiencing such bad times. Social media plays a role in reporting said strife, such as random Facebook posts still received by our remaining Facebook friend “Tiffi Purewhite”. But for the most part, these little episodes in life are just part of the domestic landscape that’s been going round for generations.

Then again, there is the good side of life. We won’t get into too many details on what can be considered as good versus bad. A few are rather obvious. But for now, we can only concentrate on what this news service can reach out to.

Even though we call ourselves a new service, we are not in the line as such outlets as The Associated Press, The New York Times, or even the electronic media outlets from CNN to Fox News. We are just a speck in the reporting field that’s been around for over a quarter of a century!

But getting back to this “beginning of the end” or “end of the beginning”, depending on how one desires to view it. We have been honored to take a look at what’s been going on to find out what changes can be modified to make it better. Some changes are in a physical stance, such as how we cleared up the physical office space at ALO-L central, Others are modifications in managing details on how one can control a situation or two. Yes, that phase sounds a bit vague, but we are sure that you may get an ideal of what is being expressed within this article. Then again, maybe not!

But this time of year marks the end of the winter season. It also marks the (almost) start of Baseball season. It also marks the birthdays to a few of our close associates here within the ALOL circles. Granted, these events may mean little to nothing to you readers out there, but that isn’t the real point.

What we are stating is the fact that after the two year mark, it’s time that we face what’s going on and adapt it to the best as humanly possible. It may not be appreciated in this adaptation stage at first, but one can and will rise to the occasion, and that rise will take its time. Some faster than expected while others are received, but not in the way as first anticipated.

Nevertheless, things will go on as they go on. We are not necessarily stating that one should ignore what appears to be a state of crisis. One should just face things as a matter of concern but not to panic for the sake of panicking.

To end this opinion article, and yep..it’s just an opinion that may be different than those that read and understand this piece (that’s our disclaimer, folks), we will conclude with a quote attributed to musician Tom Petty who once stated (or sung) ..Most things I worry about never happen anyway…

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The Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica presents YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED A BIT AND OTHER LIES, a new musical comedy by Jerry & Steven Meyer about being a “grown-up” living in that golden age of your 60’s, and the complications that go along with it all!

The basic story is about three couples, (played by Chris DeCarlo, Rachel Galper, Kyle T. Heffner, Barbara Keegan, Evelyn Rudie, and Tom Van Dyke) who have known one another for years, decides to reinstate their wedding vows in a ceremony set at a meeting hall at a local Ramada Inn. While they getting ready for this event, they all go through a number of trivial yet important moments that are part of the state of being they exist in, from forgetting things more-or-less often, switching gender-based roles more-or-less often (again), redefining retirement and getting what’s called “F-You” money from their employer, taking a little blue pill to “get it up”, and other episodes that are part of the good nature of climbing up through the cycle of life. Although it may be a bit of a challenge, they all know that they have one another as they are living within the best years of their lives.

This singe act production, created by Jerry Meyer, a comedy writer that has over fifty years worth of jokes, gags, and situations behind his belt, and his son Steven Meyer that composed the musical score and lyrics with dad Jerry, is charming and witty with light (very light) touches of despair added. (After all, getting old sucks big-time!!) However, it’s a musical comedy play that proves to anyone no matter what demographic one falls in, that growing up just gets better the second time around. (Or third, forth, or even fifth time around the block!)

Chris DeCarlo, one of the artistic directors at the Santa Monica Playhouse (along with fellow performer and real-time spouse Evelyn Rudie, who also co-stars), directs this program as a tight ninety minute showcase. As the cast dole out their roles on a stage dressed up in a minimum stance, Steven Meyer is on the keyboards off stage left performing the musical numbers that are just as funny as the dialogue itself.

YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED A BIT AND OTHER LIES is the first full length production produced by and at the Santa Monica Playhouse in some two years. Within that time span, many playhouses within the Los Angeles region had their shows come to a standstill. Some of those theaters have returned, while others took their final curtain. In spite of this mishap, the folks at this playhouse have reappeared to their time tested glory. And this show proves this fact indeed!

YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED A BIT AND OTHER LIES, presented by and performs at The Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street (off Wilshire Blvd.) Santa Monica, until April 10th. Showtimes are Saturdays at 7:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 PM.

For ticket reservations and for further information, call (310) 394-9779 x 1, or via online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com

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The 27th annual Critics Choice Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, March 13th from the The Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California, and through a remote from the Savoy Hotel in London. The CW Network and TBS aired the program live.

Taye Diggs & Nicole Byer served as the masters of ceremonies where awards were presented by the choosing of Critics Choice Association, presenting the best in television programming and feature films.

Among the many awards that were presented, ranging from Best Ensemble Cast (feature films), Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy/Drama (film/television), Best Supporting Actor/Actress in Feature/TV, etc., two special awards were presented.

Halle Berry was awarded as part of the #SeeHer movement where females are presented in movies and TV shows in a positive and progressive light. Billy Crystal received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his fifty plus years from his start of being a stand-up comic, to the many features and television program he has been involved in, including his next venture, a musical stage production of Mr. Saturday Night, based upon a character he created during his run on Saturday Night Live in the 1980’s

Ted Lasso won Best Television Program while The Power of the Dog won for Best Picture. Both titles won four awards each in their respected categories

The Critics Choice Association consists of members who work as professional journalists that write and review films and TV shows in publications that exist through multimedia outlets. (Disclaimer: This writer is a member of the CCA.)

For a complete listing of all titles nominated and its associated winning categories, visit http://www.CriticsChoice.com

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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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!

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

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
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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!

KEEPING UP WITH THE MOVIE TIMES

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) a.k.a. The group that fobs off The Oscars for the best in movies, announced last week that their annual telecast will be trimmed down to concentrate on the awards that the home audience tend to really care about.

David Rubin, AMPAS president, sent a memo to its members stating that for the 94th annual event scheduled to take place at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, March 27th, stated that the awards for picture (film) editing, production design, sound, makeup and hairstyling, original music score, and the three short film awards for documentary, live-action and animated will be presented at the ceremony before the live broadcast begins over ABC This change will make this awards show and its revamped broadcast as “tighter and more electric” as The Academy declared in their statement to its voting members.

The reasons for this change reflects upon the tastes and interests of the general audience that tune in to this telecast each year, one of the “big four” awards programs that reflect upon the entertainment based media. This counts for the Grammy Awards for recorded music and sound, the Emmys for television based programming, and the Tony Awards for live Broadway centric theater productions.

The Oscars holds the largest interest nationwide, and in some respect, the world’s interest, to what is considered the “best” within its field, based upon the voting choices of its members. These said members, many are chosen to be eligible for membership based upon their professional involvement in the medium they are involved in, have the opportunity to vote for the best something or another from a movie based element that first made its accessible premier or release in the given time frame of eligibility. Usually that eligible time frame is set within a calendar year (January 1st-December 31st), or through a chosen time frame. (July 1st-June 30th, etc.)

Granted, what is considered as the “best” within its field only reflects upon the voting member’s domain, but not necessarily falling within the same realm to the public that is exposed to the medium, and not necessarily involved in anything the median does or presents. In other words, it’s a battle between the professionals that believe that they know their stuff, and the public at large that consume and perhaps buy the product because they either want to consume the item(s), or they just like it through general interest and overall amusement.

But getting back to The Oscars and the movies they cover. The movie industry had been going through a change in how they conduct their business thanks to the Pandemic. Since March of 2020, many movie theaters have either conducted their theaters as smaller and tighter, or totally shut themselves down. People stayed away from these movie houses only to consume the product through streaming media. At the same time, the sources that stream said media doubled down only to expand their offerings, if not getting involved in creating the content. (Sources as Apple, Amazon, and Netflix all have movie titles they created and/or products that are up for awards this year!) Streaming makes it convenient, if not cheaper, to offer their said content to people’s home bases, giving them the opportunity to consume a movie or its equivalent in the comfort and privacy of their living spaces that they could not obtain while inside of a traditional movie house. And thanks to technology where people can have movie theater type systems inside of their home spaces with a big size screen, a booming sound source, and a comfortable place to plop themselves down in front of the screen and speakers to watch what they want, and when they want it! (Showtimes can be set as 3:17 AM or PM!!) They can snack on whatever they can create at home, from gourmet popcorn to barbecue meats, for a fraction of what it would normally cost if the foods could be obtained some place else. (Thanks to food delivery services, the grub can even be sent to their doorsteps in a flash!) And they don’t have to worry about any annoying or obnoxious patrons that may be inside the same room where the feature is displaying itself. That is, unless the home viewer decides to talk through the entire feature and/or to send text messages to the parties on the other end of the text messaging source on whatever topic is worth texting about!

Also, unless one is involved and/or interested in such creative fields as picture editing (formally known as film editing), or music score–the type of music played throughout a movie that one doesn’t necessarily notice, movie viewers hold little to no interest in such creative aspects in a movie. All they care to see is who appears in front of the camera, and the director person that tells the actors what to do, how to do it, and how to utter their words that they are supposed to say based upon how it reads within the scripted pages.

And within the last few years, the number of viewers that turn on their video devices to see a live event such as an awards program has fallen. This also goes for sporting events as well. Even with sure fire audience pleasure as The Olympics and even The Super Bowl, they has seen its share of audience drop in numbers. Then again, steaming media, the second coming (or third, or forth) of television, is the new way that people consume the product. And out of the four major awards shows, The Oscars hold the biggest draw. The Emmys Awards ranks in second place sometimes trying with The Grammy Awards. The Tony Awards for New York City based theater falls dead last!

However, the folks at AMPAS will show tightly edited segments of the announcement of the winners for the lesser categories throughout the live telecast so those winners can have their “Oscar moment”. This may be great for those that know or know of those folks that may win or award or not in their categories. But for the rest of those tuning in i.e. the public, it could be received as a “that’s nice” or as a “who gives a s#it?”

And as a side note, AMPAS has teamed up with Twitter to let the public speak on what they believe should be the best feature film based upon their own tastes, and that result will be acknowledged during the event. One can guess that the movie chosen will be either an action/adventure film with comic book superheroes as its leads, a family friendly animation title, or even a fantasy themed movie overloaded with computer generated special effects. Those titles may be eligible for an Oscar as a best of something in terms of special effects and/or animation efforts, but vary rarely for an acting/directing effort, or even as a best picture! (Sony Studio’s latest Spider Man title release that actually brought folks back inside of a movie house this season as “Best Picture”? Why not…?)

This writer belongs to a group that votes for the best in movies and TV, but not as a member of AMPAS. (This writer tends to lean more toward television programs but as a preservationist rather than a creator.) So whatever results seen this March will have the audience pick and choose what’s in store for this industry. After all, there have been feature length “movies” released that were totally captured and edited on a consumer level iPhone, meaning that anyone can make a “movie”. That’s the good part. What’s the bad part? Anyone can create a “movie”! One can be ready for their close up Mr. DeMille, or it’s set as another run of DeMille

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Theater West presents THIS JOINT IS JUMPIN’, a musical review that features Broadway star Maybin Hewes that teams up with a set of talented stars that perform in a classic style tune filled and comical stage showcase.

Hewes, a woman that first graced the Broadway stage in the original run of Pal Joey in the 1950’s and never stopped since, leads this show as her team of other players that consist of Anna Domencia Gagliardo, Nicole Gianuca, Bonnie Kalisher, Ronald McElroy (as tap dancing “special guest star”), Arlene Parness, Mitchell Roche, Lauren Sullivan, Sydney Swearengin, and Elise Walters appear in musical numbers, short comic skits & blackouts, and dance presentations as they grace the stage performing a selection of musical tunes from good ol’ “tin pan alley” to lavish musical theater, as well as some ballads from the not-too-distant past, all in an elemental yet tight presentation.

Performing while donning functional costuming set upon a blacked back curtain, each of the players shows off what they can do using the blend of formulas that hark vaudeville, burlesque, and those variety shows that were commonplace on TV from its beginnings through the 1970’s, back when every TV viewer would view a program all at the same time and day when “streaming media” was billed as another type of performance act.

Backed with the duo of Ron Rose on keyboards who also serves as musical director, and Owen Goldman on percussion, this combo hits the notes and beats for the songs that are sung and played throughout, proving to its audience that the said songs as well as the jokes and gags that are noted between numbers are so old, they become new again! This is especially true to those audience members who were not fortunate to be around when those songs, and maybe some of the comical bits, were indeed new-er!

Hewes also conceived the “book” of this showcase under the stage direction of Judy Rose. And at the robust stage of life at ninety-one seasons and counting, Hewes is still going strong! She is in truth one of the final performers of her type still standing that can provide the facts to the entertainment world that there is no stopping her now! That’s a great sign to note as she can still sign off as well as sing off! And though it’s been billed that she is doing this “one more time”, let’s wish her to continue to keep on keeping on through many more “one more times”!

THIS JOINT IS JUMPIN’, presented by Theater West and 44th St. Productions, performs at Theater West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles (North Hollywood Adjacent), and performs on Sundays, February 27th and March 6th at 2:00 PM, and Saturday, March 5th at 7:00 PM.

For reservations and further information, call (323) 851-7977, or online at http://TheaterWest.org

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

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

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! 

SPRING AHEAD TO FALL BACK ON THE ‘NET

Perhaps we are anticipating the day where Daylight Savings Time begins so we can move our clocks one hour ahead. (Yeah, we are aware that we are gonna lose that house of sleep, but it’s going to be on a Sunday!!) Or maybe we can anticipate getting more daylight in the afternoon, so our loss of that one hour of sleep won’t get in our way too much! Or maybe we just can’t think of another witty headline to open this article.

What we are referring to here is a “demand” of us reprinting some of our past articles that our current readers may have missed out on. As some of you may know, we have been at this form of writing and reporting for a little over twenty five years. This writer also wrote columns for an internal newsletter that was connected with a single’s group based in Los Angeles. Unless you were a member of that group, or at least subscribed to the monthly newsletter, you would have missed out of those articles completely!

Even though it’s always great to create new and different content each week, it’s always fun to look back to see what yours truly wrote about back in the day, and how different (or similar) the theme and the tone of the article(s) has set itself by based upon the standards and practices of 2022.

It’s always been noted in the world of journalism that articles and news stories are always created for the moment they are written and released. As time progresses, some of the bits within the articles remain timeless, while other notions don’t stand the test of time. That is because tastes and attitudes change over time and tide. Some of these changes are for the better, while others are for its worst!

This is the same for any form of media. There are, for instance, movies that were created twenty years ago and more that were important for what they were at the time of creation and release to the general public. But by viewing some of them in today’s landscape, some may cringe to how those points were expressed. Some of these notions set by its creators today are pointed out, while others leave it to the viewer to decide if what is depicted are for the now, for the moment, or something that is not to be emphasized.

Disney+, the streaming service operated by (guess who?) posts disclaimers for a few of its features stating that some of its content may not reflect for the time of now, and to take it for what it’s worth! We won’t figure out every single title on Disney+ that holds a disclaimer, but a few are rather obvious. To set one example, the animated feature Dumbo released in 1941 and created in c. 1939-41, shows Dumbo the baby elephant encountering a pack of crows that state that an elephant can’t fly. It’s rather obvious that, even in that era, the crows represent those that would be “colored” folk. (We are using the term from the era!) This form of stereotype was rather common in both movies, print, and even stated in radio programs. But that was before the impact of World War II. But in the post war years, that form of expression was toned down, but didn’t necessarily disappear. But you readers know what this writer is attempting to get across.

Getting back to Accessibly Live Off-Line’s back articles for a moment. Since we do receive these kinds of requests on a semi-regular basis, we will attempt to reprint a few of those articles here going back a quarter of a century. Some even go back to the days when that new fangled course of communication called “the internet” was there as a novelty, and not necessarily totally accessible to the public at large. Unless you were around a college campus or perhaps lucky to be near a public library that has a series of computer terminals connected to this “internet” thing, one could not see what this internet thing was all about. You can find out by getting some of those guides to the internet available at your favorite bookstore and reading up about it. Outside of that, you just had to sit down in front of a computer monitor to find out what’s there in cyberspace land.

This writer had a few of these guidebooks in his personal library such as AT&T’s Guide To The Internet, as well as a few books published by textbook publisher McGraw-Hill. Sadly, those books were disposed of years ago. Only one book remains from that collection. It’s a paperback sized book called The Internet & World Wide Web-The Rough Guide 2.0, written by Angus J. Kennedy of Internet (that is how the author is labeled), and published by The Penguin Group in 1996. It list the websites based upon topics along with separate chapters dedicated to finding “alt” newsgroups, a glossary to internet based terms and phrases, a selection in Internet Service Providers (IPSs) available, as well a listing of cyber cafes throughout the nation and world, along with phone numbers of these places where one can surf the ‘net where you can have your favorite beverage on hand. (Libraries and some places on college campuses have a “no food or drink” policy when seated near a computer terminal!)

Anyway, over those next few weeks and months, we’ll try to find some of those past musings that you may find amusing for what they are. Just give us some time to search for them. In the meantime, you can enjoy that favorite beverage while you surf the net wherever you may be since those cyber cafes may be long gone, as well as those websites.

One note of historical fact. The for mentioned book also lists in the “music” section a site for the evergreen rock band The Rolling Stones, then listed as http://www.Stones.com. It stated that this official site was first created to promote their album Voodoo Lounge but has since branched out to feature photos, interviews, and sound clips of Mick and the boys. It also was one of the first (if not THE first) website that posted the first live internet concert ever “broadcast”. It went on to note that this broadcast wasn’t a critical success, but it served as a turning point in the net’s evolution from research tool to lifestyle portal.

Who knew…?

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

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

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!

DIPPING YOUR PEN IN THE COMPANY INK

Last week, the media reported upon the resignation of Jeff Zucker, who was the head of CNN (at one time known as Cable News Network) over an affair he had with a fellow colleague. This brought a shock to those that worked within the organization, as well as through outside of this news source. Even through Zuker did apologize in what he was involved with, it was deemed ass too little too late.

A few days before, this writer received an email notice from a large megachurch located in the Midwest. This church, whose name won’t be reviled here since the episode wasn’t “newsworthy” as a nationwide insistent, is located in a town that has been herald as the birthplace as thew new “national pastime”. (Its TV and video ratings back this fact up!) And the church itself has been respected in the community is resides.

Anyway, the email stated to its recipients to check on a link where one will be sent to a page on YouTube, with a message from the head pastor introducing the pastor who desired to break out the news. The pastor himself, a man who was in his middle age, gave a statement, or rather, a confessional, noting what occurred and why he was stepping down from his duties of this church. For about fifteen minutes (give or take) he stated, or rather, stammered through his “confession” of what happened. To make a long story short, he too, had an affair with somebody within the church’s domain, and added that he had a “roll in the hay” with this person and she had the proof! Although this writer had no connection to this church outside of being on their email mailing list and did not know or know of this pastor, it was rather sad to see him tell his flock and he was going away due to his activity.

A few years before, another megachurch in Milwaukee also has the same situation. They invited through on their mailing list (yours truly included) to visit a secure link on YouTube’s competing video posting website Vemeo.com. Unlike the previous notice through the first megachurch, the Milwaukee church posted an hour long presentation where the other elders of this church had a virtual prayer meeting, and a sermon (so to speak) of what happened to their former head pastor. It was for the same reasons, but this time, the pastor has a spouse and children. The pastor didn’t appear in this production. All of those appearing passed the word to their congregation stating what occurred, and to offer prayers toward the family.

Of course, there are just three isolated episodes of somebody who is connected to some place of employment that, let’s say, got a little too friendly with somebody else within the same work space. Episodes such as this one does happen. Most of the time, unless one works within the same company space, or is aware of those involved with this situation, one will never hear about it. One ones the public at large become aware are those incidences where a CEO or somebody in charge of holds some importance is involved, or if the episode leads toward some hideous act such as murder as expressed in the Netflix documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door. (Still available for streaming as of this writing!)

Granted, affairs of any kind are great for drama as seen through the media, but not so much in so-called “real life”. And in spite of what has been reviled, affairs, be it in the work space or otherwise, are usually conducted by people who know of each other. Using this guideline based upon a heterosexual situation, if person “A” who, let’s say is male, and person “B” who is of the female persuasion may work side by side. Depending on persons “A” and “B” domestic relations status if, maybe something can be conjured up. But because of the atmosphere the two are set within, this is where a “fling” can bring its spark.

Of course, it’s not always like this. Yours truly once upon a time was faced with a similar senrio. For whatever reason, it never took hold for reasons long forgotten. And it won’t since the workspace I was in is long gone, and the person did move on as well. So this plot can be classified as a “what if?” scenario that I will leave to those that write for the soap operas that still exist in the TV landscape. However, unlike a soap opera where an affair can last for weeks, months, and even years, I long forgotten story only brewed for a week!

Again, based upon the video presentations as seen by this writer through those megachurches, there was a lot of standards that had to be cleaned out. Since I hold no connection toward those churches, I can’t say how they were resolved, if at all. Then again, one has to leave that to the powers that be.

If one works from home, having an affair can’t happen. But when you get angry clients one has to deal with, they may express anger telling you to go “F” yourself, but that’s another topic that we don’t discuss here. So much for pathos!

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 94th annual Academy Awards on February 8th.

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Picture

Belfast (Focus Features)
CODA (Apple TV)
Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Drive My Car (Janus Films)
Dune (Warner Bros.)
King Richard (Warner Bros.)
Licorice Pizza (MGM)
Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)
The Power of the Dog (Netflix)
West Side Story (20th Century Pictures)

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain-The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman-The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz-Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman-Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart-Spencer

Best Director
Kenneth Branagh-Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi-Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson-Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion-The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg-West Side Story

The awards program will take place on Sunday, March 26th at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC at 5:00 PM (PST)

For a complete listing of all nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at
http://www.Oscars.com

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On February 4th, The Golden Raspberry Foundation announced the nominations for The 42nd Razzie Awards, presented the worst in feature films released within the 2021 calendar year.

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Worst Picture
Diana the Musical (Netflix)
Infinite (Paramount/New Republic Pictures)
Karen (BET Networks/Viacom)
Space Jam: A New Legacy (Warner Bros.)
The Woman in the Window (20th Century Pictures)

Worst Actor 
Scott Eastwood-Dangerous
Roe Hartrampf (As Prince Charles)-Diana the Musical
LeBron James-Space Jam: A New Legacy
Ben Platt-Dear Evan Hansen
Mark Wahlberg-Infinite

Worst Actress
Amy Adams-The Woman in the Window
Jeanna de Waal-Diana the Musical
Megan Fox-Midnight in the Switchgrass
Taryn Manning-Karen
Ruby Rose-Vanquish

Worst Director
Christopher Ashley-Diana the Musical
Stephen Chbosky-Dear Evan Hansen
“Coke” Daniels-Karen
Renny Harlin-The Misfits
Joe Wright-The Woman in the Window

The Golden Razzie Awards will be presented on Saturday, March 25th.

A complete list of nominations is also viewable at http://www.Razzies.com. The Official 42nd Razzie Nominations Video is also available at RazzieChannel.

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DEATH ON THE NILE (20th Century Pictures) stars Kenneth Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot. It’s 1937, and the good detective decides to take a bit of a vacation in Egypt. While on board the luxury ship “Karnac” that sails down the Nile River, he encounters a wedding party that toasts the newly bride and groom. However, there’s going to be foul play on board this ship that will feature …unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement, as the official press notes state.

Based upon the murder mystery of the same name written by Agatha Christie, it factors the usual plot twists one can expect in such a “whodunnit” of this type. The feature itself starts up rather upbeat for what it is. Once the cruse down the Nile takes its turn and when the first murder takes place (there are a series of murders in case one doesn’t know), that is when the film starts to get rather moody, then downright dull! Michael Green’s screenplay makes this film rather talky for what it is, meaning that it would look better on a video screen rather than a traditional movie setting. (Was this done intentionally?) The mystery of the suspects are laid out in classic fashion. But after a while, one will find out what Poirot discovers upon who did what to who, assuming that the viewer can sit still until everyone is a suspect, if they aren’t murdered first.

As to the cast, if does feature a robust set of players including Tom Bateman and Annette Bening as the groom Bouc and bride Euphemia, Russell Brand as Windlesham, Ali Fazal as Katchadourian, Dawn French as Bowers, Gal Gadot as Linnet Ridgway, Armie Hammer as Simon Doyle, Rose Leslie as Louise Bourget, Emma Mackey as Jacqueline de Bellefort, Sophie Okonedo as Salome Otterbourne, Jennifer Saunders as Marie Van Schuyler, and Letitia Wright as Rosalie Otterboourne.

What’s a period film without its period settings? It has great 1930’s-era costuming by Paco Delgado and JobanJit Singh, production Design by Jim Clay with set decoration by Abi Groves and Amanda Willgrave. And it even features some period music, mostly in the blues department. But that music is only there to a minimum.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, DEATH ON THE NILE is indeed a movie that is more toward an older demographic. Or as the folks at AARP would note, it’s a movie for “grownups”. This is also the demographic that has been staying away from movie theaters for the past two years. Will they ever return to seeing a movie in the form that they were accustomed to? They will, but not right away! After all, this feature was scheduled to be released in theaters sometime in 2020. Then that release date was set for October of last year. After all of this time, it’s now available (as of February, ’22) to see in a movie house. This reviewer suggests waiting until it will be available for streaming or through home video. That may be by the time that the buds will be blooming on the trees. (Springtime!!) After all, if this movie was delayed for so many months to be seen and perhaps appreciated, what’s a few more weeks?

PS..this movie was shot on 65mm film stock, making this movie one of the late entries of a “high def” film shot on…film! That proves that motion picture film isn’t quite dead let. It was just murdered over time! (Pun intended!!)

PSS..Although it may not crucial to the plot, the backstory behind Hercule Poirot’s bushy mustache is relieved, in case anyone out there had any interest to that notion. (No spoilers on that aspect relieved in this review.)

This feature is rated PG-13 for violence, some bloody images, and sexual material, as dictated by the MPA. Now playing in real movie houses nationwide.

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