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The Vexing Verification

I'm not the most avid follower of comic books and maybe I am not as rabid about science fiction films and television series as some, but I have always enjoyed my weekends at New York ComicCon, the years I have gotten a ticket to attend, and I have loved sharing elements of the con here on LJ and via my other social media: on twitter and instagram.

The Javits Center gets a superhero makeover in October as thousands of people, some in costume, others just gawking to see, come to sample the wares of artists and authors, attend panels that give insights to various media, be they comics, or entertainment for the big, small, computer or video game screen, and get to view sneak peeks at some episodes of a new or favorite program, usually with some of the principals in attendance to talk about it, and to answer questions from adoring fans.

It's still not the ultimate con - that remains the Comic-Con International: San Diego which happens each July. But looking at how San Diego operates their Con is clearly what the New York organizers have been doing, but with a twist.

This year, something new was announced...Collapse )

A Visit with cynnerth and low_delta

Sunday, May 15 2016 and Cyn and Kevin, aka cynnerth and low_delta were in town, had a bit of free time that afternoon and evening and we spent an unseasonably cold afternoon and evening together!

a skosh of the scotch!Collapse )
Just about nine months ago, I wrote a thinkpost called Why "President Trump" Is NOT As Far-Fetched As You Think", which outlined the basics of why a nonsensical candidate who had no political experience of any kind could wind up being the Republican Nominee for President during this election cycle.

At the time I wrote that piece...Collapse )

The Intolerable Addiction*

*Before I present the following, I need to preface it. This thinkpost was originally written for My Tumblr Account which was posted on February 8, 2016 and that post can be seen HERE. (That version of the essay includes bold type for the "TL;DR" crowd and several links to articles which were not transferred to this version.)

It's rare that I transfer post anything between my Tumblr and LiveJournal accounts, but I have chosen to repost this essay here specifically because of a piece that mamas_minion created in the misfitmanor journal for therealljidol competition. Titled Where Are We Going and Why Are We In This Handbasket," and written to the prompt "White Out," It's a powerful, worthwhile and important piece that should be read by everyone.

I was compelled to share this essay here, after reading that piece there, and I hope, when you have a bit of free time, you'll read both of these essays and share your thoughts and reflections about them on those pages, and because I think they dovetail pretty nicely. In fact, I'd suggest you read that essay first and then come back here to look at this one. Please do.

The Intolerable AddictionCollapse )

Grammy Slammy 2016 Edition

The Grammy Awards did something quite different this year than they had previously. They decided to make the "Awards" a secondary element and focused on the music, the performances, the personalities and the artists and gave a lot less time to the actual award winners themselves. Despite the fact that there are nearly 100 categories of Grammy Award nominees, only the smallest handful of the awards were actually presented on the three and a half hour CBS telecast. That left a lot more room for the performances, including Album of the Year winner, Taylor Swift, who opened the show.

As is always the case, The Grammys...Collapse )

Love, American Child

Consider this a kind of "State of the Love" Address for 2016, via a forty seven year old program.

If you are able to get the Decades Network, and you probably are if you have a CBS affiliate in your area, you might have tuned in to see some vintage programming that they broadcast (and I do mean broadcast, as the station is available, most everywhere, without a cable wire or satellite connection). They hold the lion's share of all of the programs that CBS/Paramount own, and with a lean for putting historic events (and vintage teevee shows) in perspective, they cycle through a lot of material, often linking what they show to the particular date, during the week. That also means, they don't have a set schedule of what gets shown when, so every day it's a surprise of vintage newsclips, forgotten films and talk shows and sitcoms and drama series all tossed together to celebrate an anniversary of an event or birthday of a notable person.

Weekends are a bit different because they do what's called "The Decades Binge," showing dozens of episodes of one series, all in a row and mostly in chronological order of original telecast date. Not to be overtly obvious, they chose to run a marathon of episodes from the series "Love, American Style" this Valentines' weekend.

An anthology series that originally ran on the ABC television network from the fall of 1969 through the winter of 1974, it also went into syndicated reruns on many local channels for many years after that.

The actor appearances on the show are quite notable, as some pretty big names did episodes throughout the run of the program, and many of the familiar names of actors from other long time popular sitcoms made multiple guest shots here, like Bill Bixby, Judy Carne, Larry Storch and Stefanie Powers, among a roll call of stars of that era. But perhaps the most notable and consistent element of the series was an unusual Brass Bed that found its way into the majority of episodes and "blackout" sketches throughout the run.

I decided to watch a few episodes of this show, as I remember being quite taken with it as a kid. The first thing I noted was the scoring of the show. Yes, the iconic theme song (originally performed by The Cowsills, but in the syndicated version only the "Charles Fox Singers") was there, but the incidental music used throughout the episodes really sounded like they wanted to be Burt Bacharach compositions. As an unabashed Bacharach fan, I'm sure part of my attraction to this program was based on this element, that I probably didn't even notice when I viewed it as a kid.

But more importantly, I realized a couple of very disturbing things. The first being that for a show from the era of "Women's Liberation," it was still highly sexist, almost to a disgusting level. Yes, it was a comedy, but for a series that actually could have made a statement about love in a way that gave a positive message, along with some laughs, an opportunity was clearly missed. ABC did a skosh better in that area with their similar anthology series, "The Love Boat," several years after this.

But on a personal note, I realize now that a lot of what I thought about love, how to get it, what it was about, how to behave around someone I was interested in and what it all really meant was, to some degree, shaped by this series. It might have been okay if I actually had a social life to counteract the false messages I was getting from a program like this one, or even if I had some other "relationship" program to watch that might have put it in a better perspective.

There were some clearly "stalking" type behaviors, played for comic effect, some "joke divorce" elements throughout and other really weird material, even for the late 60s and early 70s, when it first aired. I look at this program now and realize just how odd it is to me today, compared to how the me of my grade and junior high school years viewed it.

There is a whole "garbage in - garbage out" quality to some of this stuff that really makes me feel like I never should have heard of this show, let alone watched it after school while doing homework, as this was a terrible socialization method for learning about love, and it wasn't even that good as a sitcom.

If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing, I could have done much worse than telling me to never watch "Love, American Style," and really, that probably goes for this weekend, too.

That's the state of the love, this year.

Moving the Motion Picture (House)

I happened across a story about a guy who was giving away his two screen motion picture theater, located in Houlton, ME, a quaint and charming town just this side of the Canadian border. To claim it, you had to write a 250 word essay on why you wanted it. The market value to purchase the theater is $350,000, and the place actually looks pretty neat, just based on the stuff they showed.

The concept of writing an essay to get a movie house, no matter where it was located in the USA, seemed intriguing but, of course, there is a catch: a one-hundred dollar entry fee. And there was a secondary notation: money refunded if fewer than 3,500 entries were received by January 31.

You don't have to be a mathematician to know what's going on here. This guy wants his $350K for the sale of his Milk Duds, but he apparently can't get anyone to pay it out flat. So, create a contest, get 3,500 people (or more!) to enter, get your pricetag (or more!) and hand over the keys to whomever you want.

Actually, they are apparently attempting to be fair about it: the essay may not have a name attached to it and after the first round of judging, the top essays will be ranked by a panel of three independent judges, presuming the 3500 entries are received.

Still it feels like getting rid of a white elephant to me, despite the fact that it's a contest, and it really isn't a "giveaway," if you have to spend 100 bucks for the entry fee. Plus, what's the deal on property tax if you "give" the place away as opposed to selling it? I guess that's for the courts to decide.

I applaud the person who thought to try this concept and it would be great for a local to win it, since they presumably care about this old theater and have attended many movies there, over time. But, for the rest of us, relocating to one of the northernmost points of the forty-eight contiguous might be a lot more trouble than it's worth.

The other little nagging element that all of this raises: I wonder if more and more people are going to try similar things to move their real estate off the market if they can't get their pricetag? Would this constitute a lottery, and would it actually be legal if suddenly everyone from New York condos to Malibu Beach Houses started doing it? And would someone hire me to write their essay?

#SOTU v. #GOPDebate v. #DemDebate

It was a big political ball o' wax these past 7 days, what with President Obama giving his final State of the Union address, The Republicans having their... 84th? Debate and the Democrats gathering to hash and hashtag it out with their own debate.

I want to make a brief note of pride that the first "social media" vlogger that asked a question of the Democrats was chescaleigh, who was a guest on my talk_show blog way, way, way back in the day. Since then, she has exploded on YouTube, does a web series for MTV called "Decoded" and has been making appearances on everything from Anderson Cooper to The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. In some ways I feel like I discovered her, but she would have (and really did happen) without me!

But, let"s start with the Dems...Collapse )

As I Responded in davesmusictank Entry...

davesmusictank is a really great go-to for anything musical that typically isn't "popular." You have lots of outlets for that stuff across the internet, all of them playing the remnants of One Direction or the latest soap opera set to song lyrics of Taylor Swift.

But we all were taken aback when the announcement about David Bowie came. He had just released a new album, "Blackstar" on January 8th, his 69th Birthday. Bowie knew what was going on though. He had been secretly fighting Cancer for 18 months, not cluing anyone in the public eye that there was a problem, and going ahead and shooting videos for the tracks on this newest effort.

I think those of us who are familiar with his music and more importantly, what he was trying to say with his music, could write volumes about it. But, I think I can't better sum up a performer, a career, a life better than I did in RIP David Bowie, Dave's tribute to him. Therein, I simply stated:

Bowie leaves a shockingly vast void in the fabric of both rock music and pop culture. The fact that his final album was just released Friday and that it appears just as cutting edge and unique as all the rest of his documents is a true testament to a performer who didn't have his finger on the pulse of the world, but rather had his finger on his own pulse and pulled us in to the beat of his heart.

His musicianship is unquestioned, but his acting ability was very much underrated, and his performances there were endlessly watchable.

This was a tough one to take.

Twitter Expansion

Twitter made it official this week that they were going to permit "longer tweets." If you're familiar with how twitter works, you know that the standard tweet permitted was 140 characters. There actually was a rationale for that number: they wanted the tweet to be able to fit inside a single SMS (Short Message Service) message, which has a limitation of 160 characters.

Apparently people, in their desire to post...Collapse )

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