Time: movie documentary review

60 years

Time amazon-documentaryTime is a black and white documentary film put together by the New York Times’ Op Doc folks, which I saw on Amazon Prime. It starts out as a series of snippets of home videos by Fox Rich, about her and her husband Rob, pursuing their American dream to start a clothing store.

Then things went south, financially. We discover Rob and a cousin decide to rob a bank, with Fox as the getaway driver. They are caught and both are given jail time. Fox, who was pregnant with twin boys, received a few years. But Rob got 60 years, without a chance of parole.

So the bulk of the film is about Fox trying to make sure her six sons remember their father while working unceasingly over two decades to get her husband out of prison. As the tag suggests, “this bears witness to the power of one woman to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds with the aid of her faith and family.”

Time was one of fifteen films that were considered in the “Documentary Feature category for the 93rd Academy Awards. Two hundred thirty-eight films were eligible in the category. Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.”

I’ll admit that it took me a while to see where the film was going. Once I picked up on the narrative direction, I found it fascinating and inspiring.

On Rotten Tomatoes, it received 98% positive reviews from the critics. But only 46% of the general audience felt the same. And I understand why, I believe.

This is NOT a story about persons falsely accused. These people clearly did the crime. Ought not they do the time? Perhaps. But 60 years?

Why is life so complicated?

Here’s a paragraph from an IMDB review from ferguson 6, 7 out of 10 stars. “There are some mixed messages delivered here, which is understandable given how complicated life can get. Perhaps the most vivid message is the impact incarceration has on a family.

“Fox is an extraordinary woman devoted to raising her sons as strong and smart young men. But she also decries that her boys have never had a father and don’t even know the role one plays. While Fox displays the ultimate in polite phone decorum despite her frustrations with an uncaring, inefficient system, we do see her sincerity as she stands in front of her church congregation asking for forgiveness of her poor choices.”

If you watch Time, please be patient. It probably won’t grab you at the outset. It’s only over the course of the film that you get to see the effect that  lengthy incarceration has on a family.

And Theodor Geisel as Dr. Seuss

sturm und drang

Seuss books
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

In this blog, Dr. Seuss has been mentioned numerous times, often on March 2, his birthday. I love the work of Theodor Geisel, especially Bartholemew and the Oobleck. It involves speaking truth to power. And oobleck is green. Though I found  The Lorax movie only so-so, I don’t fault the source material.

I’ve learned new words, such as gox, which my spellcheck doesn’t seem to like. REM confounded me with their reference to him. But Ted hasn’t said all of the trite things that have been attributed to him.

Back in 2009, I noted him as one of 20 men I admired. So this made-up “controversy” over the voluntary cessation of future publication of a few books hurts my heart. It’s because I think Dr. Seuss, were he still alive, might very well agree with the action.

As Ty Burr said in the Boston Globe, “You can still get a hold of the six early titles that Seuss Enterprises has chosen to cease publishing anytime you want to. They’re in libraries and used bookstores; they’re on eBay and Alibris and Amazon. No one’s destroying any copies; they’re just not printing any new ones.”

Recognizing changing attitudes

More to the point: “It’s likely the good Dr… would be down with that. Before his death in 1991, he expressed regret to biographers over the virulently anti-Japanese political cartoons he had drawn during World War II; a great-nephew told the New York Times in 2017 that ‘later in his life, he was not proud of those at all.'”

And have the folks screaming “cancel culture” even perused these books? I read If I Ran the Zoo as a child. And I found the stereotypes of “potbellied, thick-lipped blacks from Africa, squinty-eyed” Asians unsettling.

But I didn’t read And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street until I was an adult. The yellow-colored “Chinaman”, later recolored and relabeled “Chinese man,” bothered me greatly. I noted that things were different in 1937.

The sturm und drang of the false narrative exhausts me. The “thinking” is that “liberals” are inflicting the cancel culture. But folks such as Barack Obama and Kamala Harris had praised Seuss in public settings. Therefore liberals are also disingenuous hypocrites. QED. Oy.

Some folks seem to relish the fact that Dr. Seuss is now dominating the Amazon best-seller list. At this writing, 11 of the top 12. But, oddly, NONE of the six books being pulled is even on the Top 100.

See also what Jaquandor and  Chuck Miller wrote. Daily Kos quotes Ben Carson.  The Weekly Sift takes on the Silly Season in the Culture Wars.

Other Geisel stories

Final JEOPARDY! -aired 2021-02-02 WRITERS FOR CHILDREN: The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine gave “rejoice” as a rhyme for the correct pronunciation of his name. Seuss is the middle name of Theodor Geisel.

Check out the WWII-era Private Snafu.

In 2008, for the Albany Public Library blog, I noted Green Eggs and Ham had won a library award. I add some YouTube videos, But I passed on the famous Jesse Jackson reading of GREEN Eggs and Ham from Saturday Night Live, because of the series of racist remarks in the Comments section.

I’d love to see The Seven Lady Godivas (1939), Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes. But I don’t want to spend $250 to do so.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

— Dr. Seuss, “The Lorax

With chewing gum and duct tape

bad address

chewing gum and duct tapeOne of the challenges of my wife working/teaching from home is that technology can be a PITA. This all happened on 5 May.

She had an appropriate story to share with one of her students from some website. So she set up a meeting with ME to make sure the technology worked. It did not. I could hear her, but not the item she wanted to share. The next day, the same problem; the YouTube video she selected her students could SEE but not HEAR.

Later that day, she found a bunch of links with worksheets she wanted me to print. But almost every link wanted her password; too onerous. I tried to print from her computer on the old printer I lugged into her office. The computer said it was compatible with the printer. Yet no paper products were expelled.

In the end, I copied the files from her computer to her thumb drive. Then I copied them from her thumb drive to an email “she” wrote to “me.” Then I printed the documents. My friend O. says that this chewing gum and duct tape method of doing things is how things work in her house.

Later, my wife talked to a tech support guy at work. He said that getting a YouTube video to show on these platforms is tricky because they weren’t designed for that secondary viewing.

I’ll pick that up

Because she’s doing her teaching at home, we’re getting a lot more phone calls. Most of them are from her classes or the parents of her younger students. When I first answered, the kids were stunned into silence, and would just hang up. But now that I recognize some of their phone numbers and they recognize my voice, it’s much easier.

At the beginning of March, if the landline rang, and I did not know who it was, I’d let it go to the answering machine. But it’s often school employees who have those unidentified numbers, and I’ve ended just picking up the phone. Rarely is it a spammy call, fortunately.

July rambling: 45 es un titere

The Privilege of Being Normal

fake presidential sealWas American politics always this weird?

Lawyers, guns, and money.

The US Gave Slavers Their Land Back. What About Black Folks’ Reparations? and Slavery is also indefensible on economic grounds.

About the Mueller testimony.

Meet the man who created the fake presidential seal; his website.

Data Show Costly Trump Tax Cut Achieved Little

Britain’s New Prime Minister Is Nationalist, Racist and Vain. Sound Familiar?

The Moon Landing Hoax Theory Started as a Joke.

The First Responders, black paramedics in Pittsburgh

The Privilege of Being Normal.

I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.

How to Cancel Amazon Prime.

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

What John Paul Stevens inadvertently taught conservatives about the Supreme Court.

Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player on the Boston Red Sox, has died. He was 85. Green played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox and one with the New York Mets from 1959-63, batting .246 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs. But his place in history was made when he stepped on the field as a pinch-runner against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959. The Red Sox were the last team in the major leagues to field a black player.

Safe Deposit Boxes Aren’t Safe.

Binghamton, NY: Valley of Creativity.

Ken Levine interview with director Jim Burrows, Part 1 and Part 2.

Can broadcast legend Susan Zirinsky save CBS News?

Basquiat x Warhol at The School in Kinderhook.

Martha My Dear.

Why Americans Just Can’t Quit Their Microwaves.

New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered.

Carbon Copy

Fireworks with film at Saratoga.

Enough With Hamilton, Say Fans of Other Founding Fathers; Success of Broadway show steals limelight from Jefferson, Franklin and others; ‘not a lot of demand for James Madison’

The Evolution of Harley Quinn.

Now I Know: The Elephant With Empathy? and The $91-Per-Square-Foot Very Tiny Estate and The Great Saudi Beauty Pageant Scandal of 2018 and Why Isn’t This Tennis Ball Bouncing? and The Rainbow Grandpa Who Saved His Village and The Incredible Cause of Tasmanian Crop Circles and Why Do Bats Sleep Upside Down? (for AmeriNZ)

MUSIC

I’m Your Puppet – James and Bobby Purify.

Music from the new Lion King movie.

Indra by Gustav Holst.

Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt and the Muppets, recipients of the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors.

Coverville: 1269: Cover Stories for Suzanne Vega, Simple Minds and Soft Cell and 1270: The Trevor Horn Cover Story and 1271: The Hard Day’s Night Track-by-Track Album Cover.

Windows XP Waltz

K-Chuck Radio: How to enjoy a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack

July rambling: Yecch, indeed

stale gum

cliff hang
Courtesy Patty Huang, Angry Art Director

The Boomers Ruined Everything.

Chief Justice Roberts OKs Minority Rule.

Complaints about Government Imposter Scams Reach Record High.

How To Game Google To Make Negative Results Disappear.

The Meritocracy Myth: Why “Success” is More Complicated Than You Think.

Burned out? You’re not alone. And the world is finally paying attention.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Warehouses, such as Amazon’s.

When PEPSI had a navy.

6 tips you need to know to help you spot fake news. All pretty obvious yet often ignored.

Hear, hear, Becca.

The musical Something Rotten national tour, Rob McClure’s town-by-town video diary.

Eugene Schieffelin and the European Starlings.

Necessity’s Child.

Now I Know: How Four Dollars Can Unlock American History and When Yellow Cars Became Protest Vehicles and Why It May Make Sense to Draw Eyes on Cows’ Butts and Badge Boys, Badge Boys, Whatchu Gonna Do?

DEPARTING

Twitter helps reveal deadly toll ocean plastic takes on sharks and rays.

They welcomed a robot into their family; now they’re mourning its death.

The New York Times cuts all political cartoons, and cartoonists are not happy. Nor am I.

MAD magazine: meanderings and Yecch, indeed and Maybe Alfred should finally worry.

Dustbury is winding down at work.

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think.

It was a really bad month for the Internet.

djt

His nationalism has nothing to do with patriotism.

The military parade only furthers his vision of a dumbed-down America that may no longer be up to the task of global leadership.

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with djt and wjc, explained.

UNABASHED PLUGS

Go to Catskill, NY’s adventurous Bridge Street Theatre and see Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit musical “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”. Based on the true story of three sisters from rural New Hampshire whose father forced them to form a rock band, and who recorded an album back in 1969 which has since become a cult classic. I saw it last Thursday and it is a revelatory experience. Yes, it features one of my nieces as one of the sisters.

“The Shaggs” will play for four more performances, Thursday through Saturday, July 18-20 ant 7:30 p,m. and Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m. in BST’s intimate 84-seat Mainstage.

If you’re going to the New York State Fair August 21 – September 2, 2019 in Syracuse, NY, check out Sheila E. on Sunday, September 1 at 2 p.m. Backing vocals by Rebecca Jade, my first niece.

I’ve known Larry Shell since at least since 1981 when he put together the Alien Encounters package for FantaCo. He’s doing a GoFundMe campaign to get work on his house repaired before July 20. “Failure to comply could lead to heavy fines or even the condemnation of the home I’ve lived in for 44 years. The house is livable, it just needs a lot of fixing up,” which he can’t do himself because of health issues.

MUSIC

Manic Monday – Prince.

L.A. – Aubrey Logan (Live Studio Version with niece Rebecca Jade on backing vocals)

The theme from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon show – vocal quartet called Midtown.

Ur So Beautiful – Grace VanderWaal.
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Vox Maris by George Enescu.

Underground – Lindsey Stirling.

Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas.

Coverville 1268: The Jackie Wilson Cover Story.

The national anthem – Device Orchestra, played on seven credit card machines.

K-Chuck Radio: a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.

You Don’t Own Me, A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy.

Hello Out There, Hello! – Johnny Mercer w/ Billy May (1952) / Looney Tunes Cartoon 2019 A.D.