Author Archive for A P

20
Jul
18

Cherish Your Anonymity

*****

With so many suffering heavy punishment for speaking their minds via modern technology, it’s ever more vital we who do not “tweet” with our actual names spelled out on a glowing screen applaud and celebrate our “anonymity.”  We cowardly souls who bravely don costumes and vent as we feel fit when technology works with us; we should be comforted and celebrated.

It seems like every day in the news someone is getting grilled for something “offensive.”  We have squads of LGBT and feminism police officers, hordes of body-celebrating (instead of shaming) and various other armies going to war with the most sensitive of mining equipment capable of picking up the slightest blip of questionable commentary, increasingly adjusting the high standard of moral conduct until everyone who isn’t a violated woman or LGBT-type person will be guilty of offense and thereby open to verbal, mental and physical assault by the so-called victims.  So far, we without publicized names have been safe of retaliation.

I can’t speak for every offense case, but I would not be surprised if some offenses deemed fit for court or the loss of a job turned out to be misinterpreted.  After all, kids on a playground can cry wolf and have a teacher call a parent simply because the tattle-tale had a sweet face or stronger voice than the supposed offender.  And, who is to say some of these offensive voiced bits aren’t said at times when the speakers are not in the best of moods or right minds?  I know I don’t subscribe to alcohol or recreational drugs.  But, others do.  And, just because shit comes out of one’s mouth three years ago on a bad day does not mean that person is anti-gay or a chauvinistic maniac.

And, what if someone is a tad gay-phobic or unclear on the nature of that lifestyle?  Is every inappropriate remark worthy of jail time or a giant fine?  Are we catering to lawyers so they can put their hideous faces and names on every item advertised on local TV?  I don’t want to see so many lawyer ads.  I don’t want those people thinking they run the place just because they are getting old and think investing in a little advertising everywhere makes them immortal.  You TV lawyers have really become annoying!  And, I will not likely support you or any cause/company with your name on it because you are (annoying).

But, I’m getting off-subject, now.  Ehem.

You really have to mind your words and be sure you don’t touch another living soul lest you be accused of inappropriately fondling someone.  A pat on the back could be deemed the grabbing of a breast (on your back, apparently).  A sociable kiss on the cheek might be viewed as unwanted intimacy of the worst kind unless you can certify you are from a nation that does this socially as a part of their native culture.  Parents who kiss their kids on the lips?  You’re likely next on the chopping block.

One wonders if “social media” isn’t a mousetrap.  It lures people out of hiding to voice every little thing to come into their tiny brains…only to get them in trouble?  Snap!  You’re dead and out with the banana peels you slipped on coming in here.

But, I suppose, being anonymous DOES have it’s setbacks.  I mean, people are less trusting of random or fake names…unless you learn to share a sense of creativity and/or humor and can spell correctly (which so many cannot).  [Stop trying to speak English if you cannot use a dictionary.  I don’t use Spanish words I don’t know how to spell.]  You can’t really be a shopkeeper with a fake name, can you?…unless it’s a brand name.  But, even then, you have to be accountable for that shop with a real name/some form of ID.   People who use their real names seem to be taken more seriously because they seem fearless and, well, real, genuine.

[Yet, in this shady world of face-less interaction–unless you use some service like Skype which seems already forgotten these days–how do you determine a real face you see is that person’s real face?  And, how many “faceless” internet users stalk those “real” people, taking advantage of the exposed while remaining randomly generated user names, often with long barcode-like numbers attached, giving me the impression they are “bots” or some call center staff members in a building dominated by Middle-Eastern folks by the dozens?]

It seems astounding that more celebrities don’t use fake online names/accounts.  But, maybe they do, and all we know are the ones we hear about in the news when some mosquito with a microphone or phone-camera is stalking these people.

Once upon a time, people kept personal thoughts on parchment scrolls they had to carry with them wherever they went.  If anyone else read them, it was because the author read, lost or donated the scrolls.  Many years later, people kept notebook-style journals, especially teenage girls, who would lament brothers and parents violating their privacy.  Now, we have computers of various capacities and sizes.  And, instead of a PC journal like the one Doogie Howser, M.D. kept, so many turn to blogs and these accursed “tweeting” type accounts, putting everything “out there” for the world to see and LIKE and shallowly evaluate from afar…from anonymous spaces.

In short, those of you who have not put your real selves out for all to see, ye who do not YouTube your boob lube and hash-tag your new ‘do rag and personal mag’ (magazine), blippity blobbity blah!….  My blood pressure spiked just then and tangled my tongue-fingers.  Or, is it my finger-tongue?  Anyway.  Those of you, like me, who create unique identities for themselves online for whatever reason, embrace and applaud your anonymity, today.  And, count your blessings.  Because you could be somewhere down the list of those moral-criminal-hunting Elmer Fudds and receive severe punishment for the slightest misunderstanding or careless outburst on your worst day.  But, for now, you’re Joe Cool and free to be loose with those journalistic lips.

[We should start a holiday.  But, no one seems to follow me on those thoughts any better than I follow others.  So, I guess I’m limited to suggesting and waiting for some trendsetter to print up all the hoopla and manufacture all the swag.]

Happy Anonymity Day(s)!

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12
Jul
18

Ant Man and the Wasp, Movie Review

***

Paul Rudd reprises his role as Scott Lang (aka the new Ant Man), the mild-mannered, I’m-okay-with-trying-anything thief-turned-hero, bringing along the lovely Evangeline Lilly, aka Hope van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne (the “original” Ant-Man and Wasp), as someone better and more fierce than the average sidekick in…wait for it…Ant-Man and the Wasp.  [So original.]  Taking place after his incarceration in Captain America:  Civil War, the sequel to the origin story introduces Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster, a “former” colleague of Hank Pym’s who has some “super” history of his own and a…wait for it…”foster child” nicknamed Ghost, another victim of malfunctioning technology beyond human comprehension who suffers pain from phasing between dimensions.  The focus of the story is divided between saving Hank’s wife (Janet) from a very exclusive universe (like the tiniest nightclub overrun with blobs and parasites) and dealing with a “ghost” haplessly tied to the odd family’s tree, who could spoil everything if she doesn’t control her temper.

Anyone who has seen a trailer or commercial already has a clue to this Ghost being some kind of enemy to the heroes.  But, I’m here to tell you this film’s villain element is a tad weak by comparison to other Marvel hero films.  In fact, that is the one and only aspect that disappoints me.  I think Ghost–which reminds me of another comic book character by that name with a darker story–is more of a sub-plot than a villain.  And, where there was suggestion of another villain, that character or army never came.

[The first Ant Man film had a far better enemy (though he reminded me SO much of the Iron Monger in the first Robert Downey, Jr. Iron Man film).  There were touches of Hydra and other villainy probing the plot.  Yet, a lack of details made the whole a big foggy.  At least, the transitions from the first Ant Man to Civil War to this sequel sort of come into clarity, and the cast didn’t radically change.]

However, the film is saved by its staples.  Rudd is, once more, the sappy sweetheart and goofball, this time under government watch for a set number of years, counting down to his final day.  His character builds one awesome playhouse for his daughter.  Evangeline Lilly kicks more butt than necessary, racking up some serious “girl power” votes, LIKES or whatever you want to use to promote “women empowerment,” including turning an otherwise male character into a girl.  [SO much gender swapping, these days.]  I think she kicks more butt in this film than she did in the Hobbit story.  Michael Pena (Luis) is a riot with his unique story-telling skills.  [I think it would be a wild bonus feature ride to have an entire 30+ minute short film (if not a 1+ hr feature film) of him telling a reaaaaally long story that encompasses the rest of the cast explaining something either entirely unimportant or vital to the Marvel universe.]

Newcomer to the cast, Michelle Pfeiffer makes an enchanting Janet van Dyne, though she’s nothing like the Wasp I expected to see.  [Granted, she has aged quite a bit and become “something more.”]  Walter Goggins makes a very interesting and sinister impression as a shady businessman with contacts left unknown.  [I smell a Hydra.]

There is plenty of material here for a few films.  It just doesn’t get adequately put to use.  It’s like looking in a warehouse full of goodies you can see being turned into something bigger/better but letting the bright ideas drift to the back of your brain.  Instead, you just go along for the ride, get pumped to fight, endure a little pent up pain and frustration and laugh at a number of sight gags.

Hidden somewhere in the warehouse is some explanation for why Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were not adequately featured in the company of Captain America.  At least, I think their heroics are from his original wartime.  If they are technically the original Avengers, where is that story?  The new Marvel universe has sort of thrown characters out of sync.  Why are Iron Man and Hulk decidedly modern compared to Ant-Man?  Isn’t it just as strange having a suit from the nineteen-teens or nineteen-forties sit around til some new guy, who happens to be a reforming thief, is given permission to take it?

Maybe if we give the aging Hank Pym a memory pill he will fill us in on all of the missing pieces.

I give Ant Man and the Wasp 3.5 stars out of 5.  It has 4+ stars of comedy, even if some is a tad corny and/or senseless.  It has 4+ stars of butt-kicking action and dangerous situations.  But, the glossy blur of technological mumbo jumbo and lackluster crisis/villain element waters down an otherwise epic adventure.  Like any movie with sight gags and related special effects, it’s probably more thrilling on the big screen.  But, you can plunk on the couch and let the time tick off your house arrest anklet while rolling with laughter.

And, don’t forget Stan Lee, true believers.  He makes a rather Excelsior! cameo, this time, claiming he is paying for something after enjoying the ’60s.  I think he’s referring to selling out to Disney.  But, that’s just between you and me.

 

12
Jul
18

How Many LIKES Does It Take to Get…

****

…someone to actually respond to something I write and/or request?

I doubt any owl or turtle can help solve this one.

But, I am dying to know what good it does to LIKE a request post and never follow up with input.  Is that the equivalent of “I’ll get back to ya” in all things LIKE-able?  Wherever you can LIKE something, there good intentions sit ineffectively.

What am I talking about (if you don’t already understand or see what posts of mine fit this description)?  I’ve posted inquiries and minor “contests” which might get one response if I am lucky.

So, go ahead and LIKE this post when you see/read it.  Add it to your bulletin board like one more autumn leaf waiting to fall among the clutter.   It’s only worth a fraction of a something to the host site that accepts your “clicks” like currency.  And, who doesn’t want to make this place richer while not making a dime?

15
Jun
18

My First TV Crush, Caroline Ellis

*****

 

I am not sure what brought this back into my mind, recently, but I found myself tripping back to my young roots and the first TV shows I watched.  [Ya might take a guess at my age from this.]  I was about 4 years old when a show called The Bugaloos was on TV.  I am pretty sure I was four because there was a girl in my kindergarten class who had a hairdo much like the one “Joy,” the pink butterfly-girl, had.  I also knew a girl down the street who looked A LOT like Joy/Caroline (around the time Caroline supposedly had a child of her own, which would have floored me and broke my little heart back then).  And, if I didn’t already have a crush on the girl’s big sister–and if the little sister wasn’t so young–I might have given that little Sally Field-wannabe a second look.  Same bright smile.  Same sweet voice minus the British accent.  It was a look and a time; I tell ya.

If you knew me, it would not come as much of a surprise to hear I grew up watching A LOT of TV.  So many shows came and went, including The Bugaloos.  And, so many shows were “syndicated” (a word I did not know the meaning of for a long time).  They originated more than a decade before I would see them.  But, they were my first TV experiences.  Seeing Martha Raye as the “villain” of The Bugaloos…I now remember why I was so fixated with Lady Elaine from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood; she had a similar protruding nose and complexion.  For so long, I couldn’t figure out why that nose stuck in my mind; it was Martha Raye’s character from The Bugaloos, Benita Bizarre.

And, when I first heard that theme song for The Bugaloos…and saw this breathtaking blonde girl fluttering around in a butterfly costume…I was on Cloud 9.  I was floating on air.  She was like an angel to little me.  I only saw maybe 4 episodes of the 17 that were supposedly made.  But, I just have to pull a clip up on YouTube (bless that video service) to zip back to those days of me in my fuzzy pajama suit and gorilla slippers……

[I remember watching The Great Spacecoaster (a few years later), and looked that one up, too.  I remember the little video screen long before we ever had a tablet with a slot you could fill with an SD card full of videos.   Just the sound that folding viewer would make when it started…and that old footage of “A Witch’s Day Out!”  But, I could not remember the brown-haired girl’s face as well as I remembered Joy from The Bugaloos.]

Can you imagine?  A boy just 4 years old having a hormonal reaction from this butterfly girl who wasn’t flashing anything but a brilliant smile, twinkling eyes, glossy hair and loooooong legs (before I even thought women’s legs were worth ogling).  [I’ve always been more of a face, hair and chest guy.]  And then I went to kindergarten and fell for a girl who was like a young Caroline Ellis, fighting over her with another boy.

So, why do I go on about this now?  Normally, I write a piece like this when it’s the woman’s birthday.  Well, as I said, it just came back to me.  And, here I am looking it–her–up online, finding out she’s only 67?  Gosh.  And, her astrology–aside from being a Metal Tiger year (sigh)–is great…and she’s 5 ft 9 in…  I would have been half her size as a kid, looking up at her like a giant angel.  I think I might have even dreamt of her as an angel in blue like the blue fairy from Disney’s Pinocchio.  And, now she’s practically my size.  Oh the places my imagination goes.  🙂

[I just watched the episode titled “Firefly, Light My Fire.  And, the moment the Bugaloos gathered around the fallen Sparky, my heart nearly exploded from my chest.  I remember dreaming of that moment as a kid, imagining I was Sparky, meeting the Bugaloos in their forest, being nursed back to life by Joy.  And, in the episode “Courage, Come Home,” seeing Joy sing that opening “fly away” song brings a tear to my eye.]

If you’re out there, long-legged Libra butterfly, Caroline, bundle of Joy, and you happen to read this, know that I listened to that interview you did when?   And, I agree with many of the comments people left below.  Your smile, your voice–even though you felt you were talking slowly (it didn’t sound that much slower than you talked in the interview)–that hair and that costume.  You were and still are a precious piece of my youth.  And, I think there’s still a spark of that magical girl still in you.

It wasn’t real magic.  I knew, even then, you weren’t really flying.   [Though I had no idea green screening was a thing back then; ‘laying on boxes?]  But, you were…are magical to me.  [And, it would not surprise me if I wrote a piece like this on this blog some years ago.  That darn deja vu keeps flashing in my head.]

I know you said you’re very private.  [I am quite private, myself, except when my heart yearns to speak like this.]  But, you also told the guy who did the interview that he should have sent a fan letter (even though he said he couldn’t get an address).  If I could, I’d write you a fan letter.  And, if you’d write me back, I’d keep in touch and travel back in time to being that little boy infatuated to the tips of my toes with that pink butterfly from across the pond……

 

BuNdLe of JoY

****

[My email box is open. <3]

[And, from there, it’s just a hop, buzz and trampoline jump to my “snail mail” box.]

 

14
Jun
18

Happy Fathers Day, June 17th

*****

‘Not sure why, but when I saw this picture in a recent viewing, Fathers Day came to mind.  It’s the new father receiving shocking word of his partner’s pregnancy.

FathersDay2018_ataru-lum-shockingletter-UY-ep-73_ap-1040840-1

On another personal note, I cannot say I will ever have the chance to be the father on such a day.  There will be no grills or cars with bows on them waiting for me.  No cookouts in my honor, most likely.  Nor do I take much pleasure in doing anything special on this holiday.  I feel more sorry for my father than I care to celebrate him.

And, what he wants from me this weekend is outside my comfort zone.  As much as I want to be the good son and do as he wishes, I feel a little selfish yet deserving of being that way after my experiences, not feeling like going out of my way this year to make him happy.  But, I won’t be disrespectful or start any fights, either.  Call it a peaceful distance if need be.  Peace is better than conflict or tension.

 




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