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May 29, 2020:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much tired fish, not listening to music but just zoning out and wondering why the rarest item in grocery stores and online is 409 cleanser.  This makes no sense to me, as every other brand of cleanser that’s exactly the same is available.  These are the mysteries of life that baffle the easily baffled, namely me.  Otherwise, I recently finished watching a motion picture that I didn’t miss because it didn’t sound appealing to me, but missed initially because the studio, namely Paramount, shelved it.  Why did they shelve it?  Because of pressure, plain and simple.  The film was White Dog, the director was Samuel Fuller, and the stars were Kristy McNichol and Paul Winfield.  The pressure was put on Paramount by people who, of course, had not seen the film at all.  They were concerned it would be perceived as racist or incite people.  The stupidity of it is beyond comprehension, really, but is typical.  The film is so anti-racist that it’s palpable.  It is, in fact, so blatantly anti-racist that you would think everyone would want the film released, to expose racism, to show what instilling hatred from an early age can do and now it probably cannot be eradicated once instilled.

Paramount played it for one week in Detroit and pulled it and shelved it because it did no business.  Of course, there was not a single ad, no posters, no nothing.  That was, I’m afraid, very much what Paramount was in those days.  Eventually, it aired on cable in 1983, which is where I finally saw it.  I was floored by the film and how great it was.  I absolutely loved it and it was, in no uncertain terms, my favorite film of that year.  But cable viewings were few and far between.  Oh, and of course there were no problems in Detroit – none of the threatened demonstrations, nothing.  And none of the cable viewings caused any issues.  Funny, that.  Those early showings received rave reviews from everyone who managed to see it, as it should have.  It finally got its due when it was booked for a week in New York and took the town by storm.  Audiences flocked to it – no demonstrations, no issues, no outcry because people “got” it.  Which is why you never bow to intimidation and pressure from people who haven’t even seen the damn thing.  Criterion released the DVD, which was a godsend, but they clearly used whatever transfer they had – nothing to shout about certainly.  A Blu-ray came out a few years ago from the UK and it’s that same transfer, so not brilliant, but certainly watchable.  I watched it again last night, and I have to say it’s one of the ten best films of the 1980s.  Fuller’s direction is absolutely brilliant – he should have been up for an Oscar for this.  Kristy McNichol is wonderful, Paul Winfield is perfect, Burl Ives is fun, and the supporting cast all do a fine job.  And the four dogs who play the titular character are pretty amazing, too.  The Ennio Morricone score is yet more perfection, the photography is great – well, if you’ve never seen this powerful film, you should.  It’s that good.  And shame on the Paramount of that era for caving and doing the wrong thing.

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day. I could not fall asleep. I was in bed by three and up until six, finally fell asleep and woke up at ten to a series of texts that I needed to answer.  Then I placed another small book order, including five more free copies of Simply, which I’ll need.  At around noon, I got back into bed and slept another hour.  So, I suppose I had five hours of sleep somehow.  Once up again, I ascertained there was no mail or packages, which was irritating.  I’d already decided on Jersey Mike’s for food, but when I went to put the order through it said it was not available at any delivery time, which I found thoroughly odd – perhaps they gave up on Door Dash.  So, instead I had a Chinese chicken salad from Stanley’s and that was excellent and I had my credit so it was basically already paid for.

After that, the rest of the day and most of the evening was all Kritzerland show stuff.  This might just be a really fun show if all goes as planned.  I did a Gelson’s run, getting stuff for tuna sandwiches, but got the wrong kind of tuna – low sodium – you literally cannot tell the packaging from the regular gold Bumble Bee, so that will go back today, but happily I had one good one left from before.  For my evening snack, I had a bagel and some chocolate pudding.  I watched White Dog, and then it was more Kritzerland stuff, which has continued even whilst I wrote these here notes, which is why they’re going up late.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll hopefully pick up some errant and truant packages, I’ll eat tuna sandwiches, and I’ll do Kritzerland show stuff, after which I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be more of the same, and then next week we begin preparing in earnest for the June 7 Kritzerland show.  We’ll be doing three live tests – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – these will only happen on Facebook Live on the Kritzerland Upstairs at Vitello’s page.  Hoping you’ll all tune in – we won’t do them so late this time – last month it was eight o’clock California time, so to make it a little more East Coast friendly, I think we’ll do them at either six-thirty or seven.  Each of the tests will have a song of my own concocting.  Then I think I’ll finally have she of the Evil Eye come on the sixth, and then it’s show time on the seventh.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do whatever needs doing, hopefully pick up packages and important envelopes, eat tuna sandwiches, do Kritzerland show stuff, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, Sense and Sensibility.  Blu-ray, perhaps Seconds.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as I continue to ponder the mysteries of life, such as why 409 is in such demand.

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