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June 12, 2020:

CONTEXT

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, why is it that all those who consider themselves to be “woke”, and they come in all stripes, lose the ability to understand context, understand the time period in which something was made or happened?  Why do they need to now preface motion pictures like Gone with the Wind to explain that it reflects a different time?  Does it really take huge brain power to understand the film was made in 1939 and takes place during the Civil War?  Do we not learn from history, because many of these wokers, as I call them, would be fine with films, plays, musicals, books, songs, that are “problematic” in their minds, well, they’d be fine nuking them out of existence, or so it would seem.  Those who cannot see past their 2020 noses can stay far away from anything that disturbs their oh so sensitive sensibilities.  And every few months it’s a new thing.  Someone was going on and on that Gone with the Wind makes today’s folks uncomfortable.  Well, boo hoo and hoo boo – don’t watch.  Ignore the past, don’t learn from it, just put it safely away.  I responded to this person by telling them the obvious – not all art is safe, not all art is comfortable.  One of the greatest novels ever written, in my opinion, is Lolita.  Can you imagine anyone today reading that book and not being “triggered” and calling for it to be put in the trash heap?  Simply because it’s about an uncomfortable topic?  I find these “cancel culture” types insufferable and suffocating, trying to dictate what’s acceptable and not acceptable.  Because in ten years’ time stuff they love NOW and find acceptable NOW may not be acceptable to a new generation.  At that point, maybe these arbiters of right and wrong will be up in arms about art they enjoyed suddenly being vilified.  For me, the easy answer is always – can’t handle certain kinds of art, stay away.  So, what brought this on?  Well, I’ll tell you because it’s amusing on some level.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD called Made in Paris, starring Miss Ann-Margret, Louis Jourdan, Richard Crenna, Chad Everett, and Edie Adams.  I saw it at a sneak preview and it was bad then and it’s bad now.  It’s slick, has amusing Helen Rose wardrobe (it’s about a fashion buyer), but the film is a classic example of its era.  And it would probably make some people’s heads explode.  Should we throw it in the trash?  Of course not.  We’ve evolved since then.  Those attitudes aren’t today’s attitudes, so really what IS the problem? Today, we can laugh and say, Lord, how were things like that?  It’s a similar problem with the musical Promises, Promises, with everyone saying it’s so dated, and today’s audiences would cringe.  But they wouldn’t if you were true to the show and its time period because that is the way it was back then.  Some people on a musicals group were basically saying Carousel should be retired and not done anymore because it glorifies spousal abuse.  First of all, it doesn’t glorify it at all.  Second of all, it doesn’t take place now.  Third of all, it’s a classic for a reason – it always resonates with people.  Now it needs to be reconceived for today’s audiences – well, no, it doesn’t.  And we won’t even get into humor – humor is going the way of the dodo bird – forget satire, forget making fun of our foibles – these people are not having it, and it is a much worse world for it.  The ultimate joke is that this “woke” time will pass and someone will push some envelopes and the world will go back to understanding context.  Until then, I’ll just enjoy what I enjoy and not be shamed for it, as these people always try to do.  End of rant.

Yesterday was a day; I think we can definitely say that.  I got nine hours of sleep, so that was good.  Once up, I did the usual things in the usual ways, had some telephonic calls, set our final cast member, save for some ensemble folks, and chose more songs.  Then I went to the mail place and picked up no packages or mail, after which I came directly home.  I ordered food from Fish Bone again and it showed up about forty minutes later – fried catfish, potato salad, and red beans and rice, the last two items tiny cups.  The catfish was great – well, all of it was great and very filling.  After that, I did some heavy contemplating regarding a situation that was put forth to me two weeks ago.  I’ve been asked to find some stuff that’s buried in boxes either here or at the warehouse, something I know will take a while to find.  I can’t really talk about it in any detail, but I told the person asking that it wasn’t worth my time or effort for a few hundred bucks.  I was then made a more than generous offer, which I said was fine, monetarily, but that I was still thinking about it.  And then, because some of it causes me some discomfort just thinking about it, I asked for a whole bunch of other guarantees, should I actually find what’s necessary – I think it’s there, but when we moved stuff to the warehouse I threw out a ton of stuff that I thought I’d never need again and there’s a chance I tossed it.  I simply can’t remember.  If that’s the case, then obviously the deal doesn’t happen.  In any case, everything I asked for was agreed to, so now I’m hoping I do find this stuff.

After that, I did more work on the computer, did more Kritzerland show stuff, and then I sat on my couch like so much fish and watched Made in Paris.  From what I’ve read, MGM devised the film for Doris Day, who passed the minute she read the awful script – I think even she knew that her kind of film was becoming irrelevant.  Richard Chamberlin passed, as did a few others.  The script really is awful – I’m not sure there’s a single laugh in the film.  There’s a completely random moment when it suddenly turns into a musical and Ann-Margret and Louis Jourdan sing a song.  There’s also a “wild” Ann-Margret dance sequence choreographed by David Winters, that features dancers Pete Menefee (who’d go on to become a brilliant costume designer), and Bobby Banas.  And the entire thing goes on ten or fifteen minutes past its expiry date.  The best thing about it is its kicky title song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

After that, I went and put gas in the motor car for the first time in almost a month – in that time, gas has gone up thirty-five cents a gallon.  This is why I loathe our governor.  Then I listened to music and relaxed and wrote an e-mail that I guess I needed to write.

Today, I think I’ll get up when I get up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll try to finish choosing songs, I need to set the final four ensemble folks, I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The weekend will be more of the same, and then we’ll get tracks to everyone so they can start working on them, then we’ll have some Zoom rehearsals whenever it’s time to do that.  The first Sunday in July is the fifth, so I don’t think we want to do the show that night, so it will most likely be the following Sunday, unless we do it on a Friday or Saturday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get up when I get up, do whatever needs doing, finish choosing songs, finish casting the ensemble, eat, hopefully pick up packages, 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, many things.  DVD – Angel Baby starring Miss Salome Jens.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall dream with context.

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