Okay, if no one else has said it, I will. That’s the Nazi who got his face melted off when the Ark of the Covenant opened.

A great day, in its utter ordinary aspect. Won’t last, but what does? Just get in the spinner with Sean Young and head out through the Kubrick footage, I always say.

All that happened was that Daughter came downtown when I went to work, and she sat at a coffeehouse and wrote 2,100 words of her novel (she has a deadline, set by a competition that matches writers with agents) and I did this and that workwise. Home, dinner, more conversation, then wife came home from tennis and we all sat outside in the perfect evening and talked and laughed, and then Daughter and I eviscerated a bad podcast and discussed Rep. Omar and watched the last scene of Footlight Parade, which is one of my go-to examples about the definition of “Palestine” in 1933 as well as the most explicitly sorta-kinda quasi-fascist moment in American movie musicals.

I can’t ask for more.

As for the bad podcast, I’m starting to hate-listen to podcasts for things that grind my gears, and my dudes I have found the worst. Also, I hate the phrase “My dudes,” and hoped that it would sound uncharacteristic. Did it? Whew. This podcast has uptalker woman and chestless run-on-blatherboy? And they’re talking about something they don’t know anything about? Which is okay, I guess, everyone has to vamp at some point, but when you’re ignorant of the subject you’ve agreed to show up and discuss, and everything thinks it’ll be awesome because you’re a Writer and Comedian, nah, bruh. (Hate “bruh” as well.) I’ll run it next week with clips, on Thursday.

Speaking of forgetting things . . .






In the fourth episode of “Stranger Things” some awful creature rumbles out of the gloom in an abandoned warehouse and sucks the face off two people. Lots of goo. I thought:

I don’t care anymore.

To be honest, I didn’t care that much last season. The 80s mall stuff is fun. But . . . eh. So I started looking elsewhere, and couldn’t find anything. Started rummaging around the back alleys of Amazon Prime, and found collections of “You Bet Your Life,” the famed & beloved (I guess) Groucho Marx show. My memories of Groucho also appear to be more flattering than the actual performances, but that’s no doubt due to the pacing of the early shows. I love early TV, despite the clunkiness and perhaps because of it. It’s one of the reasons I love the early Peg Lynch skits on the Kate Smith shows; she brought a radio sensibility that employed the visual medium but didn’t rely on it, so the skits just barrel along with a type of energy few of the comedies had.



No, not Joe Louis. The woman. She was unrelated, but they couldn’t put a mixed couple on the air. She said she was a newspaper editor, and that made me curious: could I find out who she was?


Ding ding ding: Almena Lomax.

In 1941, Lomax started the Los Angeles Tribune, a weekly newspaper targeted at the African-American community, which she ran with her former husband, Lucius W. Lomax, Jr. (1910–73) He was the publisher and she was the editor. She also wrote a weekly opinion column. In 1946, she was one of three winners of the Wendell Willkie Award, established to honor the best black journalists in the United States. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, she left California, with her children, to join the struggle in the South. Later she returned to California, where she worked at the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. As a reporter, she covered such topics as the kidnapping of Patty Hearst.

Took me 20 seconds. Nothing unusual for today. We expect to be able to make these connections in a matter of seconds, as the general Database of All Things grows.

Watching the TV show reminded me that when I was in my late teens and early 20s, we all revered Groucho - but rarely ever saw him. You might see a scratchy copy of a Marx Brothers movie on TV on Saturday afternoon in the spot where they also ran Three Stooges, as if they were interchangeable because old + BW + ha ha. When you got to college, the local film society might show one (and where, I wonder now, did they get them?) - and it was something entirely different to see the old movies in the large format.

  1983: I saw Casablanca on the screen. First time I’d seen the movie. First date. It might have made more of an impression on me than any movie I’d seen, including Star Wars. Walked out of the theater transformed. The date went well, too, if I recall.

Seeing old movies on the big screen in a theater, in a dark room full of strangers, is less common today than it was then. There's no appetite, no market. Home streaming provides some old content if you pay Criterion, but it's niche. TCM is a godsend. For the most part, though, you suspect the keepers of these old relics regard them as musty IP with limited appeal.

Having just seen Daughter find all sorts of fascination in Footlight Parade, I think they underestimate the power of these old stories.

Well, I saw Casablanca once, on the screen, in a theater that smelled of popcorn and old cloth seats, on a snowy night on the first date of a stormy relationship, at the Varsity.

We’ll always have Dinkytown.




It’s 1954.

Trust us, mother - some day you’ll appreciate its unheralded ability to tell you when your son came home stoned, or did some peyote.

I don’t know anyone today who would want to have “bird shingles.”


In my day, this was a brand of pop. How we loved the cool, refreshing taste of Shasta.

It says something about the value of a dollar when the company came out with two sizes that were only 30 cents apart in price.

The year before:

We were told all the time that breakfast cereals would build us up and give us energy and strength.

None of us believed it.

We just wanted the toy in the box, or the sugar, or the sugar and the toy in the box. If it had neither, it might as well have been spinach.


Part of a double-truck, and for some reason I only have the right half in this folder.

Miracle French: a brand extension for Miracle Whip, and apparently not successful enough to persist.

Let’s look a bit more closely:

Don’t think of an alien brain, pulsing with strange, terrible thoughts of conquest ending in mass enslavement and use of pureed humans as food for their enormous lizard livestock

No it doesn’t save YOU anything YOU don’t work all day to pay the bills, YOU sit around the house reading magazines

Kidding; just wonder what this site would be like if it went incel and looked at every ad through the sick lens of misogyny.

I think it’s quite apparent she found a shredded torso that had been mauled by a shark or a large propellor blade.

Barbisol ads where the Newport ads of their day, in a way.

Perhaps it’s my ignorance, but she seems something of a forgotten star.

She did well. Bizarre ad, though; she looks as if she’s an alien from a bird planet that’s assumed human form for research purposes, and believes this is a normal thing for humans to do.

That'll do! See you hither & yon.




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