Warning: this may be a glitchy week, since I’m changing computers. The new one does not run the software needed to make this site - which is why I got the new one . . . ?

Did I really think this through or what

No, I had to, for other reasons. I upgrade to a new computer every four years. A beautiful blank slate. It’s a chance to start fresh, to select every font added, prune the music, perform triage on all the accumulated photos. A good February project.

What stinks, in wide wavy lines that waft off the computer, is the end of buying software. Some of the new programs require a monthly subscription, which is an absolutely hateful model detested by everyone. Imagine buying furniture, and if you stop payment, the sofa disappears. Or rather it’s there, but you can’t use it.

Yes, there are alternatives, and they’re all wrong in some crucial or irritating way. I especially love graphics arts programs that default to their own native file format for saving, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the design desk at work say “send that over in Pixilmator or Acorn format if you could.”

After a weekend with occasional perusal of the Twitter comments on the Chinese coronavirus situation, it seems two things define commentary on the platform:

Panic-mongering encouraged with weak stats, dodgy data, apocalyptic speculation, and conspiracy theories

A certain strange, miserable pleasure because something is happening and it makes life interesting.

It’s the last that seems the most depressing. The first you can expect, but the number of misanthropes out there who are cheering for mass extinction is a sign something has gone madly awry. They were always there; they’re always there. But now they have a moral cause on their side, inasmuch as there are Smart Thinkers who advocate for a drastic reduction in human population to save the Earth. You’re always a better person if you want to save the Earth, and you’re never called on your cheerful indifference to suffering in the countries least equipped to weather a pandemic.

The pro-coronavirus element doesn’t seem to think the scourge they desire would affect them, though; that’s the odd part. It’s as if there would still be Xbox and McDonald’s and Internet. If they do understand that these things would go away, they don’t seem to realize that Xbox and McDonald’s and Internet are all they have. Perhaps they’re indifferent to the possibility of their own deprivations, but I think it’s just more likely they find that the possibility of everyone else suffering fills an ache.

Something is happening, that’s what counts. And it’s happening right in the palm of their hand, on their phones.

Even better, it’s happening in places that look like The Future! China is good at building big things that look like The Future! But it’s no future I want. It shouldn’t be a future any one wants, and I get tired, so tired, of pundits who moon over China because they can build big airports and run railroads here and there. The government is a godless machine.

Anyway: point is, you have all these people who regard this all as a dark thrill. They have no stake in the game. They have their heart in nothing, and confuse being on the empty side of things with being above it all.



It's this year's serial!

Don't everyone cheer at once.

"Journeyman" isn't quite the right term for Jory - he had some substantial roles, but he worked a lot, had a varied career, and ended up with TV roles like Mannix' father. This, at the time, wouldn't be a demotion, but it wasn't exactly a fast train to the big time. You ido a serial, I think, you got tagged.

Lamont here is a noted Scientist and Criminologist, not just a Man About Town. The police don’t trust the Shadow, which is a twist. And there’s nothing in the crawl about Lamont having learned the Secrets of the East, and gaining the power to cloud men’s minds.

Which was always BS from the beginning.

One more thing about the cast:

Oh, good! We'll hae a mystery about the identity of the "Black Tiger!" Let's get started.

The props man who'd spent all night on the model of an enclosed town cursed when he took another look at the script. Dammit, I thought it was a - oh never mind.

We see some thugs beating up a security guard, but not to worry -

He’s on the case! He drops down and beats the crap out of the bad guys, which isn’t very Shadowy; ususally in the radio show he hangs around unseen and makes the crooks do stupid things our of fear. At least he is literally a Shadow when first we meet.

We cut to police HQ, where the technological nerve center of the law-enforcement apparatus is seen. They have glowing dials!

They pick up the crooks, and look what they’re carrying:

Every crook needs to carry around some highly incriminating evidence, I guess.

Now we see the problem with a Shadow movie: we literally see the problem.

For a guy whose radio persona was built on invisibility, this is . . . different.

But also cool.

We see the Shadow run to his secret lair, where we learn he’s been masquerading as Lin Chang, Underworld Dude. He has a faithful valet, too.

Now we switch to the Black Tiger’s HQ:

Looks a bit like the Police HQ. People had such faith in dials back then. They’re waiting for the Black Tiger, who beams in:

So the Shadow is visible, and his adversary is invisible. This is like Batman only working during the daylight hours.

Well, the Black Tiger insists on a Reign of Terror, so the Henches oblige:

Charming bunch. The news:

No photos. Why would you want photos.

Anyway. The Authorities find a Tiger Minion who has a note in his pocket about meeting at the Cranston Lab to get THE FORMULA, and while I’m gratified to learn that there is, as there should be,A FORMULA involved, I’m not quite clear on how this is jelling.

And it doesn’t matter! Hats-on Fistfight!

The industrialists and Cranston get together to discuss the Black Tiger, who by chance sends them the head of a Black Tiger that has a recording inside. He predicts doom, general and specific. Lanston things this is a great clue, and he decides to work all night in the lab examining the device, while his lovely assistant Margo goes to the TV Demonstration.

By the way, the backlot shots are fantastic.

That last one looks like Hopper was a set designer. Well, of course the bad guys are going to crash the Television Demonstration. This is what it took to get a picture in ’41:

The Shadow shows up and tells everyone to run away, because their lives are in danger, and then there’s a fight with the henchmen. And so:

Rather spiritless enlistment of old Ludvig Von there, eh? Well, this will be fun. Trust me! When have I ever

Oh right

Here we go again, another week at the Bleat. Matches await; see you around.




blog comments powered by Disqus