The changing nature of the world proceeds along its usual route.

Mums, so named because they speak the least of any major flower.


Here's another sign of the world.

What's so special? Nothing. An ordinary sign in the skyway, advertising the lunch specials found in the food court.

Except the restaurant closed a month ago.

No one's thought to move the sign. What's the point? Hardly anyone comes this way these days.


I did, though, because on Mondays I patronize the Walkin' Dog, the last food vendor left in the main area of the food court. There was another customer ahead of me. For the last month there's always been another customer ahead of me.

It's a small thing, but you're grateful for it. In January you would have been annoyed. Today you're grateful.

We talked to Rotaria the other day, via Zoom. Birch heard her voice and was confused and excited, and Rotaria was almost verklempt: oh Borch. She’s going great, although Barthelona is getting hit like the rest of Spain. They have in-person classes, all the students masked. If anyone tests pos-ee-tif then all bets are off, but it’s rare. She’s playing handball and doing well in school. We finally saw her parents. Total strangers in Catalonia and we’re all clutching our chests and fighting back the ocular leakage.

She showed me her textbook where I’m quoted. Something I wrote about something. Poor gorl: you can’t quite tell your teacher “hello, I, like know him. I live in his house.”

Judith we all know you were in Meenasota, you don have to tell stories.

"No, heem, I know. Meester James."

I told her should have said not to believe anything I wrote, what did I know. Beeg laff.

Two things to take away: it’s a remarkable world, that we can have these video chats with someone on the other side of the world on a thin metal-and-glass slab. It’s fantastic and wonderful.

Two, the future will look at these videos - if any remain - with amusement, because the cameras look upward at the unflattering angle that accentuates your deficiencies. In 2023 the cameras automatically compensated with AI, and straight-on was the standard.







I have a column to do, and want to get it done fast so I can watched some TV. Got halfway through a new documentary about a stupid guy who killed his entire family. Oh that’s unique, you say. But it is: the wife was a Facebook junkie, so there’s endless hours of footage of her and the kids. We live in an era when the murdered leave behind more personal footage than Hitler or JFK.

Yes, we live in the golden age of TV themes, thanks to the prestige shows. I mentioned “True Detective” last week. I loved the theme - it’s by T. Bone Burnett. From the very start to get the sense of place, and a sense of time. There’s a culture it’s summoning, and it’s receding as we grab the fog with our hands.

The second season kicks off with a much different theme - darker, more unnerving, more personal. It is not about a place; it’s about an attitude.

And, this is not a review, but the second season’s start is off-putting and jangled and cheap, in a way the first wasn’t. You can feel the goodwill accumulated from the first season just leak out of the audience. BUT NOT A REVIEW.

It made me think of “Narcos,” which had - has? - a theme whose lyrics I don’t understand at all, but it’s a mood. Rue and regret, the emotions of a survivor, perhaps a participant, perhaps an observer.

The common theme: inventive, seductive visuals, and length. It makes you wonder whether anyone’s doing the short form anymore.

They are. At 52 second’s it’s short, and tells you exactly what this is about.

I have never seen a show that got the 70s so well as “F is for Family.” If you’re inclined to give it a try, be warned it is frequently profane.

Question: have you ever loved a TV show whose theme you didn’t like?

Do you come to like the theme because it’s the introduction to the show you like?




It's 1929. We're taking our ads from the newspaper today.

You may know them from their big New York Times Square signage. Two trousers with every suit!

A perfectly typical ad from the era. I have a book of advertising typography from a few years later, and it describes this style - angles! Lines! - as subject to abuse in lesser hands.

That subtle, matchless condiment, so rare, so valued, so prized for its quality and robustness:

It makes you wonder what the other ketchups tasted like.

Sound - and color!

The Century can be seen here.

The movie:

That background is wild.

Man, I would have loved to be around in the 20s.

It’s the sequel to “What Price Glory?”


Flagg (Victor McLaglen) and Quirt (Edmund Lowe) find themselves transferred from Russia to Brooklyn to South America, in each place squaring off over a local beauty.

The film remains one of the earliest screen sequels to a critical and popular success with the two lead actors playing the same characters, as well as the original writers and director intact from the first picture.

They’d be reunited in 1954 on “This is Your Life.”


I guess I was interested in movie ads when I clipped this day.

You got a lot of entertainment for your coin.

The Minnesota - as we know, right? - was the biggest, grandest theater in town. Zizz Black! Eloiise at the organ!

From the cram-the-hell-out-of-eveything school of ad design:


So many stations! You’ll need a Templetone to seek out your signal clearly.

A discussion board on old radio calls it the “successor to Sleeper Radio,” which tells me nothing.

As for the top story of the day - well . . . all that you saw above was the happy, dancing, well-clad, ketchup-fortified world the day the market crashed, and the party came to an end. The front page.

That will suffice, I hope; have fine day, and I'll see you out and around.



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