I have thrilling things to report from this week, such as a shopping trip that ended in some mild observations about the culture, some notes on television, sudden spasms of rueful nostalgia, deathless dispatches about backing up things here and there, and various weather indignities, but I think that goes without saying.

Short work today, but longer Bleats to come. Happy April, and let’s get to it.

Oh, before I forget: now that I have your money, I am shutting down lileks.com.

What? You say. Dude. Surely you mean you are crimping the Bleat, a bit. Dialing it back. Not as many updates. Changing the Matchbook allotment from three books to two. Right?

Nope. Shuttering the whole thing! Expunging it from the host! No trace shall be left behind. The domain will expire; all will be be dust. It will be as if it never happened, and in years to come the people who knew it ever existed shall fade beyond the veil of tears. Don’t think of running off to your favorite subset and saving in PDF form - like Thanos, I have snapped my fingers. The result of my boundless will is scouring the drives as we speak, bits returning to their original state, a stew of 1s and 0s, signifying nothing.

April Fool! Actually,. I just completed a long overdue rehab of the 1970s site, moving it from the Institute to the auspices of the Decades Project. If anyone had told me in 1972 that I would have to reconfigure my computer project about the TV show Search because network robots were hunting and killing unauthorized clips, I would have been . . . intrigued.


While I was working Friday night I got a ping! Indicating an incoming message from Daughter in Brazil, no doubt wanting a retweet . . . which I did. And then we back-and-forthed.

Of course, she’s not going back to work there. It’s a jape - there’s no way she’s just slipping back into the old life. Then some Dad ESP:

  I spent about ten seconds trying to remove the accent from the O, thinking it was screen lint.

Then I asked if she was looking forward to coming home, and got what I expected: no. The idea of being home made her happy, but she wasn’t looking forward to leaving. That’s exactly what I had hoped to hear, in a way, he lied; I mean, I know she’ll be happy to be home, but the fact that she’s not wanting to depart means she’s made a connection and had an experience the likes of which outclasses the first year of college in every possible way. Selfishly, I want a kid who can’t wait to leave and come home.

But the desired result of your parenting is a strong kid who can thrive in the world, and she’s that and then some.

Remember this feature? We never met Bela Lanan himself. We never will.

This was a daily feature, with the solution on Saturday. We'll do it the way they did it then - one entry per day, with the expectation that you'll be following the story.

Keep these details in mind as we move along this week. Who knows what the court reporter will reveal on Friday?





Another Crime Does Not Pay short. Remember, these aren't reviews; we're looking for the interesting images and bygone faces.

I've little to say about it, except that the title suggested to the audience a lack of fun and an excess of moralizing. Gun in His Hand sounds hard-boiled, but this whole crime-does-not-pay - year we get it, we get it in every movie.

But this one's surprising. We start with a police instructor talking to the Raw Recruits, telling a story about Dennis Nordell.

That's the instructor. The recruits are impressed that his gun's in a case - was Dennis a legendary policeman?

Yes! He was a crack shot. He came from a class of guys just like you, except more dramatically lit:

Kraftwerk, the early years.

We see some yeggs on the job, foiling a state-of-the-art criminal detection system:

The wave of burglaries hit the paper, which is struggling to figure out which stories really matter the most:

You'd think the coal ration would be a bigger deal.

We follow the cop as he rises, and you know . . .

Something's not right with that guy.

(Tom Trout; limited career. Died in 2002 in Needles, CA.)

He’s a bad cop. The whole point of the episode: there are crooked cops, and it doesn’t work for them, either. That's basically the story. Crime does not pay, even if you're a cop and have all the angles figured out. I've just given you the most interesting visuals in the entire thing.

I don’t know why he doesn’t succeed; his partner is Bela Oxmyx.

And our tales about this fellow will have to wait for the day when we discuss his role as a magical nightclub vampire.

Hold that phrase in your head. You'll be rewarded one of these days, I promise.

As I said, it's a brisk one. Some fun tomorrow, though. See you around~




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