Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Matinee: Hysterium is not Just a Character in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

It is delightful to learn on local news from Detroit that Book-Mobiles are once again taking books to children in some areas.  As these services are expanded, DVDs can also be included to enrich the lives of people who are dealing with cabin fever and library separation anxiety withdrawal.

I am one of those low income seniors who lacks basic cable services.  Due to a misadventure that occurred sometime between when I mailed my checks a few months ago and when my payments were due, two checks never arrived on time and still have not shown up.  Maybe they were in one of those delivery trucks that was in an accident that sent mail and boxes flying all over the landscape.  My Medicare supplement insurance company and I worked this out well together since they have a lengthy grace period.  Comcast Xfinity, however, that is a monopoly like AT&T, blayed hard-ball.  Extra fees were added to other fees that no one could explain.  I canceled the services and was charged a fee for that.  I took all of the equipment to the local Comcast store because their confirmation numbers by phone mean nothing and I was charged a fee for that too.  I was told at the store that I would get a refund.  Instead I got a bill for $30.  That was erased by phone by a customer services representative.  I was given the date when the $25 refund would be put into my checking account and a confirmation number.  It was never deposited in my bank.  If I had trusted Comcast, I would have been overdrawn because I am running like most seniors I know (many of them veterans) on empty and fumes.

I now have a digital antenna that brings in very few stations.  I get the news primarily from my battery-powered radio and the NBC Nightly News.  Where the movie, The Post shows what journalistic reporting was like before the Internet, on-air media celebrities are revealing that their primary sources are Twitter, Facebook, and callers.  The “news” is not necessarily fake, but it is certainly not verified.  Most of these “professionals” who either look good on camera or sound good on the radio and Internet would not have passed my university level composition, research writing, and advanced research writing classes.  As far as my writing for the professions class would go, it does not seem that the media has standards upon which they can be measured.  Either you pass or you fail, and most of them would fail.

One of my favorite movies is Superman not only because the music by John Williams is among his best but because it points out that reporters like Lois Lane don’t have to know how to spell.  I have no excuse with alexa beside me and the spell-checker making noises, but sometimes even these are wrong.  I catch some errors that are made by the computer as it transfers a copied text to the blog website.

If I were in charge of the NBC News Department, I would remove all coffee dispensers and other sources of caffeine because the on-camera celebrities are close to hyperventilating.  Everything is “Breaking News” to them.  It is only a matter of time before people start saying, “Whatever,” and turn on the Hallmark Channel for a Christmas in March movie.

Broadway, like any TV shows with live audiences, is closed, but Broadway and movie musicals and wholesome movies are still available.  I have many on my own bookshelf that I have not watched in a long time that I will list for you soon.  Some are available online.  Others can be purchased online to own or to rent if your cable bill was not so high that you had to choose between it and your food and medications.

One musical that I do not want to watch is Candide.  I read the book by Voltaire when I was in high school or community college because there were no Young Adult books back in the 1960s.  I also read Candy that was derived from Candide.  These books were not assigned by teachers.  Neither were 1984, Brave New World, and books by James Baldwin.  We were reading real books instead of comic books.  What I did not get during the 1950s and 1960s was any information about American history after the Civil War.  For some reason, there just never seemed to be time to get to the 20th Century.  Censorship or brain-washing?

Candide and its spin-offs are satires of optimistic determinism.  It is writers like Voltaire who will create future musicals modeled after A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum when the current challenges are over.  As I learned in my Words  & Music class at The University of Michigan where I was taught how to collaborate with composers (Give them what they want and go away.), times like these are fodder for creativity.

Here is a list of musicals and movies that measure up to my standards:

On Moonlight Bay
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
With a Song in my Heart
The Sound of Music
The Music Man
Inside Out
Lilies of the Field
Lean on Me
Something the Lord Made
The Disorderly Orderly
The Nutty Professor
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I’ve been unemployed for a long time, but I would not take President Trump’s job if it were offered to me on a silver platter.  I am a political independent who reads everything including his books.  I hope the next one will be The Art of Cooperation.

Helpful Tip:  Don’t put kitty litter down your garbage disposal.  A neighbor did and backed up the kitchen sinks in several apartments for a few hours.  While maintenance is trying to practice social distancing, I took a break from editing this post and walked to the nearby hardware store and bought a plunger.  I did not buy the liquid that gobbles up what is down the drain and makes sounds like there is an alien invasion or monster consuming the garbage.  Maintenance did come and fix the problem.  It was not easy.  This was just another lesson from the school of Hard Knocks. 

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