Thursday, June 18, 2015


  I came across some interesting notes regarding the great cult movie ‘Casablanca’ while I was reading a book about the Allies invasion of North Africa in 1942.
            Casablanca, city of hope and despair located in French Morocco in North Africa – the meeting place of adventurers, fugitives, criminals, refugees lured into the dangerous oasis by hope of escape to the Americas.’              (Liner notes from trailer)
A play called ‘Everybody comes to Rick’s’ was picked up by  Hal Wallis (Warner Bros.) the day after Pearl Harbor. Rick Blaines’ (The author) attitude corresponded to Walliss’ ideas of the probable involvement of the U.S. in the war.  What is mind boggling is that Ronald Reagan was initially considered for the part. Can you imagine what that would of done to the movie?  Ingrid Bergman was perfect but even she didn’t know how the movie would end a month before shooting was completed.  The original play ended with Ilsa  staying behind with Rick, but Hal fortunately had Rick develop a case of selflessness and got her and Lazlo Letters of Transit to Lisbon and on their way to America (or back into the underground). What a guy!

  Near the beginning of the cold war, Nevil Shute wrote a book in 1957 about the death of all people on Earth due to an Atomic war between China and Russia. The resulting movies deviated a bit from the book (Why do they do that?). but still engaging enough that all politicians should have seen or read it. But, that’s just wishful thinking, as not many wanted to think of a scenario that could be so disastrous as all that. Here we are yet able to destroy the entire world with just a few of the thousands of missiles, but, we really don’t want to consider what we are really doing.  Yikes!  The story focuses on the last folks alive, in Southern Australia, detailing some pretty gritty concepts, like, you were going to die in a couple of days, yet, your year old baby would probably live for a few more days, dying alone, un-aided in her last miserable days. Would you give her the free government drug so it wouldn’t happen that way? 

The serial ‘The Forsyte Sagas’ are right up my alley, showing how love manages to draw the maximum amount of pain from all those involved with such shenanigans.  However, on an up-beat note, one of he characters, Bosinny , the far sighted Architect, is hired by Saomes (an up-tight lawyer) to design his country house and forthwith runs off with the clients’ wife (Shades of F. Lloyd Wright), we are treated to a very fine example of contemporary architecture, a huge surprise to me in this Soap opera.  I was so surprised in fact, I had to find out how this design managed to manifest on this series. Turns out the production designer cobbled together four architects, Frank Lord Wright, Rennie Mackintosh (Scotland) and a couple of Brits, Volsey and Godwin, who supplied inspiration for the interiors.  These last  two were influenced by Japanese designs, as the Japs had just come out of the closet after hundreds of years.  Check the series out if for no other reason than to see the house called ‘Robin Hill’ and the interiors were well done also, considering the time in England of 1870’s. 

I received an Apple ipod Nano , the smallest thing they make except the watch, for one of my incessant birthdays that seem to come around about every month. The Nano comes with some great ear pods but no directions at all. Since I had no six year old kid around to help me, I went to old Google and found a 30 page document I could download in order to turn the thing on.  I only printed out about half of it as the rest was all about the Podcasts (What the fuck is that?), Videos (I just want music!), Fitness (I’m already doing Tai Chi, leave me alone!), Radio (No! I don’t listen to radios with their constant advertising), and Photos (No! I just want Music !). This is not going to be easy, as I had up-loaded (What’s the difference between up-load & down-loading?)  all my CD’s onto my computer (itunes) so I could transfer them to Joy’s ipod (The bigger one). However, somewhere most of all that got dumped by Apple or someone (I get blamed mostly for this kind of stuff).  However, meanwhile, I gave all my CD’s away as we had them on digital, right?  So now I am running around, asking my friends if I can borrow my CD back for a short time. That doesn’t help a whole lot as now I have to figure how to organize these tunes on Playlists, Songs, Artists, Albums, Genres, even composers (Bach, Ray Charles, etc.). Once I get all this shit unraveled, all I have to do is find a Dock/Speaker/Radio combo (They don’t come without Radio) so I can listen to my swell tunes of Thelonious Monk or Alirio Diaz, guitar. These ’Docks’ cost about $60 but there seems to be a problem. The Nano has downsized the charger from the ipod and they don’t make them yet in the small size for Nanos!  And to think I gave away my turntable with my vinyl recordings!