Saturday, October 25, 2014


Doesn't everyone know what Viagra is?  A kid knows it's a medicine for grownups. An old person thinks it's one of those modern popular things that doesn't concern me. Foreigners know it's a sex pill because it's advertized all over the world.

Em, the Town Crier, says beware of :
constipation-fix foods, energy-boosters, lose weight pills -- along with exercise machines, exercise routines, offers to fix your debts, and vacations in paradises -- along with 2 pills versus 6, anti depressant boosters -- along with helpful health businesses like AARP,  interest free furniture chains, and all those promises and pats on their own back that BP, the guys who caused the Deepwater Oil spill disaster, are giving themselves in impressively expensive television ads.  And don't forget -- advertizements drill into us the thrill of killing, gruesome murder death, and instant go-to bed love.

I gave top billing to Viagra because whenever there's an AD for it, I hit the mute button.

It's a silly gesture; actually ADS are an everywhere, everyday larger, fact-of-life -- with TV,  phones, ipods, ipads -- they're insta communication. No matter what you're doing, no matter how sacred, or major whatever it is that you're doing, the vision, sound, ding-a-ling refrain of some AD can flash.

Beware -- ADS have expanded and are everywhere in our lives, enabling us to do less of the things we might do if we didn't have incredibly instant communication.

Town Crier Em says turn the key, turn the knob, punch, hit, hammer the off-button off -- ADS are affecting basic breathing-eating-sleeping -- also art, culture, ambition, religion, and all, all of life's things -- pleasures and pains.

I gave top billing to pleasures, but pains create pleasures -- pains and pleasures are what life is all about -- not the advertized version of life -- real life.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Emily Frankel, asking John about his mother, gets John describing his parents.

Though John's mother died before Emily and John met, Emily wonders if his mother would have approved of him marrying a "Jewish divorcee?"

John loves to talk about his huge family, and what it was like growing up as part of it, in Knoxville Tennessee.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


That's me!

That's what I often look like as I watch films on our bedroom television set.

I am not sure what the actors are saying.

For instance, if leading characters are arguing -- it sounds climatic and I do hear a few words -- I find myself supplying appropriate dialogue, based on what I have gathered thus far about the story that's unfolding.

Quite often, more often than I like to admit, it bothers me -- sometimes characters whisper, or it's just bad 
pronunciation, or the actors get so deeply into what they're feeling, they don't pay attention to pronouncing words clearly -- they just let words run together.

I can't blame this on our TV set. News and commercials are clear. But it's seriously annoying. Quoting Shakespeare's Hamlet, I tell the television, "Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines."

The other day, in desperation, I fixed the settings on our television to display captions. The dialogue appeared in a white strip with each word easy to read. It's somewhat distracting from the story that's unfolding, but it helps.

Maybe it's just as well that I am missing dialogue -- the stuff I am not hearing is stuff I don't want to hear.

Hey, maybe, probably, the dialogue I am inventing improves the film!


I turned off captions.  Now, I simply murmur --