A light week en route. Not as top-heavy.

Another example of Traders Joe music-system conversational interaction, except this one went poorly. The clerk asked how I was doing. He did so in the TJ manner of extreme extroversion, as if he’d just come on duty, as if he’d quit his job at Chik-Fil-A because they weren’t customer-centered enough. I enjoy this approach, because it gives the green light for BANTER, and one-upsmanship, if the other person feels like playing.

I noted that I was fine, but, the music system is playing Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” at a barely perceptible level.

It’s true! I wasn’t making this up. The store was noisy and packed, but I heard it, that distinctive riff (no, not that one, the other one.) If you can’t hear the rest of the song, it’s odd to hear it out of context. For that matter, it’s an odd thing to put on a grocery store playlist. If it’s loud enough to hear, it’s a grim business, the soundtrack for Sysiphusian labors. If it’s not loud enough, what’s the point? Is it supposed to connect on some unconscious level, spurring boomers to remember their youth? Oh to relive the days of sitting in my room, looking at the cover of the album

I’m a big fan of cheerful shopping music, sprightly library-music melodies that add a bit of audio glamour to the experience. The sounds make everyone feel like they’re on the inside of a 1950s Westinghouse commercial. Slog rawk with yowling vocals doesn’t do it.

Anyway, the clerk had no idea what I was talking about. A few of the words made sense, but he couldn’t make them cohere into a thought, a statement, a series of sensible sounds. It was like this to him:

“The music system is playing Britgtlybu Gargadufp’s ‘Fringsbwah’ at a barely perceptible level.”

To be fair, it’s a 50-year-old song. It’s like some guy coming up to me in 1973 and noting that the volume was down on ‘The Cat’s Whiskers’ by the Benson Orchestra. Except it’s not the same, is it? No one in the 20s thought that music was imperishable. There weren’t massive stadiums in which people screamed adulation for two hours at the HEROES up on the stage. No, rock was for the Ages!

Hah! No. Here we are now: the average smart clever young clerk at Trader Joe doesn’t really know Led Zeppelin? Like, he’s heard of them, but doesn’t know their stuff? Because, well, it doesn't, like, matter?

We used to think this would be part of basic cultural literacy, but those requirements reset, and reset hard.

I’m perfectly comfortable with that as long it means the entire period of Folk Music is forgotten as well.


And now, a new monthly feature. Hold on, you say - it's still February! Yes. But this week straddles Feb-Mar with two days in the former camp, which means all the material comes from a folder that exists in the 1/0323/2023 Bleat archive. Three days, and it would be in the 5/0223/2023 folder. This is the way.

A newspaper syndicate in 1922 asked a variety of thinkers and notables what the world would be like in a hundred years. Let's see how that played out.

Pitkin, a lifelong occupant of the Ivory Tower, speculates on the enlightened world of criminal justice to come:


Ah, the scientific approach.


And then he’s rushed to the Tombs and put on trial and then it’s old Sparky?


  It’s all very Things-To-Come, with men in white suits figuring out the human brain to the smallest detail, and compounding wise solutions dispensed from implacable machines.

It’s quite old-fashioned to regard this Mr. Hitler as evil. It’s a matter of his relations with the Jews, and what we can understand from them.


I don't think this one panned out, inasmuch as people do not regularly consult the Central Bureau of Moral Informatoion to see who gets morally irresponsible in very hot weather.



So you do it pal






An early talker from Sono, which didn’t have millions to throw around. But they got Nat!

And Mark Sandrich. By the way, you might recognize that name. His son, Jay, was a successful TV director. MTM, Cosby, all the greats. He died in late 2021.


She never made another picture. Died in 1986.

Ha ha he's Jewish get it

Everyone get ready to lamp a real Hollywood Producer Mansion:

It’s nice, but modest by today’s standards.

It’s a laff-riot about a producer making his first talkie. He’s b basically Sam Goldwyn, mangling the lingo. Here he’s talking to reporters, and there’s that 20s gag where someone can’t finish a sentence. It slayed them back then, I guess.


Then there’s the casting call, with stereotypes galore:

As he later says, it’s a drama, not a fairy tale. Haw! He also schools an actor on how to be Authentically Black; the actor has a nice “what an ass” reaction at the end.

There’s a love story and some musical numbers. At the end, he shows his movie to investors, unaware that the man in the projection booth running the sound-sync system is drunk, and puts on the wrong records.

The Singing in the Rain gag, although less amusing. Much less.

But I'm glad it survived.

Now two ways to chip in!

Now you can head off to the Matchbook museum - one of this site's original features, spanning decades. Decades!



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