Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Star Trek Silly Season

Hello Reader,
Remember the 1960’s?

It’s “the silly season,” as news reporter call it. Parliament is in recess, nothing’s happening, and journalists are resorting to stories about the Loch Ness monster, and nostalgia for Star Trek. Me too. 

Now, some of my very best writing is not my essays, but my comments on other people’s blogs. That said, not so “best” were the comments of me and others on the blog of Scott Berkun, gentleman and scholar, when he answered a reader’s question by posting Star Trek and the ideas we must reject in order to save our future. (See footnote) He received 22 comments, some of them quite lengthy.

In the spirit of the silly season, here are my comments for Scott’s post.
The first came after a commenter, believe it or not, “dissed” Star Trek! I was shocked, shocked I say! So I commented too:

Call me a computer nerd, but:

Lisa, above, is confusing the later Star Trek universe, made during grim Reagonomics and so forth, with STOS (Star Trek the original series) made during the cresting wave of the age of Aquarius. This original series remains ever a cultural icon.

Remember? Starships could “destroy an entire planet” but didn’t, and phallic weapons were never carried in visible holsters,
(unlike on Wagon Train, the show’s touchstone for having guest stars who had been in the train/crew all along)
but tucked beneath one’s shirt.

The median year for African countries getting independence, (by my count) was 1960, only six years before the show. So the anti-imperialist Prime Directive was a welcome shock.
The Klingons were Bad Guys who, as someone (David Gerrold?) joked, had no bathtubs on their ships, but hey, you would never see one unless you went out into space.

Then I had to correct my “oopsy,” also known as a factual error:

Oops. I should have written “mode year” not “median year.”

Details: Mode means the year (number) repeated the most. Median would be the number in the middle, like a dotted road median. “Mean” would be the number that is conventionally “average.”

Well, it’s been literally decades since I took any statistics. (Strange, at my age, to measure lots of things now in decades instead of years)

We commenters had fun: 

Call me old, but I enjoy my memories:

For Star Trek, I never got used to the velcro thingy, too futuristic-silly for me, because in one of the first episodes to air, Kirk has a leather-looking holster thingy you can see for a second as he pulls his shirt down, getting ready to beam to the planet. It looked yellow, but our TV set was black and white, so I don’t know.

The brand new department store was two miles away (walking right angles) and I remember when the salesmen still couldn’t get the three colour knobs right (Jeanie had green skin) so there would be a wall of televisions with all different colour settings. I went home and reported what color the ST uniforms were.

Star Trek, airing in 1966, just barely caught the change to color TV. Lost in Space, as I know from re-runs, had their first season in black and white.
I have read they didn’t make Spock have green skin, because the make up would look bad on b&w TVs.

As for make up and fashions, on rare occasion I would see signs in the dirt sidewalk that the high school girls had worn high heels. I don’t know if any wore mini skirts. At our elementary school I think one girl did, I forget, (and all the boys in my grade—but not the younger grades—kept their hair short until junior high) but I dimly remember strangers my age from other schools wearing minis. 

I will tell you what a lot of elementary girls wore for our fashion show (fund raiser), which I haven’t seen since: Three piece bathing suits. Truly society was in transition.
Would I want my granddaughter wearing a miniskirt? As Spock would say in the episode with computer warfare: “I said I understand/have memories, I did not say I approve.”

You will recall that the first blogs were intended partly for community, with lots of intra-comments. So we communed:

Hi Scott, Lisa, Tony, everyone:

I guess it was Christmas of 1969 that we (a brother and I) got a model kit for Christmas, complete with room for a battery so (the front nacelles?) would light up. What I’m clear on is the box included a cheap booklet that included advice on how to write in to save the show, advising “don’t put Star Trek on the envelope” or it would be passed on to the actual show, not the network. It said the next season would start with the “never before seen” Turn About Intruder, and then re-runs, so save the show!

Also in the booklet you could send away for Spock’s pendant, brief celluloid film clips, and actual scripts. That was an eye opener, (either then or later) since it was super obvious the third season had all the bad episodes.

When I took Macbeth in high school I counted five episode titles.

Luckily for me, we lost our TV part way through the series, and so for years I could look forward to possibly seeing a new-to-me episode.

Since I left home in mid-1975, it would have been sometime in the first half of the decade that my brother perused the TV guide and pointed out there was an episode showing, on some channel or other, seven days a week. So the show was popular years before Star Wars encouraged a movie release with Star Wars style orchestra music, instead of futuristic space music.

(And hey, the above was probably before cable, let alone satellite) We all got on a roll, even unto non-Star Trek things. Of course you remember The Troubles With Tribbles episode!:

  • Call me a fan, but I can’t resist sharing:
  • Speaking of the tribbles script by David Gerrold, I put his Chtorr War series in the “about me” section on favorite books in my blog. The series has lots to say about integrity, responsibility and leadership. It’s told first person, like a detective story, as the hero learns about life and the alien Chtorr.
  • The series starts with exposition about some serious plagues (only 76 congressmen survive) Now the survivors have to “step up to the plate” and not say, “Let George do it.”
  • Everyone feels like an orphan in mourning, everyone therefore has a golden excuse to escape into alcoholism and drugs, but the good ones carry on. The hero starts out as a spoiled brat, but he learns better.
  • The army is integrated, to the point where the young hero often forgets to mention the gender of a soldier in the background.
    The feminist in me laughs at how he gets a girl friend (husband and child deceased) who is older, more sexually and relationship-ly experienced, taller, smarter and of higher military rank.
    As you might guess, Gerrold is from wacky Southern California.

I guess we talked of how in the Star Trek future humans were all so affluent. No wonder we had less war in the future.

Lisa: Thank you.
Scott (and everybody): 
Regarding American society and affluence, I just tried a search engine. No luck.
But I’m sure that (probably in a coffee table patriotic picture book) John Steinbeck wrote something years ago which I’m still thinking about:

That Americans, after several generations of trying, had finally achieved affluence … and for the first time were at a loss as to what to do next.

I suppose we meant that United Statesians had lost one of their national dreams.

…Well dear reader, that’s enough silliness. 
For next week’s post, maybe I’ll blog deadly dull, and serious. But don’t worry, it will be posted near labour day, so I don’t suppose you will read it.

Sean Crawford
in a loft in Cochrane,

~Here’s the link to Berkun’s post. I am a fan of his web site.

~For more about TV history, of a more scholarly bent, see my essay Death of Buffy, archived January 2012. 

~For the death of Buffy’s friend, see Anya, Friend of Buffy, archived April 2017, regarding how at last I understand her phobia for bunny rabbits.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Free Fall Geography

Hello Reader,
Got a sense of place?

I love to graphy, write, about the geo, land. More accurately, I like to see if I can use the power of words to conjure up a space-time location. 

Here are some Free Fall pieces where, using a timer, we get a prompt, then rush along with no time to check whether the geography is politically correct—just get the words out!

We rush without expectations … then it’s so much fun, so surprising, to go around the table reading aloud.

It ain’t free fall if it’s edited.

Here are some geo pieces, the first 1-5 being prose, and then ending with number 6, a poem.

1 Prompt- 
highway of words

Sometimes people came to the block at the back of the hospital. The morgue. Sometimes they were found in the desert after buzzards were seen cruising. How sad, to die alone on the lonesome prairie. And how beautiful was the land, for those with ample water and supplies. Georgia O’keefe settled here to make her paintings that now sell for millions. A beautiful land, but cruelly unforgiving.

Take the road to the next town, and what do you see? Can you paint it with words? Scrub grass as far as the eye can see, grass with life enough to feed animals, plentiful enough to feed buzzards. So yes, the great plains are alive. Sandy spots, rocky spots, and table sized rocks. Table rocks, they call them, straight like a table with their worn strata.

Also collecting the sun’s rays are dull green bushes with dull waxy leaves, the stems dry and hard, growing up and out, like miniature versions of those great trees of the African savannah. And smaller barrel shaped growths with spines all over. So many vines and branches to catch, delay, claw and discourage foraging. Only because the barrels have such a succulent centre, a centre unseen.

You roll along the road with your water and repair kit under a blue pitiless hot sky and what is unseen is: your dreams that draw you on. Somewhere ahead is an air conditioned cafe with ice cream, and colours unknown to this dusty land.

2 Prompt- 
east or west

There I was, standing by my jeep in the middle of the prairie, on the shoulder of the Queen Elizabeth II highway. Somewhere lost behind me was Cowtown, somewhere ahead was the Capital. The highway had a soccer-field sized strip of grass between two strips of pavement, each of two lanes. And it was  real grass, watered by the province. The real native grass was on the flanks of the highway, feeding brown cattle.

My jeep popped and cricked as the engine settled and cooled. Strange, that down in Arizona a little road would have a speed limit even faster than this modern piece of engineering. Perhaps our speed limits are a compromise so people won’t go too fast when the roads are slick and dangerous with snow. But now it was summer. I stood and looked and wondered where I should go, east or west? To the west was the town of Sundre, with a nice used book store. I have found some treasures there. To the east was a gopher museum. The gophers were stuffed and outfitted with cutesy little jerseys. Also there was a disco in an old quonset hut. The hipster in me said, “go east”; the bookworm in me said, “go west.” I like hipsters, but all of my favourite people would go west.

3 Prompt- 

It was creepy. To my left was the F.B .I. office. To my right was the I.R.S. Strange to think that someday my children won’t know what those initials mean. Strange that all the I.R.S. produced was paper, paper and more paper. They didn’t make anything. Didn’t grow anything. And now the place was dark inside. Nothing could grow, but it was creepy.

I was armed, of course. An old army M-16 slung on my shoulder. No sidearm—I couldn’t be bothered to lug the weight. Part of what made it creepy was that no one had fitted the building up to the old power grid. Why would we? Even the old government workers wouldn’t have any sentimental attachment to it. People squat in the strangest of places, but no, not the I.R.S.

I made my approach across a wide cement plaza, covered in an inch of snow. Which was a blessing. I could see no footprints. Which didn’t mean anything. Most folks these days used small doorways. To the side or back. Office buildings were stupid, All that plate glass let out too much heat. I walked right up. The clock was stopped at 8:20, of course. The time it happened. The doors, to my surprise, were locked. Didn’t everyone just rush out?

I stepped close to the door because it had started snowing again. No wind. Just little flakes falling, drifting and spiralling a bit in their own air currents, self-made by their little snow flake arms. I had seen actual snowflakes like that, landing on my grey rifle as I was waiting for a feral dog to appear. Now, I just wanted to get in, find an address, and get out. I figured some former taxpayer might still be squatting.

4 Prompt- 
a big umbrella

These day it’s a cutesy fashion to have small umbrellas. I don’t get it. In my day umbrellas were the proper size. From Japan these days you can order a transparent umbrella: boring to them, really cutesy over here. And big. The Japanese say it is very romantic to have two people under one umbrella.

One day in a light rain I found myself on a cobbled Paris street with my big black bumbershoot. Sounds exotic, but not to the French. Even before the Chunnel, British-types with furled umbrellas were boring. Approaching me was a gorgeous French lady. Not too old, not too young, not too rich, not too poor. If only I were James Bond meeting another agent. Like I had in Tokyo last year, when I used up my first life. But here I was, on vacation, in the rain, with a boring umbrella and a big boring black trench coat. I should have worn khaki, but that colour was out of style in the city when I was outfitting my travel wardrobe.

Not being a trained agent, I had no idea how to accost a native. Yes, I’m supposed to get information, but I don’t have any idea how to molest someone’s passage down a public sidewalk. There was no one else around. Not a soul. My feet went clop clop. Well sort of, I’m not a foley artist, you can imagine for yourself what sounds I made, and her too, as we approached closer and closer. Just when we were about to maneuver our big umbrellas to avoid each other, necessitating eye contact, I initiated agent contact:
“Pardon me, mademoiselle, Oo eh la Japanese store?” I needed a non-boring umbrella.

5 Prompt- 
upside down in the ditch

You know what’s weird about the big city? No ditches. So what goes along the road? Nothing. Except that every block, near the intersection, you see a little grate where the gutter would normally be. Yes they have ditches, but they’re underground.

You know what else is weird? No gutter on the grassy side of the sidewalk. Which means that all the water flows over the lawn and onto the sidewalk. That’s fine in summer. And spring. And fall. But in winter? Can you spell Ice Slick? All it takes is a slick one-millimetre of transparent ice. And zoom! Granny has a broken hip; Grandpa is swearing like he still rode a horse; Grandson is grabbing a tire iron and charging into the building to take the law into his own hands. … All for the want of a single afternoon of spade work to make a gutter.

In the smaller towns, more personal, you wouldn’t need to grab a tire iron, for you would have spoken to the owner of the big impersonal building, because it would be  a person you would know. Don’t mess with a small towner. I’m still laughing at the time some Hells Angels (no apostrophe) came through town in a convoy… with police escort…. To protect the angels from the local citizens. The black clad angels got through town in a hurry.

Back on the prairie, every town has churches. That’s with an s. By day I tune in to the station with the hog report. By night, the all-gospel station. That’s a no-brainer. If my car ends up upside down in a ditch, with my oil pan leaking, and me hanging by my seatbelt, I want the last thing I hear to be the words of my Lord. Hey, I hate to sound like an apple polisher, but sometimes Saint Peter needs a little extra nudge when he’s deciding which gate to put me through.

In a small town, Protestants turn Catholic so they can enjoy Hallowe’en, and atheists turn Christian so they can enjoy the carols at Christmas time. No, Anglos don’t turn Mexican so they can enjoy the day of the dead. We’re not that cosmopolitan here.

6 prompt- groundhog day

The sun rises and sets,
my life is routine, no bets.
The days go by, 
and here am I,
wondering where the groundhogs are.

The clutter advances like the tide,
at least I can work to have some pride.
And then my clutter departs, recedes,
but under bare ground you know there’s weeds.

Another book read, article wrote, 
speech made,
I deserve to sit in the shade, 
as the years could become a gloomier glade.
But no, these things count, don’t let them fade,
 wondering where the groundhogs are.

Again the open road, again the wondrous town.
Again the joy of leaving my burdens down,
a chance to walk like an eager clown.
Wondering where the groundhogs are.

Sean Crawford
on the highway,
with a post written in Calgary,
the fourth most livable city in the world this year,
According to The Economist magazine in 2018.

~UPDATE By coincidence, this afternoon, Thursday, the CBC Radio One  Homestretch did a story on the Torrington museum, and the various dioramas that represent the town history. An older lady was amused at how many letters of protest the town got from PETA.  The interview would be findable on the CBC website. (But I forgot to post until this evening)

~AS I WRITE THIS, Camelot, the bookstore in Sundre, with a “for lease” sign in the window, is selling treasures at 50% off, even for antiques and classics, being due to close at (I think) the end of August. (Don’t delay!—there’s a separate room for ancient hardcovers) I like to take the scenic road (22 is way more scenic that the QE II, with many horses instead of only cows) north from Cochrane, after grabbing a java in the loft at Coffee Traders. If you find Camelot closed, well, then there is still a zoo and a museum in Sundre. And river trails. 

~To get your own transparent umbrella, web search J-List, an export company.

~the Chunnel is the channel tunnel, carved through solid rock-chalk underneath—can you believe it?— the English Channel, also known as la straits du Calais. Since we let the French put an e on the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic passenger jet, it’s only right that we get to use the word dreamed of since even before spaceflight. Nobody romantically dreamed of saying “Eurostar.”

Now that we have Brexit, can we take our name back?

~As for that outrageous gopher museum, complete with gopher hockey players, it ain’t going anywhere.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Hello Reader,
Got respect?

Note: Today’s essay is “meadow length,”
where, you know, you might leave the meadow, for a while, to go down a thought-trail.
Not like “beach length,” where you lie in one place.

Pop Culture
Pause for blog identification

I am trying to have some thoughts on “respect.” Problem is, you can’t measure it. So no help from research. You won’t find respect in, say, self help books or on Youtube TED talks, because experts prefer to speak on self esteem, shame and self confidence. That’s not helpful to me right now.  I guess I’m on my own. 

Society may not talk much about respect, but I’m sure society is affected. There’s even a song, from the days of “sock it to me” and young people playing their music loud: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” 
I guess I could start to “find out” by thinking socially…

Every society, by definition, is organized. Even folks confined to prison will eventually end up with a “prison society,” with a hierarchy and a social code, such as “no stool pigeons.” For convicts, by the way, at the top of the totem pole are respected murderers, who face their victims, at the bottom are child molesters. “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Incidentally, while in civilized society you might choose to dignify a false accusation (I won’t) by denying it once, among the simple minded prison population you must deny, deny, deny, or they will conclude you guilty.

Out in the greater world, it seems to me, while there may falsely seem to be societies or subgroups that don’t believe in respect, I don’t see how any such society could long survive. 

A voice from the peanut gallery: “Ya but Sean, what about awful cities like New York, or the black neighbourhoods in cities like Chicago?” Well, New Yorkers may be a lot ruder than us, but they still claim, “I heart N.Y."; the kids on that Chicago Saturday morning cartoon show, Cosby Kids, every one of them black, seem to have no more disrespect towards each other than goes with their age group. In my boarding house, I once saw plain white middle class Boy Scouts, boys affluent enough to travel to the Calgary Stampede, figuratively chewing on each other’s arms and legs. It’s merely an age group thing. 

Among black adults, down in the States, there must surely be quiet community leaders. Even if a society disrespects classes of people such as criminals, it must surely give respect to classes of people that it deems normal, such as, say, Scout Masters. Because: Every society gets the behaviour it respects.

Yes, yes, I know, the societies of Rome, Berlin and Tokyo respected fascism, (meaning: they disrespected “inferior folks to be conquered”) but this culture began during peacetime, as Italians battled Ethiopians, when they thought their respect would cause the trains to run on time, as they cheered on young men becoming samurai fighter pilots. After seasons passed, this same respect, because “nations get the governments they deserve,” eased the conscience of the Allies who felt forced to blockade and bomb. 

Lest we forget: I once read a translated Japanese novel where a heroine, near the end of the war, dies of starvation: I usually forget the horror of blockades. But at least others still remember: To encourage Iraq to honour the peace treaty, instead of obstructing weapons inspectors, folks with memories used sanctions, not a cold blockade. Now I wonder: maybe they were morally wrong to merely sanction, because Iraqi obstruction continued, leading to a hot war.

Happily, I am sure societies can grow and change, just as individuals do. I hope the Axis nations would have changed their minds about fascism in the course of time; I hope that losing their war only speeded things up for them.

Pop Culture
A popular culture hero—I forget who, maybe a private detective—once said, “Every man has got to have a code.” In my case, growing up remote, in a loose society, I gleaned my code from old pop culture, not knowing it was outdated, and from the Holy Bible, not understanding why so many, including so many Israelites, had trouble following the will of the Lord, or even the Golden Rule.

I respected the Golden Rule to a fault.

I remember one time when people less skilled in basketball were cheering me on, and I was secretly putting the ball, several times, onto the rim without it going into the basket. Not for suspense, no, I was simply trying not to hurt their feelings by being too good. As a young man I thought I was “supposed to be” without respect for my own basketball abilities or my own self. 

Years later, a good friend who attended Bible College told me that my interpretation of the Bible (beating your breast when you pray, and always saying ‘I am nothing”) had a name: Worm Christianity. At the college it was not recommended. In pop culture terms, I had been like the simple folks in George Bernard Shaw’s play Androcles and the Lion.

The best antidote for me, from pop culture, was reading the mammoth paperback Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. The theme? To put it crudely: If you are a very successful business person, a Chief Executive Officer, among CEO’s gathered in a room, and they suddenly propose a price fix, and even a cartel, to charitably, nicely, help the weaker, less successful companies, as some sort of business Golden Rule, then you don’t have to democratically agree with the majority. I was at around page 200 before the theme of “don’t sacrifice,” constantly repeated, could at last enter my mind’s doorway. Wow! Hurray! I would have turned cartwheels, if only I knew how. 

So now, in Central Park, I wouldn’t hesitate to take on an unlucky, down-at-the-heels man at chess—and win. But still… If a few people are having a constant verbal game of superiority/one up then I walk away, or go silent. I mean, I do have a university degree. The disrespect of verbal “scoring” grates on me.

Just as a nation, such as Germany, may stop scapegoating Jews once they no longer have the stress of hyper inflation and taking their pay home in a wheelbarrow, so too, I hope, could an individual stop disrespecting people once he gets an easier life. Or maybe not. 

We have all seen, in pop culture, a man whose wife leaves him, who exchanges his high maintenance bungalow for an easy apartment, who downsizes at work to an easier position, who no longer has the stress of children at home, yet… who still disrespects others. Call it a lifestyle choice. I know such a dark fellow in real life—and I don’t think being around me is good for him.

Now, back west here, we don’t have as many Jews and blacks as they do out east, yet I would guess I still, at some level, role model respecting such classes. I would unconsciously model this to that fellow, as well as model respect for the everyday butcher, baker, and chandler. This according to my old pop culture code from before I was even born.

Without consciously trying, I would surely act out my internalized code from the narrator’s roommate in the 1948 “If This Goes On—” by Robert Heinlein. In a future theocracy (worse than Iran’s) the roommate, feeling goaded from being mistakenly called an atheist, discloses to his friend that he believes in being patient with the stupid, merciful to the weak, and so forth. And that he believes God shall punish him for his un-saintly behaviour, such as smoking, not in the afterlife, but here and now: by shortness of breath, yellow fingers, and even cancer. 

(Too bad the Iranians can’t grasp such concepts, but then again, their regime’s intolerance is intended for secretly serving man, not God)

What now? Shall I protect that dark fellow by not outwardly respecting others? No, I don’t do worm Christianity—It’s wrong to try to sacrifice, by hiding who I am. Still, I can’t deny reality—It stands to reason: Just as that disrespectful man grates on me, I in turn would grate on him. Ouch! Sorry—no, not sorry. 

Hey, nobody said life was fair. Sigmund Freud said, “Life is the greatest teacher.” If that fellow mingles with others, 
(yes, I know it’s a pop culture cliche that disrespectful people isolate, but hey, even The Great Santini had friends) 
then in the course of time he may role model off of others how to manage his stressors, while coming to believe that “respect is the healthiest policy” for individuals and nations and a world seeking peace.

God bless North America. 

Pause for blog identification:

You are reading
Sean Crawford
East of Eden

Part Two
for anyone willing to read stuff that’s NOT worthy of being above the blog identification line:


~If This Goes On— is a short novel, one which doubled my knowledge of totalitarianism, published in the sf book Revolt in 2100 by Robert Heinlein.

~The Great Santini was made into a movie starring Robert Duval, later satirized in an Austin Powers spy comedy with a scene where the father disrespectfully asks his son: “Are you going to cry now?”

Such a powerful novel. I recently bought the trade edition, second hand, just for the new afterward by author Pat Conroy. I can tell from the internal evidence of the afterword that Pat’s brother Tim is among the youngest siblings, probably the very youngest. I find, on page 496, as part of a rundown on the Conroy siblings, “…; Tim, the sweetest one—who can barely stand to be around any of us; and Tom, our lost and never-to-be-found brother…” 

Tom is gone because he jumped out of a very high window. Thanks to Santini. 

How to explain Tim? If the others responded to the horribly abusive Santini by abusing each other, then Tim, having no one younger to punch, verbally abuse or physically torture, might have, in place of abusing neigborhood kids and animals, have reacted by promising never to be like them. To be “sweet.” To feel respect. And, in later years, to NOT be able to be around his old tormentors. I can relate. As for Pat Conroy, his siblings and that dark fellow I know: It must be God’s painful consequence, here in this lifetime, to know that respect is the right thing to do, and yet somehow be unable to do it.

~In the swinging Sixties Star Trek episode Plato’s Stepchildren, an abused dwarf turns down obtaining the power to get revenge on his disrespectful fellow Greeks, saying he doesn’t want to be like them. I can dig it.

On having a moral code:
Sometimes I wonder if I was standing behind the door when the code was changed. As a poor boy I could only afford old used books. In those the hero believed in honesty. So I did too. But now I find the private detective Philip Marlowe, by Raymond Chandler, could not exist today, or even as recently as the 1970’s. On Roger Ebert’s website, by “the editors,” entitled It’s OK With Me, regarding the book by Jason Bailey, is this:

“I met Chandler only once,” recalls (screen and sf writer Leigh Bracket) “I know he wanted Marlowe to be depicted as an honest man, and as somebody who was his own man. I wanted to get that into the screenplay. But I also had to show Marlowe the way he looks to us now in the Seventies… Because Marlowe, as Chandler saw him, would be unthinkable in the Seventies.” Marlow had “…the morals of a previous era.”

Yes, but— Elsewhere on Ebert’s site, in a review of Afterlife, is the sentence-length paragraph, “At a time when so many movies feed on irony and cynicism, here is a man (the writer and director, Hirokazu Kore-eda) who hopes we will feel wiser and better when we leave his film.”

Well. Maybe everybody believes that a modern day detective, or “everyman,” should be cynical and ironical, but somebody doesn’t. I bet Tim Conroy doesn’t either. I’m keeping my code.

To the Aretha Franklin respect song,

To the It’s OK With Me book excerpt essay by “the editors” at Ebert’s site, 

To The Long Goodby movie review by Roger Ebert,

To Ebert’s review of the movie Afterlife, 

While this might seem unrelated, here is a lengthy video of a grade four class, as part of BBC research, using a baby to teach empathy. And hence respect. I really liked it. … As for the adjacent features on regular street closings, for children to play: At a central London library I found a thick research book being discarded, for only one pound, that collected traditional children’s games, passed on child to child without any adults around. Now I almost wish I had bought it.

Part Three
not worth being put into part two 

Lastly, as regards abuse, from the BBC, here is a video that rightly carries a graphic warning.
 A victim says, “… and realizing, as well, you know, screaming and screaming, that nobody was going to help you, that was the worst part, and I carry that in my head, and in my heart, day in, day out.” As a survivor, I can relate.