“Just My Vaccination”

March 19, 2021

Lebasi’s and my pandemic induced TV watching continues. We’re constantly on the lookout for something new and, up until recently, have been very generous in accepting recommendations. No more.

Just the other week on the recommendation of he/she who shall remain nameless, we watched the movie, Paterson. I have to tell you . . . there’s no need for a “spoiler alert” in writing about the film, because nothing really happens. In fact, the most absorbing thing I took from from the movie was that Paterson (N.J.) is spelled with one “t”. (The lead character, played by Adam Driver, is also and coincidentally named “Paterson”. Also with one “t”.)

After being so disappointed with the movie, I checked out some of the reviews. “A perfect gem” sort of summarizes the general concensus among movie critics. I also asked some friends (other than “he/she who shall remain nameless”); and to a person, each thought it was a lovely, terrific film. This is becoming a bit of a common theme for Lebasi and me. Not long ago, we saw My Octopus Teacher and found ourselves swimming upstream in our dislike of the movie. Again, the critics and our friends thought it was wonderful. Fortunately, and I mean, FORTUNATELY, Lebasi and I were in complete agreement on both of the movies.

One of the things in Paterson (the movie, not the character) that irritated me was the director’s stunt of inserting various sets of twins in the non-action of the story. I wound up using my limited attention span watching for them to surreptitiously appear in a scene in the same way I used to search for “Ninas” in the old Al Hirschfeld drawings. Kind of fun . . . but also kind of pointless. The twins gambit felt like something filched from a Fellini film and if I had some time on my hands I might look into that. Maybe.

In truth though, the film did motivate me to follow up on things that have been bouncing around in my head for a while now. Adam Driver plays a bus driver (that’s, I believe, why he got the part) who writes poetry when he isn’t working. Free verse. For some reason, for a while now, I’ve been wanting to read Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If in it’s entirety. I was familiar with the opening line, “If you can keep your head about you, when all about you are losing theirs” . . . but that was all I knew.

So, spurred on by peering over Paterson’s shoulder as he wrote his poems, I looked it up on line. And, because it’s very famous and not very long, you can see and hear youtubes of famous people reciting the poem. (Spoiler alert: the first line is the best.) But the thing that caught my attention was that the poem rhymes. Yes, it rhymes! Paterson’s did not. Which got me wondering about when it was that poetry writing changed to a free for all. Well, it turns out things starting changing towards the end of the 19th century. Emily Dickinson’ poems rhyme; only some of Robert Frost’s, for example.

An aside: Here’s where I begin to run the risk of sounding like a boob and an anti-intellectual. Fortunately, in an ironic twist of fate, the ironic(man) blog has not taken off the way I had hoped. So I can write this stuff with near impunity.

But back to poetry. It seems to me there’s a vast difference between the poetry I read (or don’t read) in The New Yorker and the stuff written by Keats, Shelley, Browning, etc. One rhymes, the other doesn’t. It’s almost like two different genres. But they, mistakenly in my judgement, are called the same thing. The best analogy I can think of is the difference in baseball between the “dead ball” era and now. From the late 1800’s until the late 1920’s, the dead ball era, the Major League leader in home runs might have fifteen, eighteen, maybe twenty homers. Nowadays it’s almost always near fifty or more. Are these modern men so much better? No, they’re just playing with a livelier ball. That is, their poems don’t need to rhyme.

Vaccinatin’ Rhythm

February 17, 2021

Well, I’ve finally gotten my first Covid vaccine shot and it almost feels like I’ve won the lottery. This was accomplished not without a great deal of patience and stick-to-it-tiveness on my part. I have to say, I really surprised myself with the discipline I showed in getting an appointment.

A few weeks back, a number of friends were somehow getting vaccinated as if they were members of Congress. (At least, those members who believe in vaccines.) I was surprised at how competitive I began to feel and suddenly felt an urgency to get on a list. Why, I don’t know. I don’t go anywhere or see anyone so it’s not out of the question that I could wait ’til everyone else was vaccinated. I could easily have been the cowherd of the herd with immunity. Or, at least the cook at the nightly campfire.

But, as I say, I was hellbent on getting an appointment. So like countless other folks, I went on a number of sites that were “coordinating” vaccine appointments. My first attempts gave me a false sense of optimism; right off the bat I had chances at several appointments. But by the time I entered my information they were long gone. Spots taken by people with fingers more nimble than mine, I expect.

So I developed a strategy. In my effort to speed enter my data, I eliminated my surname, å la Cher. And altered it to one with even fewer letters. I now refer to myself as Nel. I also modified my birth date to a series of six numbers that are all the same so as to make it quicker to enter. So now it looks as if I was born in 1911 which, as an extra benefit, might have added even more gravity to my need for a shot. Lastly, I cancelled my health insurance so as not to have to enter a policy #. These “tricks”, I was certain, would save me precious time in trying to nail down an appointment.

Still, the opportunities to speed type my new svelte information were rare. And it seemed, that as time wore on, the chances were getting even rarer. Occasionally an appointment would present itself on my computer screen only to disappear before I even had a shot at trying my new data method. I was starting to feel desperate . . . as if getting an appointment was the only thing between me and the great hereafter.

And it was with that desperation that I spent endless hours doing nothing but logging in and re-loading the page of the vaccine provider. Only to get the message: ” Sorry, we don’t have any available appointments right now. We add appointment slots regularly. Please hold off on calling for appointments, and check again soon.” What a load of crap!

I got super adept at re-loading the web page. Over and over again. At times, it felt like I was playing the slots at a casino. The difference was that I was now playing for my life—not merely for a few dollars. I considered other strategies; like the kind I might use in looking for a parking space. Should I keep circling the block? (Re-loading the URL) Or would I have better luck just sitting in my car at the ready on one street? (Stay on the page) Well, that didn’t make any sense since I’d still be looking at that stupid, “Sorry, we don’t ……”

I wish I could tell you exactly what happened but somehow or other I got an appointment on an entirely different web site. I’m not certain what did the trick. But I’m sure saying that I was 110 years old couldn’t have hurt.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

January 12, 2021

A Rabbi, a Priest and a Minister walk into a bar. The minister, who is Black, says, “I think I’m going to run for a Senate seat in Georgia.” The rabbi says, “Funny, I have a son—Jon—who also wants to run for the Senate in Georgia.” The priest says, “Are you guys fuckin’ crazy! ”

Well . . . it turns out they weren’t.

Yes it’s true, a Black man and a Jew were elected to the Senate from a state in the Deep South. And that, in some way, may tie in to the lifting of the veil of iniquity of the past four years that we seem to be in the midst of right now. Which, is happening almost like a Hemingway character described going bankrupt: “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

If I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders after the election of Joe Biden, with the Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff victories in Georgia, I’m practically hyperventilating with relief that control of the Senate has changed. Could you bear the thought of listening for a few more years to Mitch McConnell, hand in his pocket, droning on in his dry monotone about killing your first born with no more inflection than if he were talking about the renaming of a post office. Not that Chuck Schumer (with his hands in both pockets) is going to be much more inspiring to listen to. (Evidently, one of the qualifications for being Majority Leader of the Senate is to have the ability to put an audience to sleep rather quickly). But, I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. And, Chuck happens to live around the corner from me. So apart from his putting forward a more progressive agenda, having him as the Senate leader may mean I can get a parking ticket “fixed” from time to time.

Even though I’ve been obsessed with our politics for a while now, I was even more consumed by the Georgia Senate races, particularly the Ossoff race. You see, my Judenfreude has gone through a very fallow period in the last years (Schumer, Sanders, Ginsburg et al. not withstanding).* But Mr. Ossoff had re-kindled that flame in me. Primarily because his Jewishness was almost always referenced when talking about his running for office. I guess that’s because electing a Jew for a statewide office in Georgia is so far-fetched. Owning the town department store — much less so.

I was particularly moved when broadcasters would describe Ossoff as “a young Jewish son of an immigrant” as in, “Only in America could the son of immigrants rise to fill in the blank.” Unfortunately, I did some looking into this and . . . and . . . well, I found that all that glitters isn’t gold. Mr. Ossoff is, indeed, Jewish but alas, his only immigrant parent is a woman who came here from Sidney Australia in her 20’s. Not exactly a shtetl Jew from Eastern Europe or even a Russian emigré. His (Jewish) father was born here. Although technically, the description, “young Jewish son of an immigrant” is correct, it’s somewhat misleading. At least it is to me.

But there was another turn of events last week that has more than made up for my slight Judenfreude disappointment with the Ossoff story. President Elect Biden selected Merrick Garland to be his Attorney General. Rather, our Attorney General. Some minimal research has revealed that Judge Garland’s grandparents emigrated to America to escape the pogroms of Eastern Europe in the early 20th century. Now that’s a Jewish (grand)son of immigrants!

*By coincidence, all graduates of my alma mater, James Madison High School

Yiddishe Cup

December 31, 2020

For those of you without access to the Oxford English Dictionary, this title refers to a Yiddish term which translates literally as,”Jewish head”. To be clear, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the picture I’ve included. Also, it is most commonly spelled,”Kop”, not “Cup”. Apart from those inconsistencies, the photo is perfectly apt. A few more things about that expression though. It’s used mostly as a compliment, clearly not a pejorative term. More like whatever the opposite of pejorative is. However, it doesn’t mean smart . . . at least not in a bookish way; you would never hear something like, “Oh, Bernstein just won the Nobel Prize in Physics. What a Yiddishe Kop he has!” No, you wouldn’t hear that. The context of it’s use is more closely associated with words like outsmarted or outwitted. So you’d be more likely to hear, “”Boy, did you read? That Bernstein fellow figured out how to win the Nobel Prize in Physics without ever having gone past fifth grade or doing any scientific work at all!” Now that’s a Yiddishe Kop!

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s begin the blog.

As many of you have been doing during this shutdown, Lebasi and I have been clearing out years of accumulated detritus. And lo and behold, in the course of doing that, I came across my grandfather’s shaving cup. I hadn’t seen it in many decades and when I came across it, I emailed a photo of it to my sister, Charnie, to see if it provoked any memories for her. Her response was . . . was, how shall I say . . . not what I had hoped for. She wanted to know when I had broken it. This is where I need to say (once again), that when my parents died, Charnie got the good stuff and I got mostly memorabilia (and broken cups) that I can’t bring myself to throw out. (My brother, Evets, has been very quiet on this matter. Too quiet, as I think on it. I wonder what he’s sitting on.) In any event, to Charnie’s question, you can be certain, if that mug were in tact at my parents deaths, it never would have made its way into my hands.

As you can see, the cup has been to the glue factory. I assume that my father made the repairs. Although it looks like a pretty slipshod job, the cup must have broken in a thousand places. Because, my father was, if nothing else, a master gluer. It was a job perfectly suited to his temperament. Glue repairs require lots of patience. And my father was, by my reckoning, the most patient man in America. Never once did I see him perturbed by a slow line; upset about being caught in traffic, waiting for my mother or impatient at any time really. I, on the other hand, even now, when I have nothing but time, continue to stew if I’m kept waiting an extra few seconds. It’s as if a giraffe had sired a wildebeest.

But the question now is what should I do with the “L Kirsch, Book Binder” shaving cup. Obviously, my sister’s not too interested in it. And if you hear from Evets, please give me a call. Even though it’s rare — actually one of kind — I don’t think there’d be a market on Ebay for it. But maybe a book store would like it. I’d bet that one of those rare book (binder shaving mugs) shops would love to have it.

This is the last post of this, my twelfth year of writing. Stay safe and I wish you all a wonderful year to come.

Jay Talking

December 21, 2020

Since the start of the pandemic, Lebasi and I have been inseparable; joined not only at the hip but at the ankle, as well. We’d be connected at the shoulders too were it not for my recent operation. Yet, we haven’t run out of things to talk about. But I can imagine a day will come when our conversation will dry up and all we’ll do is stare at one another. I can’t say for certain when that might happen but if our timetable were analogous to sections of an encyclopedia, I’d say we’re in the “W”s — probably, the latter half of the “W”s.

This is of enormous concern to me because I don’t really have other resources for engagement. Oh sure, I get to scream at the TV every so often . . . but I expect that should end on January 20th. The novelty of Zoom calls and FaceTime has pretty much worn off. And I don’t really care much for talking on the phone with my friend(s).

So, I find myself in a very precarious position regarding any socializing outlets. But that’s where Jay comes in. You see, Jay is my physical therapist who I’m now visiting two or three time a week. And oddly, I find myself looking forward to seeing him. Mostly for the conversation. And this is the weird thing, our conversations are exactly the superficial chit-chat that I usually cross the street to avoid. Yet, there I am, seeking him out — talking about the weather, sports and other inanities. (I steer clear of politics. After all, this isn’t Brooklyn; it’s upstate New York and the guy is totally in charge of the range of motion of my arm.)

This isn’t my first go around with physical therapy (PT). Not by a long shot. I’ve had way more than any one person ought to. But even though I appear to be a devotee, I’m not convinced it isn’t a racket. I have a lingering suspicion that one could wind up in the same place six months later with or without the PT. Of course, there’s no way to know. And who would want to take that chance? And now, with hardly anyone else to talk to, going to spend an hour at therapy, any kind of therapy, a few times a week is exactly what I need.

My need to engage is so great that I’ve found that I give Jay a pass on things that would ordinarily drive me crazy. Because I’m one of many people he talks to, he doesn’t realize that he sometimes repeats stories and anecdotes. And again, because I’m one of many, he doesn’t remember a lot of the stuff I tell him. On the other hand, I’m fully aware of every conversation that has transpired between us. Practically every word. I’m completely aware that this is not an ideal situation, that it’s a totally asymmetric relationship. But I guess this proves the point, once again, that politics, religion and pandemics make for strange bedfellows.

Pardon Me Redux

December 4, 2020

A man, Man A, accidentally bumps into another man, Individual #1 (an unindicted co-conspirator who looks a lot like the President of The United States).

Man A says: “Pardon me.”

Inidivual #1 responds: “What’s it worth to you?”

All this talk of pardons reminded me of a blog post I had written about 10 years ago. If you’re interested, here it is:

     The lights dim and the chatter around me stops as the audience settles in to watch our movie.  And then, I feel it.  A kick on the back of my seat.  My eyes open wide and my body tenses up.  I think, “Was that just a careless kick caused by someone shifting to get more comfortable?”  Moments later, it happens again.  For me, how this occasion is handled is the purest test of mental health.    And I fail miserably…..again.    I look over my shoulder toward the offender expecting him to understand that he’s dealing with a lunatic in front of him.    I spend the next 112 minutes in a state of heightened vigilance.   

    I’ve always admired that person who can simply turn around and without the animus reserved for  Nazis, say something like, “could you please stop kicking the back of my seat?”  It seems simple.  Yet, it is so beyond me, that it’s frightening. 

       I realize that I have a psychological limp and am in need of some kind of crutch.   So, I’m developing a system for this situation and others like it.   To that end, I’ve come up with the idea of creating  a series of cards for just these moments.  With the first kick, I’ll simply turn to the offender and hand him a card that reads, “Pardon me, you probably don’t realize it, but you’re kicking the back of my seat.”   If the violation continues, I will hand out a second card which would be a bit less cordial.  I haven’t worked out how many cards I’ll continue with, but I know that the last one will say:  “YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE ….IF YOU KICK MY SEAT ONE MORE TIME, I’M GOING TO USE THE SMALL BORE GUN I HAVE IN MY POCKET TO PUT A BULLET THROUGH YOUR HEAD!!” Or, something like that.

     Now, I’m not so dense that I don’t know that this is an overreaction.  A response that certainly could have been avoided if I had been held enough when I was an infant.     It’s something that I discuss at length with my therapist.  Bruce understands me.  A kindred spirit, he suffers from the same malady.   He  relates  stories  of  being  at  Bagel Bob’s  waiting to pay and getting frustrated when  some little old lady  holds  up the line while  rummaging through her change purse looking for the  exact coins to pay for her bagel.  His instinct is to wish horrors on her, but due to his many, many years of being in analysis, he realizes that he’s a little nuts and smiles to himself.   I point out that if he had really gotten “better”, he might not want to kill the old lady in the first place.  His face drops and I can see that  he doesn’t think that’s  possible; that we’re both too far gone and  the best I can hope for is to get  to  a  place  where I can see that my responses are out of whack and not  proportional.   I tell Bruce about my idea for the deck of warning cards.  He doesn’t think much of it.     He’d much rather talk about me and my mother.  He’s relentless in that way.  I’m thinking of adding some cards to hand to him, “Pardon me, you probably don’t realize it, but…… WE’RE GETTING NOWHERE!!”   

      As you might well expect, there are daily challenges in being me.   I live in Park Slope in Brooklyn which used to be famous for having the largest number of Victorian brownstones in the country.  But now, it is more well-known for being the baby stroller capital of the free world.  It’s as if, whenever a baby is conceived in the Northeast, the next day its parents are figuring out how to move to my neighborhood.   Navigating the streets and shops in the area has put a tremendous strain on me.  And that strain is nowhere greater than when I go to my local Starbucks. When I stopped in there the other day, I found myself amid a sea of strollers.  Not the kind that are small and fold up like the ones I used when my kids were little, but monster Farm-All Tractor-like strollers that could double as all-terrain vehicles.  I quickly conclude that there could never be enough “Pardon me” cards for this situation.   I can’t get anywhere near the barista and wind up shouting my order halfway across the store.  Carefully, I weave my way to the pick-up area, feeling lucky that I’ve bloodied only one of my shins.  Before I leave, I look around– lovely young women, beatific children.    And I’m thinking not-so-nice things.  I make a mental note to double up on my sessions with Bruce.

I see the   “Pardon me” cards as a possible salvation.  Of course, there are practical considerations to overcome.  I’m hard-pressed to see how to pass out even the initial, “Pardon me, you probably don’t realize it, but you just cut me off and I narrowly missed crashing into you” card at sixty miles per hour.  Also, there’s the problem with the recipient being able to read them in a darkened area, like a movie theater.  But, I think I have that one figured out.  I’ll be passing out infra-red goggles to anyone seated near me before the movie starts.  That way, when the violator receives the “Pardon me, you probably don’t realize it, but your breathing is really annoying” card, he or she can put on the infra-reds, and be able to see both the card, and exactly who they’re dealing with.

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The Slinglish Patient

December 2, 2020

A PAIR OF SLING SHOTS

          

                 

Sometimes I read old blog posts (something I highly recommend) and am often struck by how frequently my ailing right shoulder comes up. So I guess it should come as no surprise to anyone, particularly me, that I finally had to have an operation to repair it, specifically my rotator cuff. This, I did a few weeks ago, courtesy of my friends at NYU’s Hospital For Joint Diseases. Sadly (a huge understatement), this surgery is the third in about four years to correct body parts. Although I’ve gotten a lot of blog-mileage out of the other two (hip and knee replacements), believe me, it’s a paltry reward for the toll.

Let me say at the outset this is no cri de coeur, no call for sympathy. It’s simply an attempt to see if I can write a blog using only my left hand. You see, the surgery has left me in a sling for the foreseeable future (when I’m stuck with a problem situation, I can’t see much beyond a day or two). So please . . . pardon any typos, poor grammar, uninteresting content and the like. I think I deserve a pass.

I’ve been surprised at how limiting having the use of only one arm is. It turns out, there’s just a limited number of things you’re able to do one-handed especially when that one hand is your non-dominant one. But since we’re more or less shut down anyway, with not much to do, I’m using the time to train my myself to do things both in an offhanded and left handed way. And the first thing I taught myself (and not to brag, rather well) was to use the TV remote lefty. 

But that only accounts for something like six or seven hours of the day. Okay, maybe a few more. There’s still the rest of the time, where I have to do stuff —- like eat, bathe, occasionally get dressed and a few other things I don’t know you well enough to discuss. Fortunately (another understatement), Lebasi has rescued me and taken care of me whenever and however I need. I’m sure it’s taxing her sweet Southern disposition. Although she maintains that she doesn’t resent my constant need for help, I’m not so certain. I worry that one day soon she’s going to lead me to a rocking chair on the front porch, put a shawl around me and leave me out there for the winter.

UPDATE: Good news! Last evening I made my first left-handed martini. And now, I’ve completed my little story, again using just my off hand. I’d applaud myself but . . .

The Potent Peasant

November 11, 2020

Recently, my sister, Charnie, texted me the youtube audio above which you can play when you have oodles of free time. Say, maybe when you’re in the midst of a pandemic and can’t leave the house . . . or something like that. She wanted to know if it jogged any childhood memories. At first, I thought Franz may have been someone I’d been in a playgroup with as a kid. But there are too many things that just don’t add up. So . . . no memories were jogged.

It seemed as good a reason as any to call her; when I asked what any of this had to do with our childhood, she told me a fable about some recollections she had of my father sitting with me, my brother, Evets, and her on the living room couch listening to Von Seppe’s Light Cavalry operetta as it played on our phonograph. She went even further with the myth by telling me that my father would describe the scenes and the action that the music accompanied. I love that image. I just wish I’d been part of it.

As usually happens when Charnie and I disagree on a memory from our upbringing, we turn to my brother, who is the oldest of us. In years past, his would have been the final word. Not so much anymore. Did I mention that he’s the oldest? Still, his input does carry a certain amount of weight.

So Charnie sent the same youtube to Evets and surprisingly, he remembered things just as she had described. I (the youngest) would have been maybe six or seven years old when these Wilfred Brimley moments happened, so you’d think something would have stuck. Sadly, not so. I feel kind of cheated; but it makes sense because as the youngest, the short end of the stick and I were well acquainted with one another.

You should know, I don’t just write about this stuff without doing a little research first. And when I was looking into this Franz Von Suppe character, I learned that long before he wasn’t in a playgroup with me, he’d written about forty other operettas. One of them is entitled, Poet and Peasant. When I came across that piece of information, some part of my memory was, indeed, jogged. I remember my father often playing a piece of classical music called the Potent Peasant and we three listening along with him in our living room. Apparently, sometime between 1952 and now, someone has changed the title of that piece and it is now called Poet And Peasant. Hard to explain . . . maybe the translation from the Austrian has had some fine tuning over the years. Some very fine tuning. Or maybe I’m a bit of a dimwit. Of course, I could check with Evets to see what his recollection of the title is. But somehow, I don’t think I’d like the answer.

 

 

 

The Octopus And The Seal(e)

October 26, 2020

Without the options of any entertainment or diversions outside our house, Lebasi and I have come to rely on watching TV in a way that would have been anathema to us prior to the pandemic. Now it has taken on an outsized part of our daily life.

We’re pretty discerning in what we watch; try to avoid reality television, silly sit-coms and the like. But we have some idiosyncrasies that make finding good stuff to watch problematical. Neither of us can tolerate any depictions of violence. And I can’t manage any show that has even a hint of suspense. Remember, I’m your friend who has never seen Psycho, Jaws or The Shining among other iconic thrillers. (Although, in a breakthrough, I recently did make it through The Wizard of Oz. Kudos to me!)

So we’re both hopeful and appreciative when we get recommendations that might be geared to our sensibilities. (There’s only so many times we can watch A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.) Last week we watched two of those suggestions, My Octopus Teacher (subtitle: Eight is Enough) and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

The first of those films is billed as a documentary about the life of an octopus living in a kelp forest off the coast of South Africa. But it’s really a story about a love entanglement with a mollusk that consumes the diver/documentarian, Craig Foster, for about a year. The movie was highly recommended and got terrific reviews on-line. But honestly, I thought it was awful (mawkish is one adjective that comes to mind.) Lebasi concurred, so after we had finished the aquatic love affair we spent an hour . . . maybe two, ranting over the manipulations in the film and the lack of taste of everyone other than us.

The next night we decided to watch, The Trial of the Chicago 7 which is a dramatization of the trial of the protestors who were arrested at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. It’s a fascinating story and the screenplay is written by Aaron Sorkin so I knew all my “feel good” sensories would be touched. I totally enjoyed the film but was bewildered by some of the casting and performances. For example, Sasha Baron-Cohen played Abbie Hoffman. Hoffman was from Boston and Baron-Cohen adopted a Boston accent so broad you could drive Fenway Paahk through it. And Eddie Redmayne was cast as the firebrand, Tom Hayden. Not to speak ill of the dead, but Hayden in real life was not particularly attractive. Redmayne is. As you may know, Hayden was married for some time to Jane Fonda. I think, with his delicate features, Eddie’s a lot prettier than she is. And lastly, yet another Brit had a lead role. Mark Rylance played the irascible lawyer, William Kunstler. He got the combover down well enough, but for some reason he spoke with a Southern accent. I know a bit about Kunstler . . . he may have come from South Brooklyn but Alabama . . . I don’t think so.

Afterwards thinking about the two films, I couldn’t get over how freakily eerie it was to see these two movies back-to-back. How much they overlapped. Think about it . . . the Chicago seven were originally eight; initially, the Black Panther, Bobby Seale was included as one of the defendants. But during the trial his case was severed from the others, hence the Chicago 7. And then — now this will give you chills — somewhere in the middle of My Octopus Teacher, the octopus has one of its tentacles severed by a predator shark. Also reduced to seven!

When these kinds of oddities happen, for a moment I start to think maybe we’re not alone in the universe; running into things that go bump in the night. That there’s some greater meaning to these kinds of coincidences. But then I realize — were it not for Netflix, none of this would have happened. And believe me, I’m not about think that a company like that has some quasi-relationship to a higher authority. After all, it’s not like it’s Amazon Prime or something.

They Glue Horses, Don’t They?

October 19, 2020