Sunday, May 17, 2009

The earthquake

Oh, that's what it was! I was in the DGA theater watching a screening of STAR TREK. At the time I felt a rumbling and thought, "Wow, that J.J. Abrams really knows how to create realistic special effects!" Anyway, I'm fine and my review of STAR TREK follows Monday night.

12 comments:

Simon H. said...

An Earthquake in California? Or as the locals call it, Sunday.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

That also serves as the signal to probably get to bed for work in the morning.

A. Buck Short said...

And that’s what ah like about the South. Tornados pretty much only git ya’ in a trailer park. Earthquakes shake everything but Howie Mandel’s hand. Thank God this was only “moderate.” Now that they’ve started naming them, let’s go with Arlen Spector. Sorry just trying to make Guinness for segueing the word Spector into successive blog comments.

I heard this one was so moderate it wasn’t even enough to shake off Carrie Prejean’s blouse in front of a fashion photographer.

Yes, occasionally I’m given to flights of whimsy, but me and my homies really did have a similar movie experience, and I apologize if I may have mentioned this before. It was the evening of Nov. 9. We were among maybe 300 in an auditorium watching an anthropological film called “The Bushmen” about the diminutive residents of southwest Africa’s Kalahari Desert. I have no idea why we were there, except it was before the Discovery and National Geographic channels. It may just have been the result of not having read the student union screening schedule carefully enough. A pretentious film buff, I had been representing myself as a fan of the silent movie great Francis X. Bushman, since his memorable performance opposite Ramon Navarro in the original Ben Hur. This interest was revived with the man’s recent cameo as a silent movie collector menaced by the Riddler on the Batman TV series. He had me at “Pow!” Easy mistake.

The film was narrated by the great newsreel announcer Westbrook Van Voorhis. It was shortly before 5:30pm, and, POV, we followed a band of bushmen out into the brush with their spears as they tracked a giant kudu.
http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/1294528.html

As they ventured farther into the desert, Van Voorhis’ voice not only provided an opportunity for alliteration, but also became gravelly, and the words came out slower and slower, as if they man were having a stroke right there on celluloid before our very eyes and ears. At first I thought he may actually have been accompanying the pygmy posse and was getting parched the farther along they got in the hunt. Then the screen went dark and everything stopped completely.

It was the great northeast power blackout of 1965. Someone in Ontario had apparently plugged in a toaster and an electric hair dryer at the same time. And 30 million of us had to suffer the consequences. The dryness in the announcer’s voice has simply been the film reel’s turning slower and slower and gradually coming to a halt as the power went out. It was certainly a wakeup call.

The blackout forced Americans to reconsider our dependence on electricity and the fragility of the power grid system. Although Michigan, where she had been residing at the time, had been unaffected, a young lady named Madonna Louise Ciccone had received word of our experience and considered it a sign from the Kabbalah that she should start taking an interest in short people from Africa. She also went out and bought batteries, vowing that when the time came, to never be dependent upon either men or the reliability of the electrical power grid infrastructure. OK, but the movie reel part is true.

lifestooshort said...

ABS - Your posts might be excellent, but I've never read one of them. A rule of thumb: if it doen't fit in the browser window, back up.

VP81955 said...

Here's some background on the Long Beach quake of 1933, and a legendary anecdote about it:

http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/6116.html

wv: "nistical" -- Buckwheat trying to explain the paranormal.

Anonymous said...

lifestooshort, fuck off.

Curt Miller

Curt Miller said...

I'm the last rude anonymous. I hit the button too quickly to enter name.
Message remains the same though.

Curt Miller

lifestooshort said...

Oh, sorry, it's CURT Miller. I thought it was something else at first.

Jeffrey said...

Now, boys, plays nice.

theBender

wv: "gress" = companion to whom I said, "But I die..."

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Today is the 29th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. The earthquake proves that Californians will go to any length to chase a fad.

Tom Quigley said...

A. Buck Short said:

" The dryness in the announcer’s voice has simply been the film reel’s turning slower and slower and gradually coming to a halt as the power went out." Funny, but I heard that same voice narrating all the Encyclopaedia Britannica films I saw in school as a kid...

A. Buck Short said...

Tom, now that you mention it, he was also the voice used to lend “credibility” to the 8mm. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory / Boston Coconut Grove nightclub fire film the traveling smoke alarm salesman tried to scare the begeezus out of my parents with in the 60's.

And btw, “What hath Buck wrought?” Lifestooshort, your point is well taken. Things tend to appear confrontational in print, even when well-intended. As I once apologized to Mies van der Rohe, it takes a lot more time I don't have to write less. The length may be compensation for the last name and perhaps one other unfortunate attribute. Not that I don’t appreciate what I’m interpreting as a spirited defense, Curt. Helps sustain the illusion that I post this crap for somebody else’s benefit. Now if we all can only stop thinking of ABS as the desirability of a wordcount antilock breaking system. Damn, ran over agai...