Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sicario Soundtrack - The Beast

I like this ominous theme music.

(The movie itself, not so much, but that's a different story.)

Purged From "The Purge"

Coming out of the movie theater from seeing “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” I passed by a group of four idle teens who were asking any passers by: “What movie did you see and would you recommend it?” They had been kicked out of “The Purge” because of the R rating, and kicked out of WalMart for some other reason, but did succeed with getting food at In-and-Out. They were full of random, thought-provoking observations. Fun group. Reminded me of my teen years.

Helicopter Scene in "Sicario: Day of the Soldado"

I was mesmerized watching the helicopter scene in "Sicario: Day of the Soldado," on Albuquerque's Bobby Foster Road, where so many scenes in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" were also filmed. I was like, "No, they're getting dust all over the road! Someone will have clean that up!"

The Puzzle of Santa Fe in Musical Theater

Seeing "Newsies," with its improbable-seeming opening number of "Santa Fe," I was struck again by the odd place of Santa Fe, New Mexico in musical theater. I gather it strikes Gothamites as an exotic paradise far from cares or concerns. Coming from New Mexico, it seems grittier to me, but you can't see the grit from Manhattan.

Here are some movie musical numbers featuring Santa Fe in one aspect or another:

Jeff Hudson's Backgrounder on Jimin Moon

Heartwarming article, with a DMTC mention: (All images copyright Charr Crail)
Jimin Moon — a local 17-year-old with a strong interest in theater, going into his senior year at Davis High School — is enjoying some time in the spotlight this week. Moon is appearing in the musical “Newsies” at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento, in a production presented by the Broadway at Music Circus series (known prior to this summer simply as the Music Circus).

The show — which runs through Sunday, July 15, is loosely based on the 1899 newsboy strike in New York, in which hundreds of teenage newsboys protested a pay cut by going out on strike, pitting the jaunty teenage “newsies” against mighty (and very wealthy) publishing tycoons like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer… in an era where child labor laws were essentially nonexistent.

“The character I play is Henry — he’s one of the newsies … They were young, ranging from age 12 to age 17. The musical shows them sticking together and working together to fight against injustice,” Moon said in a phone interview last weekend.

The role also involves appearing in a number of scenes. “As a newsies, we are on stage for a good long time during the show, singing and dancing.” Moon interprets Henry as a kid who’s got some mixed feelings about the strike — “he also wants to put food on the table for his family.”

In addition to playing Henry, Moon also appears briefly as one of the scabs (strikebreakers) who are hired to replace the striking newsies (leading to clashes between the strikers and the scabs).

Music Circus productions are put together on an intense, accelerated schedule, with two weeks of rehearsals (around 8 hours a day, sometimes a little more). And since “Newsies” is what is known as “a dance show,” Moon tries to get there early, so he has time to limber up. “I like to get myself ready for the day, because there’s so much dancing,” he said. “I don’t want to hurt myself, so I need to take a little time and make sure my body is in peak condition.”

...This is Moon’s second Music Circus production. “I was also in their production of ‘Oliver’ in 2011, playing one of the kids in Fagin’s gang.” Moon has also participated for three years in the Sacramento Theatre Company’s Young Professionals Conservatory (appearing alongside professional actors in STC shows like “Cinderella” and “Twelfth Night”).

He also dances with the Hawkins Contemporary Jazz Pre-Professional Company and the Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theatre Apprentice Company. He got his start onstage 10 years ago, appearing in several shows with the Davis Musical Theatre Company. (“When I went to see my first show there, I said ‘I have to do that (myself),'” he recalls.)

After Moon wraps up his three-week involvement in Music Circus, he will be heading off to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (his first visit to that state), where he will participate in a two-week training program for teens with an interest in musical theater, training under professors from university theater departments and theater professionals, with the goal of prepping the high school juniors and seniors for upcoming auditions for college theater programs.

...But this week, his focus is squarely on “Newsies,” and he is encouraging folks who know him to see the show. “Little kids will love it, parents will love it, grandparents will love it.The dancing is incredible, and the cast is working incredibly hard under our director and our choreographer, to make this show happen in such a short period of time.”

Friday, July 13, 2018

"Newsies" at Music Circus

Scored a free ticket to second row back from stageside!

Here is Bev Sykes' review of the show:
At the turn of the 20th century, some 10,000 boys sold newspapers on the streets of New York, many of them orphaned and homeless. The boys paid to get the newspapers, and if they did not sell, the publishers would not buy them back.

During the Spanish-American war, when the desire for news was high, the publishers raised the price charged to the boys from 50 cents per hundred to 60 cents per hundred. But at the end of the war, when the interest dropped, publishers Pulitzer and Hearst did not reduce the price the boys paid, even though other publishers did. The boys demanded a return to the price that their peers at other papers were paying.

Under the leadership of a 15-year-old boy named Kid Blink, the “newsies” organized, held massive outdoor meetings and after two weeks, the publishers and the newsies compromised — they would keep the higher price, but would buy back any unsold papers. The stand-off was considered a major step in the child-labor movement.

In 1992, the story was made into a Disney movie, and in 2014 an award-winning musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and book by Harvey Fierstein. It is now a premier for Broadway at Music Circus.

...But this show belongs to the newsies themselves (if you look closely you can see Davis High’s Jimin Moon). The dancing is amazing and you do get the feel of their camaraderie as well as their desperation.
Jimin Moon is in the showHow time flies. I was in "A Christmas Carol" with him at DMTC in 2012.

Trump is Under Attack From ‘Multidimensional Luciferian Advanced Beings’

No, Trump’s under attack by good-intentioned people everywhere, but we’ll accept the advanced multidimensional scientific label if pressed:
Last week, End Times author Paul McGuire appeared on the Jim Bakker Show and declared that President Trump is currently engulfed in “the greatest spiritual battle in the history of all mankind.” He expanded on his claim on his radio program this Thursday, this time clarifying that the battle is with “advanced beings” who possess “supernatural multidimensional” powers.

And it gets even weirder.

“The physical battles that we see in our world and nation right now are a direct manifestation of the spiritual battles going on in the invisible realm,” McGuire said in an audio clip flagged by Right Wing Watch.

“There are people very high up in what is called the globalist occult or globalist Luciferian rulership system, and this rulership system consists of what used to be called the Pharaoh-God Kings, it’s what Aldous Huxley called ‘The Scientific Dictatorship,’ and these are advanced beings who know how to tap into supernatural multidimensional power and integrate it with science, technology, and economics,” he continued.

Anxiety Dreams

I have two recurring anxiety dreams about my house. The first is that there are many levels of caves and passageways below the house, often with rivers flowing through them. The second is there is an entire cramped alt-house attached to it where dozens of people live and pay exorbitant rents, not to me, but to a mystery landlord in Cleveland. Feels all too real, some mornings.

What Arson Will Get You

Pardoned by Trump, Oregon ranchers ride home in style on Pence ally's private jet.

In a photo published on his nonprofit's Facebook page, oil entrepreneur Forrest Lucas, far right, gives pardoned ranchers Steven Hammond, center left, and Dwight Hammond, center right, a ride home to Burns, Ore., in his company's private jet. (Protect the Harvest)

This Headline Makes Me Happy

Sarah Palin claims Sacha Baron Cohen duped her for talk

Faye Wray Shown Promoting New Mexico's First License Plate in 1929

Popular actress of the era Faye Wray shown promoting New Mexico's first License Plate in 1929.

Great Haboob Video

Southern Arizona is the best for these haboobs (video).

Dance Like It's 1518!

Five hundred year anniversary of a very strange event:
It started with just a few people dancing outdoors in the summer heat. Arms flailing, bodies swaying and clothes soaked with sweat, they danced through the night and into the next day. Seldom stopping to eat or drink, and seemingly oblivious to mounting fatigue and the pain of bruised feet, they were still going days later. By the time the authorities intervened, hundreds more were dancing in the same frenetic fashion.

... And it happened 500 years ago this summer in the French city of Strasbourg. It was there, over the course of three roasting-hot months in 1518, that several hundred people developed a compulsion to dance. The dancing went on and on until – to the horror of the crowds who gathered to watch – some of them collapsed and perished on the spot. Just what was happening?

...The rich burghers who ran the city were not amused. One of them, writer Sebastian Brant, had devoted a chapter of his moralising bestseller, Ship of Fools, to the folly of dance. Mystified by the chaos in the streets, he and his fellow city councillors consulted local doctors who, in keeping with standard medical wisdom, declared the dancing to be the result of “overheated blood” on the brain.

Work On The House - Eaves

Lots of rapid progress

Tuesday Progress

Thursday Progress

Open Office Layouts

Open office layouts, like open classrooms, just don't work very well. Creativity depends on being able to choose when to be sociable, not having sociability thrust upon you:
Why do companies deploy open office layouts? A major justification is the idea that removing spatial boundaries between colleagues will generate increased collaboration and smarter collective intelligence.

As I learned in a fascinating new study, published earlier this week in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, there was good reason to believe that this might be true. As the study’s authors, Ethan Bernstein and Stephen Turban, note:

“[T]he notion that propinquity, or proximity, predicts social interaction — driving the formation of social ties and therefore information exchange and collaboration — is one of the most robust findings in sociology.”

But when researchers turned their attention to the specific impact of open offices on interaction, the results were mixed. Perhaps troubled by this inconsistency, Bernstein and Turban decided to get to the bottom of this issue.

Prior studies of open offices had relied on imprecise measures such as self-reported activity logs to quantify interactions before and after a shift to an open office plan. Bernstein and Turban tried something more accurate: they had subjects wear devices around their neck that directly measured every face-to-face encounter. They also used email and IM server logs to determine exactly how much the volume of electronic interactions changed.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Ricky Romero, Back in the Day

Mike London's Sunday televised wrestling was an Albuquerque treat when I was young. This is 1975, though. A bit late. Ricky's a bit long in the tooth here.

Rushing Water Hits The Dry Santa Fe Riverbed

It's summer in New Mexico!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Hurricane Gaze Shifts West

There are two tropical storms east of the United States right now - Tropical Storms Beryl and Chris - but indications are both will stay well offshore.

The big action right now is the western Pacific. Super Typhoon Maria is likely to plow directly into China this week, with new typhoons waiting to generate in its wake.

Roses Are Red; Tacos Are Enjoyable

Thief in the Night

Sitting in the kitchen around midnight, I heard a soft surreptitious sound. My suspicions were aroused. It must be my old nemesis, that thief in the night, a raccoon on the roof! They can be so destructive. So I ran outside to confront the beast.

Instead, I noticed that a man was removing the window screen on the apartment next door. “I know how this must look, but I assure you, I’m not a thief,” he said. Deeply embarrassed, he hastened to explain that he was supposed to take care of the dog in the apartment, but the dog’s master failed to leave a key, leaving him no choice but to break in.

My first reaction was confusion, since this man looked nothing like a raccoon. But as unlikely as his story sounded, I knew he was being truthful, because he knew the dog’s name.

Microburst in Phoenix


Wandering through symbolic thickets here....

In "Breaking Bad" or "Better Call Saul," Monkeys, Chimpanzees, or Gorillas represent heavy-handed manipulation. Whenever you see a primate, someone is getting played.

Color may also play a role. When Jesse shows Jane his drawings from childhood, in the background a song is quietly playing: ‘Zungguzungguguzungguzeng,’ by Jamaican Reggae/Dancehall artist Yellowman ("Breaking Bad," Season 2, episode 10, 'Over').

Yellowman endured the stigma of being albino. He eventually embraced his uniqueness by calling himself Yellowman. Albinism is (or at least, used to be) a tough condition to carry in Jamaican society:

"Albinos in Jamaica were seen as not being "real" Jamaicans because blackness is seen as divine or godlike in the Rastafarian religion. And in fact, the darker you were, the more holy and worthy of heaven you were. So by default, and by Rastafarian teachings, albinos are seen as less of a human being and are accused of trying to be or looking like the white men of the west who colonized them."

As far as I know, this is the first time where the concept of a color alternative meaning white – yellow – is introduced in “Breaking Bad.” In some cases and circumstances (still not well-defined), yellow may also signal manipulation. Examples include:

• Jane sucks on a yellow popsicle while denying that she and Jesse have a relationship ("Breaking Bad," Season 2, episode 10, 'Over');
• Walt leaves Hank’s garage and immediately tries to contact Skyler while the neighbor kid is playing with a yellow R/C car (“Breaking Bad,” season 5b, episode 1, ‘Blood Money’; episode 2, ‘Buried’);
• The license plate number of the van Walter White uses to transport his money out to the desert "D4DD31" is HTML code for a shade of yellow (“Breaking Bad,” season 5b, episode 2, ‘Buried’);
• Both Hank and Walt wield bright-yellow containers of honey in their Awkward Guacamole lunch (“Breaking Bad,” Season 5b, episode 11, ‘Confessions’).

Another case where a yellow man, The Man with the Yellow Hat, represents white – a white European - is in the tales of Curious George.

Curious George is a particularly-intriguing chimpanzee. The relationship between Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat mirrors the relationship between Walt and Jesse in “Breaking Bad.”

The tales of Curious George, written from a European perspective, always have an undercurrent of white dominance. An undercurrent of – White – dominance….