Fax Facts and Reviews

Vol.. XIV No. 8

Sunday, May 19, 2013

       The first cell-phone I ever saw was in the film, Clueless, with Alicia Silverstone. I got lots of laughs from this film and became a fan of its engaging young actress. The story was supposedly modeled after Jane Austin’s novel, Emma (which I never understood: I read the novel, hated it, and almost never got through with it. All I could see was a pretty young girl (who may or may not, be as pretty as Alicia!) who attempts to play at being cupid, and form romances between any two people with whom she comes in contact. Boring!

       To my way of looking at Clueless, the plot was much more of an exposition of the cellular telephone and the purpose for which it was first made. But that’s all water under the dam, now that Alicia was replaced in Hollywood by Reese Witherspoon. Reese (who took home an Oscar for her work in the Johnny Cash film biography) got all of the roles that were Alicia’s cup of tea, yet her appearance in the star-studded Batman (I forget which one it was) pretty much ended her film career. The last time I heard her name in the news, it was for the highly controversial method by which she was feeding her offspring. (Don’t go there if you want to know how or why!) .

       When I asked what Clueless has to do with Emma, I was told that in each case, the heroine is a busybody who tries to steer every one of her associates as straight to the altar as they can go. She finds a lot of people in her social status that are almost as uninteresting as she was to me. Sad but true, it took me forever to wade through that silly patter of social life among teenagers in that particular phase of the Earth’s history. Imagine my surprise and disgust when I found, much to my chagrin that Cell Phones had taken the world by storm; and I see them as much more a threat than Hurricane, Tornado, Blizzard or Plague.

Pet Peeves

       The article in the last issue of Frank’s Fax Facts attracted at least four subscribers to share their frustrations with us. So far, the readers who sent their “Pet Peeves” to me, are Bill McGlassen, Howard Deck, Patricia Gragg, and Chuck Beech.

Here’s what Howard Deck wrote: (and I couldn’t agree with him more)

 A pet peeve for your consideration:

Individuals who leave their unattended shopping cart parked in the middle of the aisle, while they semi consciously browse among the canned vegetables (or whatever), oblivious to others just trying to navigate through.  Women are the worst offenders.

Bill writes:

         My pet peeve today is the fact that it is my opinion that essentially all University faculty members are all Liberals.  There are so few conservatives and they must take lots of abuse.  I enrolled in an elective American History course my senior year (1959) at University of Missouri.  It was taught by the Head of the History Department, and that was the only undergraduate course he taught.  The class had a tremendous reputation and it was difficult to get into the class as it rapidly filled up the 100 plus seats in the lecture room.  There were several text pamphlets which covered several opposing views, such as those of framers of the constitution, civil war issues, monopoly busters of the Teddy Roosevelt era, and the New Deal of FDR.  There were several opposing economist authors.  The purpose of the course was to show there are different views and we had an opportunity to analyze both sides.  My family heavily supported the Democratic Party and voted the party line.  This course made an impression on me to analyze the facts more deeply and not just accept things on the surface, but to investigate them deeply.  This was a 5 hour credit course and I never missed a lecture.  I doubt that a History Professor today would ever attempt to lead a class such as this, because they have become too biased.  That concludes my Pet Peeve for today.

From Chuck Beech

"child proof" caps are truly an annoyance, my no. 1 pet peeve is people talking on cell phones in public places e.g. while perusing the grocery aisle and blocking traffic while taking 5 minutes to contemplate a box of macaroni; a task that would ordinarily take 15 seconds but because of the distraction of the telephone their mind doesn't work right

And Patricia Gragg gets right to the point!

Great idea about pet peeves!   How about teenagers/young people who say the word “like" after every three or four words in a sentence?    example..."well I called my boyfriend and, like, he said we could go out, like, maybe Friday. but, like, I'm busy that day and I said, like, maybe we could, like, go out, like, maybe.....

Share your peeves with us. Do not be shy! 

         A Conservative  Old Coot writes that his own pet peeve is, as everyone who has ever known him, knows, is the Cellular Phone,  I feel that whoever thought it up (now, mind you, I keep one in my car much of the time—but use it only for times when I have to call AAA or some other emergency occurs-like times when my telephone quits on me) But, I strongly challenge those youngsters who say that they would rather be dead, than not to have their own cell. My reaction is, “Better to be IN a cell, than wasting your precious lives trying to keep in constant touch with everybody you know. I feel that cell phones and their spelling will be the death of literature; abbreviating every word cannot but have a bad effect. And current fads, like LOL, will make the laziest student even lazier.

         I first heard of Cell Phones in the delightful comedy Clueless. It brought stardom to Alicia Silverstone (who became my favorite young female player). Now, when I am waiting at a red light to turn green (my color “Ignorance” works just fine here) and am in a hurry to meet an appointment. Then a woman, who is in the car ahead of mine, just SITS there well after the color change had taken place! I wish I could just tell her how many people (besides me) are inconvenient because of her “Texting” while waiting for the light! And, speaking of that abominable word (as irritating to me as FUN. That word is no longer used as a noun, but seems to be used as if it were an adjective. As in sentences like “It was so fun!” I have even heard this sick report, “This time was even funner than the last!”  But that is yet another of my pet peeves!

         Looking back a few years, the film, Clueless was concerned with a California high school with the most sophisticated students I had ever seen, even in movies. The biggest laughs were from just the fact that every student in the school, had his own cell phone. I laughed; because Silverstone and her friends would call each other, right there in class! I laughed then—but now I don’t find it a bit funny. It scares me to death.


Cat Fax

   “The love of dress is very marked in this attractive animal. He is proud of the luster of his coat, and cannot endure that a hair of it shall lie the wrong way.”

Jules Champfleury

Old Movie Reviews

Driving Miss Daisy

       Jessica Tandy won her very first Oscar, after doing so much fine work throughout the century for this almost perfect film. It was her last film, and it is a beautiful tribute to a brilliant career. She was wed to Hume Cronin, and starred with him in many of their movies. Their careers (each of them) kept them working before the cameras to the end of both lives, literally.
       Miss Daisy is a sweet little old Jewish Lady, whose son is a banker and tries to do anything he can to make her feel safe and happy after she has a wreck. He refuses to allow her to drive because he knows her accident was her own fault as the result of carelessness on her part. So he hires a “colored gentleman” to be her chauffer, buys her a new car and tries to convince her that she is lucky just to be alive. But Miss Daisy is not used to taking orders, especially from her own children. 

       There are scenes of bitterness, suspicion comedy and just good old film making. Mississippi’s own Morgan Freeman is quiet simply magnificent as Miss Daisy’s Chauffer, as she teaches him to read.

       By the end of the film, I felt just as if I had lost another member of my own family. I adored it the first time I saw it; but seeing it a second time, I felt as happy as a lark!

 Draft Dodgers Ltd.

       I was, naturally sad to see Lynwood on the Sunday before his return to the States. He made me promise faithfully that I would call him the moment I reached Fort Jackson, since his home was only about a mile from the camp. “I’ll come over and we’ll get a room at the Cola.” Which was his name for the second best hotel in Columbia.  But since I planned to take my longest trip alone, time was of the utmost importance: I wanted to see Italy, from La Scala to Daddy’s home town, Ceffalu. Sicily.

       When my solo trip began, I took a train to Milano, in Italy. There, I had booked a ticket to their world-famous Opera House. I had done my business with the same firm (in Karlsruhe) that had done so well with my Wagnerian Opera Trip. Imagine my disappointment (not to mention my criticism, when I was told (at the boxoffice) that they had never heard of me! Not even the fact that the opera I would have seen, was one that I had never even heard of! So, I made the best of a bad situation by catching another train later that afternoon, for Pisa! I wanted to see if that Tower really leaned as much as they said it did!!

       Before I left Milano, however, I had to take a bus to and from the opera house, and it was while riding to La Scala, that I noticed that a newspaper everyone seemed caught up with, had something connected with Susan Hayward. At this stage of my life, she was one of my idols! I could just fill in the blank spaces of the newspaper: Susan Hayward had not died at all. The article (as someone explained to me later) told of a midnight tryst with none other than MY character (Bob Steele) when Sammy, George and I played at being Cowboys (we became Juck Bones, Men Kaynered and, I was Stob Beele! Well, we both had curly hair!) I was so disappointed when I heard about this (now, all those years afterward, I am not certain what the outcome was, but I definitely remember that they were found nude in her front yard. That’s one of my most vivid memories of Milano.

       And here’s another strange memory: When I was back at Milano’s train station, waiting for a train to Pisa, a man came up to me and began talking as if he knew me! I don’t remember now, what he said, but I do remember that I finally convinced him that I was not anyone he had ever met. He then assured me that the person for whom he was looking, looked exactly like a copy of myself! Isn’t life funny? That sort of thing never happened to me in all of my life, and I have to admit, I looked carefully at everyone who was in the depot that afternoon. I wanted to see my double! Well, wouldn’t you?

       Pisa was a pretty place, and I didn’t have to ask anyone where their Leaning Tower was located. It looked much worse than I had expected, and to this day, I will never understand how it keeps from falling! But they make a lot of money from the millions of people like me, who stop in Pisa for just that reason. I was not in the least disappointed in what I saw. I took a room for the night, and remember (this came back to me in a flash) I went to a theater that evening that was showing There’s No Business Like Show Business, which starred Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O’Conner, Dan Dailey, Mitzi Gayner and Johnny Rae (this was his only film, I believe). It was loud, long and pretty awful (and just like the Germans, they dub all movies into Italian (and not German, of course), But I got my money’s worth seeing Donald O’Connor, and Marilyn (who was never better) doing The We’re Having a Heat Wave! Johnny Rae was not as terrible an actor as I had expected, as the brother who leaves his all-theatrical family to become a Catholic Priest. Merman was her usual "blastingly" loud self (especially singing the title song) and the film’s entire music was composed by wonderful Irving Berlin,

       As I walked slowly through the streets of Pisa, towards my hotel, I heard a crowd in a tavern as I was going past, singing a German song that sounded more than a little familiar! I stopped just outside the doors than led to the assemblage, and little by little it came back to me: it was a song that Miss Alline Hill had taught all of us, in Public School, several years before, She did a lot of songs like that; wrote the words on the blackboard and we had to copy them, and use them to sing the tunes (from lots of countries); This was called (this is how she wrote it so that we could get the correct words, even though she had simplified it for our ears to be able to repeat them, as she played them) “From Luzern to Wagis-ahn---Hole de re-de-ah—Hole de reAH.) I would have given anything to have my old teacher (she was my first Piano Teacher, as well as George’s) there with me in Pisa! I felt a lump in my throat as big as a frog with the pain that always seems to be my reaction to certain beautiful memories.

       I just had to see how the singers looked, so I walked slowly in, and heard the entire song as I watched them: Some were seated at their own tables, with their arms around each other’s neck; rocking back and forth as they kept time with the music; others were dancing as they sang, and a few were like me: Just trying to capture the moment ---and have it for a lifetime of joyous memories.

(Continued Next Week).”

Old Movies Quiz

1.      Who starred with Jessica Tandy, as her son in Driving Miss Daisy?

2.     What was the tragedy about which The Bridge of San Louie Rey (1944) was written?

3.      Stella Dallas was played by which popular star of such films as The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire and Christmas in Connecticut?

4.      What very funny lady (Oscar Winner)  lived in a house where every train that passed would rattle the plates almost off the wall? Clue: think of three Letters.

5.      What actress was Bette Davis’s best friend in All about Eve?

6.      Who was played to perfection in the title role?

7.      What sultry lady was Miss Sadie Thompson?

8.      Complete the title, Love Laughs at (?) the leading man’s name in one of MGM series that often filled the bill of Double Features.

9.      The Maisey series starred which blond beauty at MGM?

10. What actor played The Great Gatsby first?



Your Quiz Maker is embarrassed because he cannot find last week’s Quiz. Please send me a copy of the last quiz, please. (I have been in a daze ever since beginning my 14th yr)



Monday, May 20, 2013