Nov 19, 2012

Anyone else up here in the Bay Area

Seen that  slightly creepy teevee ad for Merritt Bakery and Restaurant? (It is entirely possible that it is just me.  I saw it early this morning, watching an old -- In color! Guest starring Ronny Howard! -- episode of Daniel Boone on MeTV.)

More on Daniel Boone in a minute -- he's a big man! So, the Merritt ad starts with a couple arguing by Lake Merritt at dusk.  It is probably shot in color, but it is all washed out and dark, and plays as black and white.  The man leaves in a huff, throwing his arms down near his waist in disgust, and tromps off along the lake path.  Then we get a long shot of the man walking soulfully, and dejectedly, hands in his pockets, with the Oakland skyline as the backdrop.  Cut to the woman at a window booth at the Merritt Bakery and Restaurant, receiving a cup of coffee, placing her order with her server.  It is night now.  The woman stares directly in to the camera because she has obviously seen someone she knows.  New shot, the woman's POV:  It is her Sweetie! The dejected man has spotted her.  He is looking at her through the window, his palms on the glass. The commercial ends with the lovers reunited, sharing coffee and a meal, talking their problems out.

I should not quibble, I suppose.  It is nice that it is an unusual subject matter for a commercial, and it is also nice that it is for a local Oakland dining institution.  (I had many a late-night meal at the Merritt last I lived in Oaktown.  I like the Merritt.) But, the execution of the commercial, and the tone still gives me the willies.

As for Fess Parker, Ron Howard, and Daniel Boone, honestly, I had never seen an episode all the way through.  Ugh.  What a god-fearing, reactionary, freedom-loving, freedom-fighting little abomination of a television program it is.  And, the episode I saw with Ron Howard as a guest star (Howard plays Luke, whose thieving lying Pa is killed by Boone's cohort, Ben) was particularly awful.  I did like Claire Wilcox as Mary, though.


How is everyone doing? Getting excited for the holidays, yet? I watched The Good Wife in real-time last night (I like the program -- Renee can not stand it) and was exposed to dozens of hideous odious Black Friday shopping commercials.  Sometimes I hate my country, my country's culture, my culture altogether.  Generally, the only television I watch with commercials is live sports, and, I hardly do that even.  Most sports I watch is dvr'd, or, the Red Zone, which is a whip-around seven hour Sunday program with no commercials whatsoever! Heaven!

Seeing all those awful konsumterror commercials last night really made a dent in my soul, so naturally, after The Good Wife, I decided I would watch Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl! (At least there were not any commercials, right?)

I recognize Ken Burns' flaws, yet, I still enjoy his films.  And, the amazing body of work that he will ultimately leave behind, his history of this youthful complicated ambitious prideful sometimes hateful nation in which we live, begs to be respected.

Actually, I must admit that my favorite part of The Dust Bowl is that we already have two witnesses named Pauline, and a third Pauline is remembered for dying of "dust pneumonia".
Pauline was my Oklahoma Grandmother's name. (There is also a Lewis witness, too.  Lewis is my Mother's maiden name.) It is also delightful to hear the Oklahoma accents.

It is not so delightful, and definitely soul-crushing, to learn about the way my Southern Plains ancestors foolishly and greedily raped the land the Native Americans had lived on for centuries, all for lucre.  Wheat millionaires these Next Year Folks aspired to be.  And, they, and thousands of others all over the Plains suffered as a result.

I had no idea about the penetrating awesome power of static electricity that would precede and be part of the fearsome awe-inspiring Black Blizzards.  Dust storms that would completely block out the sun, and turn day in to night.  Folks back then would attach a metal bar to the back bumper of their car, so as to ground the static electric charge that would consume the air and land.  Scary, fascinating stuff.

Burns ended part one last night with a Woody Guthrie song, and tonight's conclusion will talk about the famous Okie exodus to California and other parts.  That could be even tougher to watch than last night's installment.  But, I will be there.

All my love, Angels, 


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