Saturday, March 9, 2019
Leaving Neverland purports to prove that Michael Jackson was a sick man; a child molester.
I ask, Why watch it?

It’s not going to stop us from committing a crime.
We’re not going to learn any life-lessons from it.
We’re not going to save anyone from a similar fate.

Are we scholars researching the topic?
Jurists formulating rules of crime and punishment?
Historians assembling the facts?
Psychologists listening and learning?
As testimony for such scholars, the movie has validity.

If not, I ask, “What are we learning?”
That MJ was a troubled man?
But why are we wasting our time watching details of his abuse?
Of anyone’s abuse.
Do we really need to hear the testimony of purported victims of the obscene details?
How Jackson fondled the ten-year-old’s penis?
Encouraged reciprocity?
Mouthed it?

Or hear the views of the complicit adults?
Revisit the pain of abused children?

I watched fifteen minutes of it and what came into my mind were words like salacious and degrading.
If there were such a thing we’d label it oral pornography.
Come on.
We have better use of our time than titillation with smut.

Like watching Finding Neverland, a movie of pure love and fantasy gently dabbed with historical veracity.
Edifying, not degrading.

Postings Count, Weather Brief, and Dinner
Saturday, March 9, 2019

My 331st consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.

Time is 12.01am.
On Saturday Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 41* with a feels-like temperature of 37*, with sunny skies.

Dinner at a favorite restaurant with daughter Kat, Craigie on Main.

And it’s March and we may justly anticipate the absence of freezing weather after that.    Tick Tock. In clock language: Enjoy today.

And it’s March and we may justly anticipate the absence of freezing weather after that.

Tick Tock.
In clock language: Enjoy today.

Tick Tock
: Marking Calendars and Deep Weather

After 331 posts we’re at the 6.62% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.

Today our winter-spring shoulder calendar proves its worth.
A decent winter’s day, today, with a spate of March-warm days to follow.
A significant improvement from the ice age from which we are emerging.

Question of the Day
What is the difference between Leaving Neverland and Finding Neverland?

From playing marbles.

From playing marbles.

Elephant jokes to tell at a bar:
Why do the elephants have wrinkled knees?

Love your notes.
Contact me at existentialautotrip@hotmail.com

This from Howard, responding to a discussion of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

Subject: FWIW The Grand Concourse

Very nice treatment of my little autobiographical note about growing up in the Bronx and my two degrees of geographic separation from one of the royalty of American comedy.

I don’t know if you had time to savor any facts about the Grand Concourse in your search for what is a perfect photo (perfect for depicting the significance of the Concourse as a major thoroughfare, still vital and still highly important to the life and commerce of the Bronx, just one of five boroughs in New York City, but with a population of one and a half million people a major city in its own right). The Bronx occupies a county with the same name (Bronx County), which is the third most densely populated county in the US. It is also the only one of the five boroughs of the city of New York that is actually on the mainland of the United States. The little known fact about New York is that most of its population lives on an island—three altogether: Long Island, Staten Island, and, of course, Manhattan.

The Grand Concourse is special for its continuing life as a vibrant part of the street life of the Borough, not having been converted to a limited access highway, as so many of the major arteries running through the Bronx, have been, perpetually congested with traffic… mainly people desperate to get somewhere else. It is also special for being designed and engineered as a thoroughfare that is entirely a child of the 20th century. It was designed by, of course, a Frenchman, named Louis Risse, an immigrant from northeast France who ended up as chief topographical engineer of the City of New York. I say “of course,” because, unless it is otherwise not obvious, Risse modeled the Grand Concourse after the world-famous (and justly so) Champs-Elysées of Paris. For much of its length the Grand Concourse is as wide as a highway, being a ten lane roadway, with stretches that measure 12 lanes wide, and comprising as many as four separate roadways, with service roads on either side buttressing the major artery. It has been in use since it was inaugurated in 1909.

 I know from personal experience it can take as many as two traffic light changes as a pedestrian to cross from one side of the Concourse to the other. It stretches from the northern border of the Bronx with the next town, Yonkers, now essentially a suburb of the city serviced by the same public transport systems, and at the other end it terminates where Manhattan begins. Yet for virtually all of its significant length, over four miles, though bends and curves in the roadway make it practically longer, it is an essential and lively residential and mercantile community, with hundreds of thousands of residents and thousands of shops and service providers.

 The photo you selected to illustrate its essential appearance, aside from representative, is, in fact, almost 40 blocks southward (and a distance of two miles more or less) from the neighborhood where Penny Marshall and I spent significant moments in our childhoods. It matters to me, but I can fully understand that to an outsider, one block on the Grand Concourse is as impressive as another.

 Thanks for the memories. 



Web Meister Responds: Love the style and the content. Thanks, Howard.

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Answer to the Question of the Day

Is there a difference between Leaving Neverland and Finding Neverland?

Leaving Neverland is a 2019 documentary film directed and produced by British filmmaker Dan Reed.
It focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by the singer Michael Jackson as children.
It also examines the effects on the alleged victims' families.

The film is a co-production between the UK broadcaster Channel 4 and the US broadcaster Home Box Office (HBO). It premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2019, and was broadcast in two parts in March.

Finding Neverland is a 2004 historical fantasy drama film directed by Marc Forster and written by David Magee, based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee.
The film is about playwright J. M. Barrie and his relationship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.
The film earned four nominations at the 77th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Johnny Depp, and won for Best Original Score.
The film was the inspiration for the stage musical of the same name in 2012.

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 83% based on 202 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10.

In her review in The Times, Wendy Ide called the film "charming but rather idiosyncratic" and added, "A mixture of domestic drama, tragedy and exuberant fantasy, the film blends moist-eyed nostalgia with the cruel disappointments of a marriage break-up; a childlike playfulness and unpredictability with a portrait of a treacherously unforgiving and rigid Edwardian society.
It could appeal to everyone from preteens to pensioners, or it could appeal to no one at all.
Ultimately this unconventionality is probably one of the film’s main strengths. And if the tone veers a little haphazardly between fantasy and cold, hard reality, well, perhaps that is the most effective way of taking us into the mind of the film's mercurial protagonist.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle observed the film "ends so beautifully, so poignantly and so aptly that there's a big temptation to forget that most of what precedes the ending is tiresome drivel.”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone rated the film 3½ out of a possible four stars and called it "glorious entertainment… magical, not mush."
About Depp he said, "It's too early to speculate on how [he] will grow as an actor.
Based on Finding Neverland, it's not too early to call him a great one."

Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times described the film as "gently seductive, genuinely tender and often moving without being maudlin" and added, "Depp and Winslet share a rare combination of airiness, earthiness and sharp, wry intelligence."

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Good Morning on this Saturday, the Ninth of March.

Today we talked about two movies with Neverland in the title, one to be avoided and the other embraced.
We talked about time and the weather, laid down another elephant joke, and added to the discussion of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx with a letter from Howard.
And we posted reviews of the two Neverland movies.

And now? Gotta go.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

See you soon.

Your Love