Everything Changes

Try to Get Your Kids Interested in This!

This year for the first time in many years I have not attended the films at Cinecon. I did, however, go with Martine to the memorabilia dealers’ rooms. In the past, when my friend Norman Witty was alive, Martine enjoyed acting as his assistant; and she made a number of friendships with the other dealers. So while she chatted with her old friends and acquaintances, I found a comfortable chair and read a book. Also I devoted some time to thinking about what was happening to the dealers and members of Cinecon.

In short, they were getting older and passing on. I saw few people under the age of sixty at the dealers’ tables.

Why did I not go to the movies this year? Simply put, I remain an auteurist; and there were few films this year made by the directors whose work I follow. I am not interested in the films of William Seiter, Norman Panama, Archie Mayo, George Archainbaud, Alan Crosland, Alfred L. Werker, and any number of studio hacks who never signed their names to a great film. They were for the most part competent film makers whose work was light and entertaining; but I was after bigger game.

Then I thought,“Wait a sec! How many auteurists are around these days?” The answer is: damned few, and fewer every year. Instead people go to see superhero films intended for very young males, starring powerful guys and gals who like to wear their Underoos over their street clothes. Then there are the numerous independent productions, about the problems of young people who are altogether too full of themselves. What do I care about Hipster man with his man-bun and immaculately trimmed beard and all his digital toys?

Many of my posts have not been kind to the younger generation—mostly because the things they value are nothing to me, and the things I value, nothing to them. For how long will Cinecon be around to commemorate films of the 1920s and 1930s? I mean, people, we are talking about films that are not even in color!

After my generation leaves the scene, many whole worlds will disappear as if in a puff of cosmic dust.


Die, Hipster! Die!

E-Scooters Are Almost a Necessary Condition

Every generation has its own prototypical brand of foolishness. When I was in my twenties, the hippies were in fashion. Unkempt beards. Long scraggly hair. Tie-died T-shirts. Passing joints back and forth.

Was I ever a hippie? Not on your life. My hair was a little longer and less white than it is now, but I haven’t changed much.

Next came the Gen-Xers and the Yuppies. I never was one of those either. After all, my goal in life was not to become a pathetic meme of some sort.

Now the hipsters are in bloom. They are everywhere. Beards are back, but now they are compulsively neat, possibly accompanied by a man-bun. In my part of L.A., they tend toward black T-shirts and pants, with neon-colored Smurf shoes. And there are those damnable e-scooters. As we may remember, the one thing people in their twenties know is that it will be many decades before they have to think about their demise. And, naturally, they do everything they can to bring about that demise by riding at fifteen miles an hour without a helmet, riding on streets, bike paths, sidewalks, wherever they damned well please.

Martine has been close to being run down by hipsters riding their silent electric-powered scooters on the sidewalk and not warning pedestrians of their presence. In general, about half the population are dead-set against these scooting hipsters. Check out the Bird Graveyard @ Instagram for pictures and videos of people—most of them young people—destroying the Bird and Lime scooters that infest West Los Angeles. Several of the videos show nasty falls injuring the riders.

Many cities have taken to banning the devices, or at the very least studying the legal implications of allowing them to take over the streets and sidewalks.