56/2367. Denial (2016)
This is a courtroom drama about the libel lawsuit brought in the mid-90s against a Emory University professor by a British Nazi-sympathizing Holocaust denier. That's interesting, sure, but the reason I watched it was because I was a student at both Emory University and DeKalb College (renamed Georgia Perimeter College while I was there but is now a satellite campus of Georgia State University) in the mid-90s when the principle action takes place.

The 2016 film begins with an attempt at verisimilitude with establishing shots on Emory's quad in Decatur, GA (purporting to be 1994 and not doing too bad a job at pulling it off)...

Denial at Emory University

...then follows our antagonist as he travels west away from Emory towards downtown Atlanta on Freedom Parkway (a road originally planned as the very controversial Presidential Parkway which was still under construction in the mid-90s)...

Denial at Freedom Parkway

...then south along the Downtown Connector ("connecting" US Interstates 75 and 85) through the Grady Curve, so-called because Grady Memorial Hospital is just off camera to the right. (There's a giant neon Coca-Cola sign just off camera to the left.)

Denial at Freedom Parkway

Side note: Turner Field, seen on the sign above, is also an anachronism. It didn't exist in 1994. It was originally opened to the public as Centennial Olympic Stadium for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games. After the Atlanta Braves abandoned it and moved north to Cobb County in 2016, it was sold to Georgia State University to become their football stadium and renamed again to Center Parc Stadium.

The antagonist must have been headed south down the Connector to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (called just the William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in 1994 as former mayor Maynard Jackson wouldn't die and get his name added until 2003) because we next see him pull up to -- I had to Google Image Search this -- the Elmsbridge Civic Centre in Esher, England.

Denial at Elmsbridge Civic Center

Google Maps tells me that Esher is a suburb of London, where most of the movie is set and filmed, so it's easy to see why the filmmakers would use it here. For the record, according to Wikipedia, the Civic Centre was constructed in 1991, so it is at least period appropriate!

However, in the very next scene, by means of movie magic, we're transported back to the States inside an unidentified lecture hall disguised as DeKalb College (by means of a banner on a podium)!

Denial at DeKalb College

I have no idea where this last bit was filmed, though I suspect it is also in London. It doesn't match any hall I sat in off Emory's quad in 1993-95, and if there were any lecture halls like this on Perimeter's Clarkston ("Central") or Decatur ("South") campuses in 1997-99, I was never inside them. They never used wood paneling when concrete blocks would do.

More to come.

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Henry is a Republican

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It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, "May you live in interesting times." There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us.

—Sir Austen Chamberlain
former British First Lord of the Admiralty
reported by The Yorkshire Post, March 1936
via quoteinvestigator.com

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When an old man dies, a library is burned with him.

—African proverb (according to Parade magazine)

I occasionally worry about what will happen to this blog when I'm no longer alive or otherwise capable of maintaining it. No one owns anything in the virtual realm, and all sites (and all the knowledge they contain) evaporate like mist as soon as they are no longer profitable enough to maintain the energy cost of their digital existence. Since I have selfishly chosen not to have any children of my own that I can emotionally manipulate into keeping Wriphe.com alive in perpetuity, I probably need to accept the fact that once I'm gone, any evidence that I wasted so much time at a computer keyboard will be gone, too.

Which makes me wonder, what will the world really miss? Is the minutia evidence of my life really worth preserving? To answer that question, I climbed a mountain and asked a wizened sage... no, just kidding. I wrote a script that sorted and counted all 550,000 words I've recorded in the past 21 years to see if they gave me any indication of the site's value. (Note that my quick-and-dirty script returned many character strings you won't find in a dictionary, like movie titles, odd proper names, web addresses, and "g-g-ghost.")

The most common word at Wriphe.com: the

No great insight there. The is the most common word in the English language, which is no big surprise considering that it is the only definite article in the whole darn language. According to Wikipedia, it accounts for "seven percent of all printed English-language words." For comparison, it currently accounts for only about 5% of Wriphe.com. Heck, all first person singular pronouns (I, me, mine, my) combined make up only 3% of Wriphe.com! I guess I don't talk about myself enough.

After stripping out the top 50 most common English words (according to the same Wikipedia source), I get the following list:

  1. my (3,110 occurrences)
  2. it's (2,045)
  3. about (1,847)
  4. like (1,840)
  5. me (1,769)

Ok, fine. Maybe I do talk about myself enough. Yeah, nobody in the future is going to need all of that.

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Want to know why Louisiana would willingly violate federal law to require the 10 Commandments in all kindergartens? The 1991 Chick tract Sin Busters has the answer:

Why do Chick tracts look like <em>Mad</em> magazine strips?

Declaration of Independence writer and third president Thomas Jefferson may have written that Congress should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," but that's just because he was part of the evil world system!

God bless the real America!

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About a week ago, I took the boys for our usual walkies. It was unusually blustery, and I stopped to check the weather radar on my phone. At exactly that moment, a golf carts drove by.

Despite the fact that we live just across the highway from our local country club, golf carts used to be rare in my neighborhood. Back when I started walking the girls, there were only two carts on my street. The gas-powered one belonged to the people who teach horseback riding and use the cart to ride along the street and collect the horse droppings, like a motorized version of the street sweeper at the end of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. I only saw the batter-powered one occasionally when the kids got bored and took it for joyrides, doing donuts in their yard.

(Side note: I personally don't think golf carts are more fun than watching Rocky and Bullwinkle, but I doubt those kids have ever seen it. Back in the day, there really wasn't that much to watch or that many channels to watch them on, so everyone knew everything on television, making pop culture references the coin of the realm. You made friends in school by quoting reruns of shows that had been first runs for our parents' generation: Leave it to Beaver or Gilligan's Island or Monty Python's Flying Circus. I have no idea what tweens watch these days after school, but if I threatened a kid today with a loaded banana, they'd think I was brain damaged.)

There are lots of golf carts in the 'hood now. The boys love 'em. They go crazy when they see one. I don't know why. So long as I've had the boys, they've never been within five feet of a golf cart. A golf cart has never brought them a treat. But I guess they do drive by slower than cars, making them easier to chase, and the ones in my neighborhood often have other dogs on board, making the chase worthwhile.

Anyway, as I was saying, the golf cart drove by while I was half paying attention, and Henry and Louis went berserk, and their leashes damn near pulled off the fingernail on my left index finger. Not totally. It just bent it back halfway. It hurt a lot the first few days, but it's gotten better. Or at least I thought it was getting better. I showed it to Mom earlier today, and she nearly swooned. So maybe not all better. I'm just taking it one day at a time. (Boy, that Schneider was a card.)

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Yes. On purpose.

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So the debate last night between an old white guy and a marginally less old white guy who led an effort to overthrow constitutional democracy for his personal benefit didn't go well. Big deal.

If you didn't know who you were voting for already, it's only because you haven't been paying attention. If you haven't been paying attention, you really shouldn't be voting.

If there's any outrage to be had here, it's only that the guy who led an effort to overthrow constitutional democracy for his personal benefit is being allowed to interview for the same job. If that one wins, it's only because Americans have decided that they are tired of living in a constitutional democracy, which, as much as I may disagree with it, is their right to do.

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Not a great bunch of entertainment value here.

51/2362. The First Auto (1927)
This is a pretty simple story about a horse-lovin' man slowly coming to terms with the march of progress. The appeal is all the shots of early cars and how they did (and sometimes didn't) work.

52/2363. The Cheat (1915)
TCM played this as part of a tribute to Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa, but there's not really a lot to celebrate. Apparently, it was a bit of a sensation back in its day. Sure, Hayakawa's character is the sort of tall, dark and handsome slime that infatuated early movie audiences, but he's only taking advantage of the series of very poor choices that the white "lady" made herself in the first half of the film. Ick.

53/2364. Flirtation Walk (1934)
As much as I enjoy Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler in other, better musicals, this forgettable, fervently pro-Army melodrama is just too darn light on the music. I can say that it taught me that Flirtation Walk is the name of an actual landmark at West Point, so it certainly wasn't a total waste of time.

54/2365. Laugh and Get Rich (1931)
I recommend against this "comedy." Despite having the delightfully odd Edna May Oliver in a lead role, it's very much a couple of dull sitcom elements slow rolled into an 80-minute runtime. Snore.

55/2366. Sweet Charity (1969)
I don't understand most of the choices that director Bob Fosse makes with this movie adaptation of the stage show, but I disagree with most all of them, especially the obvious lip-synching. Everything that's worth watching here happens in the first hour.

More to come.

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Superman is OK with the 10 Commandments
Action Comics #582, September 1986

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To be continued...


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