New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.
New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.
Radio…If you put 40,000 miles a year on your car you probably have Sirius or XM radio. Your local stations fade after 100 miles and then you are frantically and dangerously searching your radio for something listenable. There are all kinds of listening packages which will give you as many as 500 stations. The basic one hundred is more than enough to keep your interest.
There are particular music stations for the 40’s on 4, 50’s on 5, 60’s on 6, and so on. There are stations that concentrate on a particular artist or group like all day Elvis Presley or all day Grateful Dead. There are stations that present easy listening, rock classics, country and western, and jazz. Broadway on channel 72 takes you back to great music from plays you never heard of or experienced in local theater or off Broadway. For a change of pace there are six comedy channels that will have you laughing so hard you will almost lose control of your car. The comedy channel has complete routines by the old comedians and new routines by Steven Wright and friends. I like the Canadian (160) comedy channel because they are always making fun of the United States or England. There are thirty sport channels and Spanish themed channels, too, for all kinds of listening and news.
Television…The three basic channels ABC, CBS, and NBC have been taking a beating lately by great programming on USA and cable subscription services like HBO, StarZ, and Cinemax. Look at all the awards Homeland with Claire Danes has won this award season. A new hat has been thrown into the ring that will likewise steal audiences from the major channels. That player is Netflix. Netflix had previously shown just shows that others have created. Now they are creating original programming. House of Cards with Kevin Spacey will debut on February 1, 2013. Cards is a political thriller that co-stars Robin Wright (Sean Penn’s ex, no longer using Robin Wright Penn in the movie billing). The series is a multi-week presentation. You would think Netflix would just buy more movies with this money. Instead, you can see this is a change in viewing focus by them that will be greatly expanded in the next years.
Sports…With the recent death of Stan Musial who, now, is the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame?
The singer Bruno Mars was named after Bruno Sammartino the wrestler. Eat your heart out John Cena fans! Thanks Parade Magazine for the Bruno Mars update.
Poetry… Christopher Morley was born just outside of Philadelphia in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He wrote poems, essays, and plays. This poem by Christopher Morley has someone talking to an inkwell while imagining all the letters and their contents the inkwell must have witnessed as people used it. This same poem, if written today, could have been written about a pen, magic marker, computer, IPad, or cell phone.
Try writing “to a computer” or another inanimate object in the same style Morley used. You can follow the same rhyme scheme or go in your own direction. Illustrate your poem with original or Internet art (Google images) for inclusion on our hall bulletin board, our writing archives, and our classroom poetry portfolio.
To A Post-Office Inkwell (Christopher Morley)
How many humble hearts have dipped
In you, and scrawled their manuscript!
Have shared their secrets, told their cares,
Their curious and quaint affairs!
Your pool of ink, your scratchy pen,
Have moved the lives of unborn men,
And watched young people, breathing hard,
Put Heaven on a postal card.
To A Computer (Palumbo)
How many meek writers have pecked
At you, and scrawled their every thought!
Have shared their loves, told their story,
Their humble and charming stabs at glory!
Your rows of keys, your HD screen,
Have changed the lives of the unseen!
And watched the online dater, breath on hold,
Put thoughts of her out so bold.
To A Football (Palumbo)
How many famous quarterbacks have grasped.
At you, and etched their winning dreams!
Have passed for yards, touched a new record,
Their unstoppable vision and quest for immortality!