Another reminder that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t the only visionaries behind the personal computing revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.
I’m going to come out and say that this is in poor taste. This isn’t the end of the world. It’s not even “an outrage”. But it is in poor taste.
A hologram of a long-dead historical figure—Abraham Lincoln or Alexander Hamilton—might be interesting. Whitney Houston, however, passed away less than a decade ago. She’s still very much within living memory.
And while yes, there is a case to be made that a celebrity belongs to the public domain, there is also something to be said for respecting the dead.
Just because technology can do something, doesn’t mean that it should.
I had a View-Master in the 1970s, along with a small collection of reels. A Christmas gift in 1976, I believe.
The Frankenstein reels (screenshot below) made a special impression on me.
These were cool toys, especially given the immersive effect they provided with minimal technology. No electronics, no silicon chips required.
I was glad to see that the View-Master is still available on Amazon.
Don’t think for a moment that the present generation of helicopter parents are going to allow their teens an unsupervised space of their own on social media. Parents nowadays track their progeny’s movements with smartphone apps, after all.
It will be only a matter of time before the parents overrun TikTok, just like they overran Facebook. The barriers to entry aren’t that high.
In the 1980s, we avoided parents the easy way: We went outside, sans electronic gadgetry.
Better, simpler times to be a kid.
I rewatched this one tonight. (I saw it for the first time circa 2005, shortly after the movie was released.)
This is a fun movie. Not anything that is going to leave you pondering the world in a new way for days, or awake for many nights with the lights on. The Grudge relies on atmospherics, jump scares, and classic Japanese ghost story tropes. The characters are the stock types you expect in a movie of this kind.
That said, there are a few genuinely creepy moments. If you wake up at night and suspect that there is something under the covers with you in your bed, you’re officially advised not to look. What you see may be more than you can handle.
If you are in the mood for some 17th-century French drama (and why wouldn’t you be?), then you can’t go wrong with Tartuffe, by Molière.
And you don’t even have to read French. This translation by the American poet Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) is excellent, and quite probably an improvement on the original French version.
I’ve written about Richard Wilbur before on this site. His poems are probably the best examples of American poetry written during the twentieth century. Wilbur brings all of his skill to bear in his translation of Tartuffe.
Amazon isn’t always the assassin of brick-and-mortar retail. Sometimes, Amazon and traditional retail form mutually beneficial partnerships:
Lee Child’s Night School: