Rereviewing Ordinary People 40 Years Later

Forty years ago, this September, when I was a teenaged movie critic for “Kidding Around” on KOLN/KGIN-TV in Lincoln, Nebraska, the movie “Ordinary People” was one of the first movies I reviewed on television — and the experience of that film has stuck with me to this day. I recently re-watched the movie out of an aging curiosity, and residual melancholia, and I am still struck by the raw emotion of its story of human longing and tragedy that is always just boiling below the surfactant tension of an intrinsic “ordinary” family clinging to exceptional issues of survival.

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David Boles’ Personal History: December 13, 1994

A career is an interesting thing in comparison with a life. The career is temporary, but the life is both temporal, and temporary. The other day, for some reason, Ezra Stone was bothering my mind, as I tried to remember why he had contacted me so many years ago. I did a quick search of my Google Docs and his name popped up in a document titled — “David Boles’ Personal History” — dated December 13, 1994. That file turned out to be a wowser!

I am not sure why that document was originally written. I was three years out of my MFA at Columbia University in the City of New York. Oftentimes, these personal histories are written for grants, but this file was too personal, and specific for a grant committee — the file reads as if I were forcing myself to remember what happened for some existential reason.

One thing I noticed about the file is that it is filled with names — and that still astonishes me, that so much effort and time for what I was trying to do was not really ever about the actual work, but it was more about the personalities involved. I’m an INTJ, not really a people person, so it makes sense I had more ongoing success working alone in Nebraska than I ever did working with the creative gangs in New York City. On your own, you’re on your own to live or die; I always thrived. In the City, you a play a limited role by design, and you have to hope others are as dedicated to you, and to your idea, as you are — but it never turns out that way.

Nobody wants to pay for anything; they want every idea for free; and you always hope it’s about the work — but as you’ll see — it’s never about the work. It’s only about — the money!

This document may have been a tipping point or a turning point — two years later I started Go Inside Magazine — and began writing and publishing on my own. I could serve only the Master I knew, and no longer the talents I did not understand.

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On Branding, Own the Generic: Why I Became “David Boles” on the Internet

If you spend any time doing business on the internet — “Branding Yourself” — is an important part of the process even if it seems shameful and unseemly and selfish: Enjoy it! It’s what you’ve become by being here!

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Predators, Children and Sexual Prevarication

Children are some of the most vulnerable in society. They are trusting by default and unaware by necessity of nature. Popular culture and the Arts are filled with the sexual exploitation of, and the aggrieved results of, unattended children in peril with no one to protect their best interests except, oftentimes, their grooming predators.

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An Unredeemable Removal: William Jennings Bryan as the Magnificent Loser

William Jennings Bryan — known as “The Great Commoner” and “Keeper of the Faith” — was a Populist, religious, conundrum. He was for the people. He was against big money. He fought, testified, and prosecuted via the Bible — in utter infamy — during the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial and died five days after the trial ended. Defending his Faith killed him.

William Jennings Bryan was a good son of Nebraska who was nominated three times on the national Democrat ticket — and he lost each time — and his failure to find a national political footing beyond his deeply religious Nebraska grassroots haunted him until his death.

I was able to purchase this fascinating photo of William Jennings Bryan, dated September 18, 1924 — he would be dead 10 months later — the caption reads:

WITH THE COMMENDATION OF THE COMMONER

Photo shows William Jennings Bryan pinning a badge of allegiance (David-Bryan campaign stuff) to Rose Minto’s coat lapel. She is a popular motion picture star in Hollywood who is actively interested in politics.

What is most interesting about the photograph is the use of the black editorial pen on the image.  You can see the crop indices, but there are also black ink pen “lines of emphasis” added to Ms. Minto’s hat, Bryan’s lapels and face. You can see the dullness the pen makes when you move the glossy photograph in your hand in and out of reflective light.

At first wink, those added lines look like marks of defamation until you realize, after scanning the photograph for publication here, they must have been an important part of newspaper publishing in 1924 to help the highlights and shadows be more discernable in ink on paper.

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When Homicide Hunter Lt. Joe Kenda Follows You, You Stay Followed!

Lt. Joe Kenda is one of the most interesting, and important, people on television and — just as love and fate would have it — he’s also one of the kindest guys you’d ever want to meet… when he isn’t chasing down killers and murderers and putting them in jail.

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Felons, Fascists, Freeloaders and Fools: Not My Utopia!

Utopia is a new, $50 million, reality television series from Fox that is supposed to run for a year — but I don’t think the show will make it to the end of October because of horrible casting decisions and even more miserable ratings.  The producers get some things right and most everything else wrong.

The technical aspects of the show, the live feed, the landscape, and the idea, are all right — but the casting is completely and horrifyingly wrong — as is the creepy-pervy peeping-tom-ish host who ruins the television show with his “stalkeristic” vibe and prissy mustache and bizarro hat and glasses.

As well, when you choose a convicted felon to be the center of your show from the git-go, and he’s also the initial online presence for your show and live feeds portal, something terrible and awful has gone wrong on a deep DNA level that cannot be cured by God, a false baptism, or human infusion.

Continue reading → Felons, Fascists, Freeloaders and Fools: Not My Utopia!