Thursday, October 3, 2013

Don Jon, Thanks for Sharing, and Enough Said

        The Fantasy, the Reality, and the Aftermath

                 Review by Ken Burke         Don Jon

Romantic comedy that comments on the superficiality of young lovers today: guy addicted to porn, gal addicted to movieland “true love," but only he begins to change.
                                                                      Thanks for Sharing

Much more serious than the previews imply, about the difficulties of sex addiction; a worthwhile topic, but the resolutions come about in a bit too easy of a manner.
                                                                      Enough Said
James Galdolfini’s final appearance coupled with a rare big-screen role for Julia Louis-Dreyfus about a middle-aged couple’s romance being hampered by his ex-wife.
[Take care, curious readers, for plot spoilers gallop rampantly throughout the Two Guys’ brilliantly insightful reviews.  This is how we write, so as to explore what must be said as art transcends commerce (although if anyone wants to pay us for doing this ...); therefore, be warned, beware, and read on when ready to be transported to—well, wherever we end up.

We also encourage you to check your tastes against ours with the summary of Two Guys reviews, which we update with each new posting.  But please be aware that the links we recommend in our reviews may have been removed or modified without our knowledge.  Other overall notations for this blog may be found at our Two Guys in the Dark homepage.  Now, onward to illumination; you may want to protect your eyes from the brilliance.]

Sex is certainly in the air at both the movies and on TV this week (as if that’s anything new, except how explicit it’s become even outside the realm of actual pornography in many of our continually taboo-free 21st century societies [not that the so-called “Arab Spring” changed much regarding public restrictions and prohibitions in a large swath of the world from roughly Morocco to Indonesia), with a focus on who does it, why they do it, how they do it, and what happens because of it (again, nothing new given the increasingly graphic content of “adult”—with likely many more under-17 viewers than movie-theatre-managers would care to admit—fare since the introduction of the too-often-dysfunctional ratings system in 1968), but for those of us who choose to see something besides Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Cody Cameron, Kris Peam;  a movie which has made more [about $34 million domestically] than the 3 I’ve chosen combined) and have legitimate access to R-rated cinema and the naked bodies providing stimulation-for-science on Showtime’s Masters of Sex (about the Masters and Johnson research that led to breakthrough documentation of stages of human arousal and release in the 1960s), it’s clear that there are a lot of hormones rushing around on current screens that need to be addressed (some would also include the adrenalin that pulsates through Rush [Ron Howard], but that’s generally about a different kind of high that will have await future commentary—if at all—from me, because I chose racy over racing this week or any other), so let’s begin with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s writing/directing feature debut, Don Jon, in which he also stars as a character named Jon Martello but who is compared by “his boys” to legendary lothario Don Juan because of his obsessive quest for and conquest of the ladies in his New Jersey hometown.  However, none of his frequent lovers can measure up to the satisfaction he gets from pleasuring himself to the raunchy images easily available on his computer, simply because their presentation is so enhanced that it strokes his brain even more so than his nether region (which gets plenty of stroking of its own—as evidenced by the many used tissues tossed into the nearby trashcan—but as physiological research has shown us [I forget if this was explored by Masters and Johnson or others] the same alpha waves that dominate the brain during intercourse in conjunction with genital excitement are the ones active during our dreaming phase of sleep, which often results in arousal—and its residue—even if the dreams themselves aren’t sexually-oriented).

This isn’t really much a problem for Jon with his usual love-‘em-and-leave-‘em partners (he’s all response with no investment), but when he encounters his epitome of perfection, the “dime” (a rare but overwhelming 10 on his “babealicious” [borrowed from Wayne’s World [Penelope Spheeris, 1992] scale) Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), he endures her restrictions—lots of dates (with plenty of kissing and body rubbing but nothing much else beyond first base), meeting his family, going to her favorite gooey-romantic movies (which define her stereotype of pleasure in a fantasyland of romance just as his are defined by a perverted carnival of sexual excess, leading to him being creative with the Internet, jacking off to her Facebook page while she’s in her “prove-your-worthiness” abstinence mode)—before finally making love with her (although restrictions remain regarding limits on oral sex and options of positions), only to find that even Barbara isn’t enough to shut down the computer once he thinks she’s asleep.  Of course, she wakes up, finds him taking an encore without her, is furious enough to demand that he never do it again, with even greater ferocity later when he’s unable to keep his promise (now using his cell phone rather than his computer because he’s at his apartment so often).  Ultimately, they break up, with him accusing her (after some encouragement from his always-silent-but-constantly-on-her-smart-phone-sister, Monica [Brie Larson]) of being as delusional in her own way about media-created relationship fantasies, in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the outdoor café conclusion of Alvie and Annie’s affair in Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) but this time with neither of them really wanting the relationship to continue.  Of course, Jon has the advantage of a fallback sexual partnering with an older woman, Esther (Julianne Moore), that he met in a nighttime college class (I never could tell what the subject was) and is going through a grieving period for her late husband and young son who died in a car wreck 14 months ago.  Esther is trying to help Jon understand that sex is about connecting with the other person, not just pleasuring himself in a nearby body, which seems to be the lesson he’s learning (apparently Barbara learns nothing, which could likely antagonize viewers who appreciate the more individually-oriented-coming-to-terms-with-one’s-self-characters in Enough Said [Nicole Holofcener], to be discussed below), although in his just-barely-post-adolescent final statement he simply describes it as being “f***in’ lost together,” which isn’t quite how Esther expresses her goal of intercourse, even the sort of unattached coupling that they’re doing in an effort to re-center themselves with seemingly no thought of being an actual couple, although they're just beginning to find compatible wavelengths.

Gordon-Levitt’s movie is one that I enjoyed immensely for at least ¾ of its responsibly-short (90 min.) running time, because he displays a fine tone for creating a large cast of characters that all radiate distinct personalities as he sets up a fine sense of parallelism and balance in the manner by which Jon is shown in the constant cycle of his life (walking through the same hall in the gym where he’s as passionate about toning his larger muscles as he is in exercising his most precious ones; coming up from the same wide-shot angle to his church where he dutifully attends Mass every Sunday and confesses his repetitive sins to the priest [as the masturbation frequency increases so does the number of “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys” he’s assigned, although when he reduces his transgressions to just intercourse rather than added porn he’s angered that his penance remains in the previous mode, a witty challenge of church rationale]; booting up his computer [which he admits is enough to get him erect simply because he knows what’s coming—so to speak]); creating hilarious family dinner scenes where Monica never looks at anything but her phone screen, Mom Angela [Glenne Headly] is constantly concerned about Jon settling down so as to produce some grandchildren for her, and Pop Jon Sr. [Tony Danza] can barely keep his eyes off the big-screen-TV football game in the next room, even as he berates his wife and son for everything they say [it reminds me of the brief pre-disco-family-dinner-scene in Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977) but with more development and recurring collisions in Gordon-Levitt’s movie]; and he has a serious intention of trying to reach his likely young-adult-target-audiences with a silly sermon on not letting your life be defined by fabricated media exaggerations, whether of the mushy or rigid [so to … you get the idea] kind).  There’s a lot of very successful cinematic construction here, some marvelous humor, plenty of grinding body shots of well-buffed Gordon-Levitt and sensuous Johansson to satisfy target-audience-members who just want the steam that they got excited about when seeing the trailer, and a clear understanding that Barbara is more angry about being lied to than being put in second place to “perfection” porn sites; however, we’ve got to understand from the negative critic’s perspective (me, at this point) that Jon is a guy with a lot of issues that need to be addressed (for a musical metaphor I’ll refer you to Jackson Browne’s “Rosie” [from his 1977 Running on Empty album] at; interpretation of the metaphors is up to you as I’m trying to keep this site somewhere around PG-13 level), Barbara’s portrayed as just a manipulator who sees a mate as nothing more than “someone who will die for you and more” (Dylan refresher at if you need it*), Jon begins to understand the error of his obsessions but only in the context of getting regular sex from someone who has no expectations of any real investment on his part (sort of like in Bob Segar’s “Night Moves” at**, but with an age/experience difference), and the whole thing concludes in a manner that leaves me wondering whether the comic strategy being employed throughout the movie in order to entice the younger target audience to heed the director’s advice has been abandoned a bit too much at the end as the concluding situation seems to take itself a bit seriously (and with aspects of sincerity about Jon and Esther’s relationship, where Jon’s dialogue—even in the confessional—speaks of true caring and sharing, but in my observation of how it’s presented, I’m not yet convinced, although Jon does responsibly use a condom throughout his various conquests so another pro-social message is constantly hammered home along with some other “hammering”)Don Jon is a lot of fun with commendable intentions, but it doesn’t fully resolve all of the problems that it creates for itself in the process.

 *(“It Ain’t Me, Babe,” recorded live at the famed Hollywood Bowl in 1965, with Bob Dylan backed by the Hawks—including some of the guys who would later be known as The Band—Robbie Robertson [guitar], Levon Helm [drums]—along with Al Kooper [organ] and Harvey Brooks [bass].) 

**(Live version from Largo, MD 1980; however, the sound quality is a bit tinny so it you want better fidelity you might prefer the 1976 album version at Ae60.  Slight—but uneditable—change in next paragraph format courtesy of Google Blogspot.)

Problems and process are the sole focus of Thanks for Sharing (Stuart Blumberg, another first-time director who also wrote his movie’s screenplay, an area which he’s more familiar with including his Oscar-and-many-others-nomination for co-writing, along with director Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right [2010]), in which a large cast of well-known actors take us into the reality-based aftermath of Jon’s obsessions, the world of sex addiction and the suffering souls who use the 12-step approach in an effort to calm their constant desires expressed in the very acts of obsessive self-pleasuring and casual seduction that serve a comic purpose in Don Jon.  Our primary focus is on Adam (Mark Ruffalo) and his tentative new relationship with Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), his first dating experience after 5 years of “sexual sobriety”—which in his case has meant total abstinence from orgasm as well as from the video-and-computer-based pleasures so easily available to anyone in our society (well illustrated, in graphic fashion, in Don Jon)—as encouraged by his sponsor, Mike (Tim Robbins), a caring but control-freak grouch who has his own issues with his substance-abuse-addict son, Danny (Patrick Fugit), who’s been clean for 8 months, but because Mike doesn’t believe in cold turkey he keeps pushing the 12-step path which only leads to more intra-family tensions.  Phoebe has her own history with addiction, although not in the manner of the recovering horndogs that populate most of this movie—she’s addict-adverse because of her previous bad situation with an alcoholic but she’s also an unacknowledged addict of sorts herself in her constant focus on healthy foods and exercise as a response to her own conquest of breast cancer 5 years ago.  She wants no addicts in her life (except herself) so Adam’s unvoiced situation sets them up for the plot’s necessary romance conflict, especially because she’s a lusty number with her own sexual needs (as shown by her underwear slink-fest with Adam when he’s still trying to restrain himself with her so as not to go too quickly in the deep end of the pool; you can find an image of this in many options for trailers for Thanks for Sharing, illustrating exactly what Blumberg and company are trying to show about the prevalence of arousal-inducing imagery in our sex-conscious-but-attitudinally-Puritanical-society, where ads on bus stops are hard [so to speak … yeah, I know, I’m doing it again, but it’s difficult to avoid these easy puns with this week’s topic] to avoid as regression-triggers, just as are scantily-clad people on the street who are simply dressed in the latest styles [although some of them are also advertising availability, as depicted with an editorial tone in Don Jon]).  Rounding out the most prominent cast members here are Josh Gad (playing Neil, a lost-cause doctor who gropes strangers on the subway [leading to new-sponsor Adam’s demand that he stay away from the underground, opening up some physical humor with bicycles for this out-of-shape-medical-practitioner] and is fired for using a mirror device to look up his boss’ skirt at their hospital), Alecia Moore (better known as the singer, Pink, playing Dede, a woman with the same desperate urges as her fellow 12-steppers—leading her right back to an abusive ex until Neil gets serious about their mutual situation and makes efforts to help her), and Carol Kane (as Neil’s overbearing mother, Roberta, in a small role; due to my lack of overlap with most of the many movies and TV series that she’s been in during the past 4 decades she may be more of a surprise pleasure to me than to many of you, but I was quite glad to see how she’s still able to deliver an effective comic punch with few lines or screen time).

In the trailer and publicity for Thanks for Sharing you can easily get the impression that this is mostly a comedy about how easily a group of men (and 1 woman) are tempted to wallow in the lifestyle that Don Jon so blissfully (if privately) celebrates but face clumsy difficulties as they try to restrain their overactive biological urges.  There is a bit of humor at times in their situations (especially with Neil—although I couldn’t get past the sense that with a few more dollars in the budget [I don’t know how much this one cost, although with so many name actors in it I’d assume it was pricy unless they agreed to less-than-usual salaries, which may help the final bottom line because after 2 weeks this offbeat topic hasn’t even passed the $1 million mark so it will likely function more as a tax loss than a “lost treasure”] that Jack Black was really the intended presence in this role, possibly a very unfair comment about Gad, who performed his shtick quite well and may have a much larger following than I realize because he’s another one who’s spent much of his career below my radar—except as the “earphones” guy who comes to the rescue of over-the-usual-age-Google-novices Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in The Internship [Shawn Levy; review in our blog at the-internship.html]).  However, don’t be fooled by that assumption because if it’s laughs you want about trying to put groin-throbbing impulses into the deep freeze you’ll quickly find yourself diverted here into the serious world of obsessions and their compulsions, something that some of these characters struggle desperately to overcome (Adam, Mike, Danny), others try to deny as uncontrollable (Neil) or even nonexistent (Phoebe), and some hardly know how to handle because even the situation of opposite-sex friendship can so easily be misconstrued as leading into another passionate relationship (Dede, struggling to not allow her grateful response to Neil’s support to deteriorate into more than either of them intended).  All of this is based on traumas in our world suffered by sincerely-struggling addicts on a daily basis (probably hourly, if it matches or exceeds my adolescent/young adult years, although the geyser hasn’t been threatening eruption on such a clockwork basis since then, leaving me in a place of thankful repose that these movie characters haven’t been able to achieve without constant work), with the also-real-backsliding that occurs for Adam when Phoebe backs off from him in fear that he’ll regress (so he goes on a porn spree, then contacts an old girlfriend, Becky [Emily Meade], who still has the hots for him but then freaks out when her own masochistic fantasies aren’t fulfilled and attempts an overdose suicide [probably the oddest of the extreme situations this movie occasionally veers into]); for both Mike and Danny when Dad’s erroneous assumptions about Son’s stealing of Mom Katie’s (Jolie Richardson) pain meds flares into a nasty fight and a DUI accident for Danny; and for Neil it’s just the reality of his apartment with all of his tempting paraphernalia—including food which he tries to use as a substitute but it becomes a hopeless situation when he finds he can’t refuse either enticement (fortunately, he finally accepts that his willpower is too weak to be surrounded by all of the print and video material—and doughnuts—just awaiting his revisitation so he accepts Dede’s intervention that they just destroy all of it [not sure if she found all of the doughnuts, though).

Essentially, everyone in Thanks for Sharing accepts the interventions they’re offered, become more responsible for their own fates, and flow nicely into a presumably-happy ending.  There’s nothing wrong with folks like this getting control of their lives, and Blumberg consistently provides evidence to help his audience understand that the problems are real here, with egregious regressions a continuing challenge for all involved as they try to keep their various demons under control, but for me the messages about taking personal responsibility are too blunt, the tone of the movie shifts around in ways that make it unconvincing as a narrative experience, and the personal triumphs seem dictated by the running time more so than by organic evolution in the characters.  Thanks for Sharing is a welcome attempt to acknowledge the awakened fever dreams that push addicts to the verge of insanity, but it just doesn’t rise above what comes across as necessary feel-good assumptions about how the plot must develop into its uplift-affirming closure.

What develops in Enough Said is blatantly obvious as well, as it’s just the simple story of 2 divorcees with no expectations of new romantic fire coming into their lives who casually meet, find an attraction building, then must confront the collateral damage of trying to balance secrets with desires, leading to an inevitably-damaging situation that will likely undo all that has been cautiously achieved in the earlier parts of the story.  Just as Don Jon and Thanks for Sharing present the fantasy world of self-gratification (whether inspired by salacious porn or overwrought romance media stimulations) and its oppositional reality of obsessions and damaged lives, with aftermaths in each story of characters attempting to find genuine satisfaction in daily living rather than glamorous, airbrushed extravagances, so does Enough Said present a fantasy (that you can build a relationship on a lie and somehow expect it to thrive despite the constant threat of revelation) along with a reality (even though the reactions to betrayal may be a bit extreme here, especially with the complete abandonment of the budding romance by Albert [James Gandolfini] that he’s begun to share with Eva [Julia Louis-Dreyfus] once he learns that one of her masseuse clients is his ex, Marianne [Catherine Keener], who’s been talking trash about him behind his back even though Eva has learned some time earlier that she’s accidently stumbled into 2 connected relationships [one a confiding friendship, the other a love affair] with people who have little respect or tolerance for each other) that provides its own aftermath of bad decisions, broken hearts, and a very simple acknowledgement that you can only balance so much deception before you lose the supposedly-earned trust that any type of connection must be built on.  In essence that’s all there is to this story (I guess you could counter with the declaration that any story can be reduced to its foundational facts:  Gone with the Wind is basically just about how Scarlett O’Hara survives the Civil War by any means necessary), but here the simplicity is a strength, not a weakness, in that these are very relatable characters (made all the more so by the known star quality and previous audience embrace of its principals, along with additional audience-favorite Toni Collette as Eva’s close friend Sarah) in a straightforward situation of unintentionally blundering into difficult circumstances (a device that served Shakespeare well in many of his plays, which continue to enjoy respect and popularity) resulting in understandably bad choices that likely lead to negative results.  However, the simplicity of the plot benefits the real attraction of the film: witty, well-constructed-and-delivered dialogue contained in situations that bring out subtle nuances of the comfortable characters that make us want to keep hanging out with them even after the well-timed (92 min.) story has finished running its final credits.

It’s always a delight for me to see Louis-Dreyfus again (along with mega-talent castmates such as Keener and Collette), given that I’m just now getting around to DVDs of her Emmy-winning work on Veep (where she’s taken the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy series for the last 2 years, to go along with her previous Emmy-winning comedy work on Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine [one statuette for each series, although it’s hard to understand how she could have been nominated in merely the Supporting category for Seinfeld, given the balanced work of the 4 leads in that ensemble], which were shows that I’ve likely watched every episode of), as well as Gandolfini, a remarkable guy that I saw very little of in The Sopranos (my TV-watching habits may be appalling to some of you, but I just haven’t brought myself to pay for HBO yet—despite their consistently fine offerings—and that’s a lot of episodes to watch on discs until more free time somehow presents itself) but did enjoy immensely in such films as Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012), Not Fade Away (David Chase, 2012), and Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, 2012)*—he’ll be terribly missed as another great entertainer who died much too young.  The great thing about their on-screen chemistry is that they don’t necessarily look or immediately talk like they should have any: both are rather indifferent to a new romance suddenly appearing from nowhere; he’s a bit large, opinionated, and casual for her tastes, while she’s a bit structured and cautious for his; but they initially bond over the situation of both having their only child heading away for college in a couple of months (my colleagues at Mills College may secretly delight at the putdowns Albert’s daughter, Tess [Eve Hewson], offers about Mills-recruiting-rival Sarah Lawrence College [destination of Eva’s kid, Ellen (Tracey Fairaway)], but it’s all a joke, as anyone who’d really investigate this Yonkers, NY upscale destination would admit) with both being genuinely lonely except for those kids and both appreciating the other’s blatant honesty and sense of humor (all of which are plausible as factors that could lead unassuming strangers into deeper connections than they anticipate—certainly recognizable to me [except for the college kids aspect] in how my own marriage to the ever-wondrous Nina Kindblad came about those many years ago).  Certainly Eva makes a big mistake when she realizes that the slobbish ex-husband new-client-and-increasingly-closer-friend Marianne complains so constantly about is, in fact, newly-emerging-love Albert, yet she says nothing to either of them while continually absorbing their mutual complaints even though the lie grows that neither former spouse is known to her.  And maybe it’s too easily a resolution that after the kids have been off to school for a couple of months that she could just drive over to his place on Thanksgiving and patch it up after he’s rejected her previous overtures.  But you can also see the sincerity in their faces that they still care for each other and are willing to work past this hurdle because what they had together still beats anything that they’ve found separately (although Eva does finally get a bit more assertive so as to prod oblivious client Hal [Chris Smith] into helping her drag the heavy massage table up his long front staircase—a minor accomplishment for sure but a useful one nevertheless).
* Reviewed in our blog in the January 7, 2013, January 16, 2013, and December 14, 2012 postings.

Their collision situation is nowhere near the worldview gaps that separate the primary lovers in Don Jon and Thanks for Sharing, but it was real enough to keep them apart, just as their connection is real enough for them to work on putting it back together which transcends the assumptions-not-verified with the other romantic pairs in the movies discussed above.  It might be easy to look past Enough Said (or Enough Already!, as I keep imagining the title as uttered by Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes as the secret-knowledge situation gets progressively too-out-of-hand) as a simple set-up with a predictable complication and anticipated resolution, but that would allow you to miss the undercurrent-inner-workings here, especially with a film that might slip beneath your radar until awards-nomination-time rolls around and this marvelously-crafted script gets the recognition that it deserves (for situations, among others, where Sarah and her husband go about firing and rehiring their maid, an hilarious bit of passive responsibility-avoidance) so don’t let it pass you by while you still have a better chance than most of the protagonists of the movies explored above to make something of a waiting opportunity.

The late, great Janis Joplin
As for other tunes to accompany these last two review comment clusters, nothing really speaks to me very usefully for Thanks for Sharing (I refuse to refer you to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”; as Eunice [Carol Burnett] used to say on the “Mama’s Family” segment of her 1970s variety show, “That’s disgustin’!”; however, in an attempt to help steer you away from such wicked thoughts I will offer “Weird Al” Yankovic’s version of “Eat It” at http://www.; I admit that his strategy will probably pack on the pounds, although at least you can show your garbage to your neighbors without shame), but in regard to Enough Said 2 thoughts come to mind.  Given that Marianne is a poet whose insights not only have meaning for Eva but also for poet/songwriter extraordinaire, Joni Mitchell (referenced in the film as Marianne’s friend—seemingly the only one except for Eva, until the truth is revealed about Albert), I’ve looked over Joni’s extensive catalogue and simply suggest  “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio” (from her 1972 album For the Roses) at watch?v=RTef-VeJLY8 because it speaks to the interpersonal attraction/repulsion dynamic going on in all of the works under review this week (and it’s a lot of fun to listen to).  Then to top it off, one song that clearly epitomizes the concept of “enough said” is Janis Joplin’s great little ditty, “Mercedes-Benz,” at, which I’m mindful of after having just seen the fantastic production of One Night with Janis Joplin, which is now Broadway-bound with a largely different cast than the one I saw in San Jose, CA (although I’m glad to find out that Kacee Clanton will continue a couple of nights a week in the Big Apple embodying my late fellow-native-Texan so I encourage any of you heading to the Great White Way to check out this performance after it opens on Oct. 10 because it will astound you with the musical dynamics not only of Joplin but also her inspirations such as Bessie Smith, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and other torch-carriers of the tradition of soul music, Janis’ first acoustic love and ongoing inspiration; more at http://www.  Speaking of Texas (if we must, as long as it doesn’t involve Rick Perry or Planned Parenthood, so as to keep both sides of the ideological divide calm), happy trails to you ‘till we meet again.  Y'all come back now!

If you’d like to know more about Don Jon here are some suggested links: (trailer for the movie with additional commentary from writer/director/actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt) (24:26 press conference with actors Tony Danza, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore)

If you’d like to know more about Thanks for Sharing here are some suggested links: (8:07 interview with writer/director Stuart Blumberg; casual conversational setting with some very useful questions)

If you’d like to know more about Enough Said here are some suggested links: (36:49; starts with the same trailer as above, then moves on to the promo for the Toronto International Film Festival, and finally at 2:40 we get the TIFF press conference from Sept. 8, 2013 with writer/director Nicole Holofcener and actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, and Toni Collette)

As noted above, we encourage you to look over our home page (ABOUT THE BLOG), found as the first one in our December 2011 postings, to get more information on what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, including our formatting forewarning about inconsistencies among web browser software which we do our best to correct but may still cause some visual problems beyond our control, as well as difficulties we’ve encountered with the Google RSS Feed Alert when used in conjunction with iGoogle and Google Reader.

Please note that to Post a Comment you need to either have a Google account (which you can easily get at if you need to sign up) or other sign-in identification from the pull-down menu below before you preview or post.

If you’d rather contact Ken directly rather than leaving a comment here please use my new email at  Thanks.

By the way, if you’re ever at The Hotel California knock on my door—but you know what the check out policy is so be prepared to stay for awhile.    Ken

P.S.  Just to show that I haven’t fully flushed Texas out of my system here’s an alternative destination for you, Home in a Texas Bar, with Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker.

If you’ve gotten this far this week, here’s your door prize, the actual video of "Beat It" (because it’s just too infectious not to see again, no matter what the connotations may be in regard to this week’s cinematic subjects).

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