This just in...

It might be a new museum exhibition, or something at the opera, symphony, or ballet, or it might be something I've (we've) seen on the street. Whatever it is, it's a quick review and impression of what's captured my thoughts for the moment.
 
 

Good Night, and, Good Luck, Embarcadero, San Francisco

I have this odd, but real desire to go back in time to the grocery store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the corner of Katheryn and San Pedro Boulevard. Why? To remember what life was like - what we ate, desired, were influenced by.
 
I thought that I had died and gone to heaven when the curtain came up on this film. The black and white, the blond wood, the courses of thin brick and flagstone in the lobbies of the CBS building, the clean-shaven men (you could smell the Aqua Velva), and the cigarette smoke all brought me back to the time of my childhood. It was if not an ecstatic time, certainly a happy one and a comfortable one - and so I relaxed into the film, enjoying the material accuracies of the set design.
 
The history is a little different. I knew who Edward R. Morrow was, not because of his elegant and provacative news editorials, but because of Person to Person, his interview show in which he went into the homes of stars, newsmakers, and other gliteratti. That this was all I really knew should have given me enormous clues about sexual orientation in later life. But here, George Clooney, quickly ushers us into the realities of Morrow's real skill and talent. The dues that were paid in his participation in "Person to Person" , made the commentaries and editorializing possible. Luckly for the viewer we are not forced to deal with a reconstructed, or acted Joseph McCarthy, but rather actual kinescopes from the period. We are, in short, allowed to judge for ourselves.
 
What has become of such bravery, represented by more than Morrow himself, but the many others who researched, produced, and supported his show? Certainly it is a moxie that this day and age could use, when confronted by an entire administration dedicated to misinformation and mischief making - certainly not statecraft. And here I think mainly of newspapers - hoping that there might be some light. But television? Morrow's speech, following the McCarthy incidents, yet tries to hold up the hopes of many for the fledgling medium. It was painful, if not comedic to hear. Painful in that so much has been squandered. Comedic in that the hopes now seem so naïve.
 
There are other joys, however. I don't know if "The Calvalcade of Stars" really followed Edward R. Morrow and his eternally lit cigarette, but in the film it forms moments of refreshment and distance from the difficult material. Dianne Reeves captures the elegance of '50s jazz in these short interludes. They are beautiful enough that it makes me want to go out to buy the sound track.
 
Albuquerque, Edward R. Morrow, Immanuel Lutheran School, the Highland Theater, Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School, and the Alvarado Hotel all had small roles in making me who I am today. To meet the Edward R. Morrow that was more than smoky elegance, was an honor.
 

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MTH 12/06/2005
 
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