It had to happen sometime, and it finally did: Alan and I went to the movies Saturday night. Saw “All is Lost.” As the line moved forward, we heard a lot of people ask for two tickets, and be told, “That’ll be $20.”
We got to the head of the line. “That’ll be $15,” the ticket-seller said.
As we walked away, Alan wondered aloud why this movie was apparently priced lower than all the others. I told him to check the tickets. Sure enough, we’d been given the senior discount. Without even asking! We wondered if, perhaps, every single person who cared to watch 77-year-old Robert Redford battle with increasing despair for one hour and 40 minutes that night was a senior, so we just got it by default. I think that might be the answer. It was definitely an old crowd.
But a good movie. I read somewhere that the script was only 31 pages long. The sum total of words spoken wouldn’t fill half a page, single-spaced. The story of how one man, sailing along somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean, finds himself in a long, slow battle with the unforgiving ocean would seem to require more of them, but no. Redford is impressive in how he manages to convey the look of desperation, thought and calculation without having to prattle aloud to himself, a la Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.” I was surprised at how affecting it was, and how skillfully done.
The rest of the weekend was the usual — a drink or three Friday night, errands galore Saturday, the aforementioned movie, and then the first concert of the year for Kate’s jazz group. Hers is the creative jazz ensemble, where the rule is that if you show up with an instrument, they’ll figure out a way to fit you in. Sometimes these configurations are downright strange: This cycle, they have three violinists, two guitars, bass, drums and percussion. It helps that the most experienced violinist plays like Jean-Luc Ponty. A very enjoyable ensemble.
I hope all the rest of you had the same.
We had to leave Wendy alone today for what turned out to be almost six hours. She was very anxious when we returned, which led me to google the Thundershirt, which means that every site I visit now shows me an ad for the Thundershirt. Neil Steinberg considers the implication of this sort of benign Big Data:
Could facial recognition and GPS and drones all unite into some grand web of repression? Sure, but it would be hard-pressed to top the old Soviet-style informant and jackboot repression. Teens are already bored with Facebook, and it’s easy to see why. There’s only so much Farmville you can play. We like technology, but we insist on it being our choice, or seeming to. You can trace an arc of increasing personal liberty for the past 300 years. A new chip isn’t going to change that. We build anarchy into our systems — the speed limit may be 55, but auto speedometers still go up to 160.
Gun madness continues. No comment. America has made its bloody bed — lie in it.
Finally, an illustrated mini-guide to why the world finds hipsters so irritating. After we dropped off Kate at Orchestra Hall, we had about an hour to kill, and went down the block for a drink. I used the bathroom. They were arrayed in the usual way, but hey, not separate by gender:
No, you have a choice. This:
Both were occupied, and a man came out of better lighting first. He was wearing sunglasses.
Have a good week, all.