Lately Hulu’s algorithm—in the bleak future math problems determine our entertainment choices—has been suggesting tower-based movies to me. Yes, it is a genre: films that take place in the claustrophobic confines of apartment buildings, like the 1993 thriller Sliver, starring Sharon Stone and William Baldwin. That flick was so-so, and the character motivations didn’t really make sense, especially the dashing computer nerd Baldwin portrayed, but it was one of several Hulu has recommended lately that depends upon a high-rise for its setting.
So it was the Grand High Algorithm suggested 2015’s High-Rise, a film both set in and an homage to the 1970s, specifically the dark sci-fi flicks of the decade.
After returning from Universal Studiosyesterday, I decided to ease back into the week with a couple of flicks. Hulu isn’t the best of streaming services in terms of content, but lately I’ve uncovered some good older films on the platform, and occasionally I’ll uncover some hidden gems.
To be sure, there’s a good bit of garbage, too, especially this time of year, when the budget horror flicks pop up like weeds. I watched 1972’s The Last House on the Left last night before catching the subject of this review, and it was a lurid bit of early 70s exploitation. It didn’t necessarily endorse the violence and depravity it depicted, but it certainly seemed to revel in it. At its best, it was a morality tale about the dangers of the hippie movement and misguided youthful energy; at its worst, it was an excuse to torture pretty girls on screen. I’d recommend giving it a pass.
The second film I watched, however, is one I will highly recommend: 1976’s The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. It stars a barely-thirteen-year old Jodie Foster in a command performance, along with a young Martin Sheen, who must have been about twenty-six at the time.
Yesterday’s Rasmussen Number of the Day on Ballotpedia observed that it’s been forty years “since the last meaningful national convention.” That was a reference to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, in which incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced a convention floor challenge from Senator Teddy Kennedy. Carter had enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but Kennedy challenged the convention rules in an attempt to force a floor vote.
The tug of nostalgia is a strong one. I’m only thirty-five, and I already feel it from time to time. Indeed, I’ve always been a sucker for nostalgia, which a psychologist might argue is one of the reasons I studied history. Perhaps. I also just enjoy learning trivia.
Regardless, Audre’s post caught my attention because I have been contemplating the literal, physical act of walking lately (although I often take metaphorical strolls down memory lane, too). I’ve put on a bit of weight in The Age of The Virus, so I’ve taken up walking as a way to complement a regimen of calorie counting (which is more of a loose, back-of-the-envelope calorie guesstimate each day).
I’m trying to get in around two miles of focused walking a day, mostly around Lamar. Although work commitments don’t always make that possible, I do find that simply going about my work results in around two miles of walking in aggregate. I’m curious to see what my step totals will be once the school year resumes, and I’m dashing about between classes, pacing the rows of students, and striding across the boards as I teach.
I’m not a runner, by any means. My older brother loves to run, and has the physique to show for it. More power to him, but I know myself well enough to know it’s not something I want to do. Runners swear oaths to running’s efficacy and delights, but gasping for breath in 100-degree weather with maximum humidity doesn’t appeal to me. Walking at a brisk clip in that weather, though, is at least bearable—once I’ve embraced the stickiness and the sweat, I can go for a couple of miles easily, and sometimes three or four.
Yesterday morning over at the blog Nebraska Energy Observer, NEO’s in-house guest writer, Audre Meyers, wrote a short, fun piece about prepping, “The Neo made me do it!,” in which she extolled the virtues of preparing ahead of time for disasters, rather then getting caught up in the frenzied mobs of panicked shoppers. She wrote about some various and sundry items she needed to top off, including the increasingly-precious toilet paper, because “there are some things I simply refuse to do without!”
With the obligatory hat-tips squared away, let’s dive into this early 1970s TP shortage—one that mirrors our own mania for clean bums. What is it about toilet paper—and the threat that it will disappear—that drives Americans to hysterics?